Τετάρτη, 25 Ιουλίου 2018

"Ivory Coast or Coast of Orthodoxy?"


Photo from here




By the grace of God and with the blessings of His Beatitude, after a long time I was made worthy to visit the neighboring to Ghana country, called Ivory Coast. That name had always aroused my interest and curiosity. Why “Ivory Coast”? Who called it by that name and why?
Living in West Africa and studying the history of the region, I discovered that Ghana as well had other names in the past; it was formerly called “Gold Coast” and sometimes “Slave Coast”, and there I understood that the colonists then named these coasts and later the countries after the products they obtained from these areas.
This realization made me wonder how much we Orthodox people differ from the colonists! They would take the most precious things from these people, whereas we Orthodox people bring to these coasts the most precious thing that we have, Orthodoxy, that’s why we call them “Coasts of Orthodoxy.” Therefore, each one of us ultimately names and characterize these coasts, those by means of abstraction, we by means of addition.


We celebrated this Easter in Abidjan, the capital city of Ivory Coast, and in our parish of the Lord’s Resurrection. Father Jeremiah, the priest and «pillar» of the church, had been ministering alone for many years until this Easter, when he got two new brothers in the priesthood, Fr. Sebastian and Fr. Deacon Albert. It is a great joy and blessing to have two priests and one deacon; together we are called to proclaim and spread the Orthodox faith in this country, where the Orthodox Church enjoys the respect and appreciation not only on the part of the rulers of this country but also of the whole of Africa because the Orthodox Church has always been a force of unity and has (always) had a purely missionary presence without any interference in matters of power, politics or racism.
However, now there is an immediate need for a new church in the nearby town of Agboville, 70 kilometers away from the capital city of Abidjan, where there is a small parish community without a church. They only have a straw hut used as a church building when the Divine Liturgy is performed, but whenever there is heavy rainfall, it crumbles and has to be made again from the beginning. The existence of a church building will give impetus and growth to this community. Fortunately, we have secured the land from a faithful native sponsor, and we pray that God will breathe into the heart of a believer among you who are reading this article and are interested in the Mission in Africa, so that this sacred dream will come true.


The Orthodox Missionary Fraternity has given many samples and examples of sacrificial offering for the creation of new Orthodox Coasts in this world so that people will find a haven, a joyous place, a place of rest and encounter with Christ. I wish and pray that our Lord will bestow every blessing upon you in abundance.

About the Metropolitan of Accra Narkissos (from here & here)

Metropolitan Narkissos of Accra. From the article Akooaba! It means “Welcome”.
   
The Metropolitan Narkissos of Accra, born Samer Gammoh, was born in 1968 in Amman, Jordan,where he completed his schooling at the National Orthodox School. He holds a degree from the Theological faculty of the Universtiy of Athens (1988-1992), where he also completed post-graduate studies in Dogmatic History (1992-1994). He was tonsured a monk on 14/2/1994 by the late Metropolitan Iakovos (Gkinis) of Nicaea. 
He was ordained Deacon by the same Metropolitan on 15 February 1994 and as Priest by Metropolitan Vartholomaios of Megara on 11 June 1994 at the Holy Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Megara where he served for 16 consecutive years as Parish Priest and Preacher. Seconded to the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa by His Beatitude Theodoros II Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria on 16/6/2009, he went on to serve at the Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas the Sanctified where he lived and as Principal of the “St Athanasios” Pariarchal Academy in Alexandria. 
At the same time he was Secretary for Arabic issues at the Chief Secretariat of the Patriarchate, Preacher and in charge of the catechetical work of the Arabic speaking parishes in Alexandria. On 23rd November 2013 proposed by His Beatitude, he was unanimously elected as Metropolitan of Nubia.
From here: In November 2015, having accepted the resignation of His Eminence Savvas Metropolitan of Accra, His Eminence Narkissos Metropolitan of Noubia was elected to the post, and elected as Metropolitan Noubia was the former Metropolitan Savvas of Accra.
 

See also

The Orthodox Church in Ghana & Ivory Coast 
Eglise Orthodoxe de Côte d'ivoire - Facebook
Ivory Coast: colonialism, freedom, history and the Orthodox Church 
I salute the brave women of the Orthodox community of Ivory Coast // Je salue les braves femmes de la communauté Orthodoxe de Côte d'Ivoire // .وإنني أحيي النساء الشجعان في المجتمع الأرثوذكس في كوت ديفوار
News & articles from the Holy Metropolis of Accra, Ghana
Orthodox Metropolis of Ghana - Facebook
 
Colonialism 
Neocolonialism   
African Initiated Church in Search of Orthodoxy...
Eight principal areas of convergence between African spirituality and Ancient Christianity
Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa (& the Decolonization of Africa)
(tags)

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