There are three saints in the Russian Orthodox Church that are very well known. They are Saint George, Saint Sophia, and Saint Nicholas. These saints are famous for their ability to heal and cure people. Their stories are told all over the world.
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Orthodox Christianity in Russia underwent a devastating period of persecution between two world wars. The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 enacted a policy of exterminating Christianity from the country. This left a mark on the psychological horizon of senior hierarchs of the church.
Some of these hierarchs had to choose between the conservative tradition and the demands of the political establishment. A number of these hierarchs defended the persecuted Jews openly. However, this did not represent a definite policy.
Anti-Jewish policies were formulated by state administrative organs. They took their authority from the emperor or state committees. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksi II, rejected antisemitism in any form.
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Three Saints was established by Russian immigrants in 1898. It was the first Orthodox parish in Bergen County. These immigrants had escaped war-torn Europe and came from diverse backgrounds. Eventually, they intermarried and formed families.
After a wooden building was built, the congregation moved into a larger building. It was adorned with traditional mural icons. A bell imported from Russia was installed. Stained glass windows were also installed.
The church became a center for spiritual activities. There were various choir masters and Russian language classes. Priests taught children, as well as adults. In addition, an adult evening Bible class was held.
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In 1898, a group of Russian immigrants came to Garfield, New Jersey to start the Russian Orthodox Church of the Three Saints. They named the parish after three fourth century church Hierarchs – Saints Tikhon, Tikhon and Alexander Hotovitzky.
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Three Saints was chartered on September 11, 1898, and became the first Orthodox parish in Garfield. After World War I, many new immigrants from Russia began to seek refuge in the United States. Despite the political turmoil and the economic depression, the parish continued to provide a solid education to young people.
In the 1930s, the parish was under the direction of Reverend John Telep. Father Telep organized fraternal and spiritual societies. He also supervised the Sunday school curriculum. His work also led to the founding of the First English Matins for young people.
Shrines throughout the village
For many of the Skolts, Orthodox Christianity remains a key source of ethno-religious identity. Whether through rituals at gravesites, piety, or participation in Orthodox feasts, the Orthodox Church is a vehicle for their ethnic and linguistic heritage.
In addition to commemorating deceased Setos, the church also celebrates those who have recently been rediscovered. This is the panikhida, or feast of the Skolts. Its importance is great.
Although the Orthodox Church in North Karelia has largely been restricted by the Soviet era, it has managed to establish a presence in the region. The Orthodox community has also rekindled the traditions of temple feasts, which were primarily held on the memorial day of a local patron saint.
Relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia
The Russian Orthodox Church is one of the largest autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches in the world. It is recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as honorary primacy.
Before the 1917 Revolution, the Russian Orthodox Church was one of the most powerful religious institutions in Russia and a major contributor to the state’s political system. During Soviet rule, the church suffered severe persecution. In addition to arrests, torture, and imprisonment of clergy, the government seized church lands and destroyed all church buildings.
When the Soviet Union fell, the Church began rebuilding its role in Russian society. The Holy Synod regained power. However, the Church was not prepared to protect Jews and persecuted Christians.