Monday, June 30, 2014

My 20 Favorite Movies of 2014 So Far

Now that we are halfway through 2014, it is time to share my 20 favorite movies of the year so far. I'll leave my comments for the end of the year list, but each title is linked to the Wikipedia page if you want to read more about it. Though some of these films were released in 2013, they were officially widely released in the United States and viewed by me in 2014.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Orthodox Criteria for Voting in Political Elections

Many Orthodox Christians often wonder, when it comes to voting for political leadership of any kind, how they are to vote. Though it is difficult to give a general answer to this question, below is an example of what sort of criteria we should look for to help us choose best. It is an encyclical by Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, issued in May 2014, on the local government elections of Greece and the elections of the European Parliament. Though this bold encyclical is given in a unique context of elections in Greece, without being associated with a particular candidate or political party, since this would not be prudent for any ecclesiastical figure, and in the midst of government corruption, essentially it gives criteria to help Orthodox anywhere to arrive at the best choice possible, and avoid a similar crisis as endured in Greece.

Monday, June 23, 2014

An Orthodox View of Contemporary Economics, Politics, and Culture

In 1967, following two decades of progressively harsher persecution of religion under communist rule, Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha triumphantly declared his nation to be the first atheist state in history. Hoxha, inspired by China's Cultural revolution, proceeded to confiscate mosques, churches, monasteries, and shrines. Many were immediately razed, others turned into machine shops, warehouses, stables, and movie theaters. Parents were forbidden to give their children religious names. Anyone caught with bibles, icons, or religious objects faced long prison sentences. In the south, where the ethnic Greek population was concentrated, villages named after saints were given secular names. For the religious, a long nightmare of persecution and martyrdom was to follow.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Joking About Serious Matters - The Lesson of Voltaire

By Archimandrite Theophilos Zissopoulous

Voltaire is considered the patriarch of atheists. One day at a dinner table he wanted to say a joke, as many smart people do to show their spiritual emptiness:

"I'm selling my seat in paradise for five franks," he said.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Movie Trailer: "Luka" (a 2013 film about St. Luke the Surgeon of Simferopol)

Film: "Лука" (Luka)
Year: 2013 (to be released in 2014)
Running time: 110 minutes
Director: Oleg Sytnik
Cast: Vitaly Bezrukov (Luke), Ekaterina Guseva, Andrew Saminin, Alexander Jacko, Vladimir Gostyukhin, Alex Shevchenkov
Manufacturer: "Patriot Film" (Ukraine, Belarus), with the support of the State Agency of Ukraine for movies and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus