At the request of a Russian journalist friend, my wife and I have just written a long interview of me, in Russian, for one of the major Russian church sites, on how I see the position of the Russian diaspora church in Belgium.
The main reason I consented to do this is my disappointment with most writing I have seen, aimed at Russian audiences, on the Russian diaspora church in Belgium.
Why? Simply because a journalist, in a desire to get published, will tell the story his audience wants to hear. You would think that everyone in Russia wants to believe that their Russian diaspora is doing splendidly, with rising church attendance and new buildings. Added to that, most journalists who come our way lack any independent critical insight.
Sorry, it is too easy to photograph our new churches on a big feast day, with the gaudy colours of a big celebration, and forget the nearly empty Saturday vesper services, or to avoid the question of how many of the new generation we will retain, or indeed the proper role of the Orthodox diaspora in the wider Christian context.
Christ said in the Gospel that ‘the truth will set you free’. Much of what I have read on the ROC in Belgium in the Russian press leaves me in bondage. Will my journalist friend have the key to release the shackles?
If he does not, I will publish the interview independently on this site.