Nikodemos Sarikas

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Archimandrite Nikodemos Sarikas was a hieromonk of the Church of Alexandria who was among the early twentieth century Orthodox Christian missionaries in the southern part of Africa. His counsel provided guidance to Orthodox seekers, such as Reuben Spartas, to approach the patriarchate in Alexandria.


Nikodemos was born in Ottoman Turkey in 1878. He entered a monastic life at the age of seventeen and served for a period under the jurisdiction of Patriarch Damianus of Jerusalem. In 1907, he was ordained to the priesthood in Smyrna in Asia Minor.

In 1907, Fr. Nikodemos traveled as a missionary to Johannesburg in South Africa to evangelize among the Africans and serve members of the Greek merchant families. However, the Greek community complained about his missionary efforts and wanted Fr. Nikodemos to serve only the Greek community. Unhappy with the demands of the Greek community, in 1911, he moved to the Moshi district of German East Africa, now Tanzania, near Kilimanjaro. There, he began farming and evangelizing among the Africans.

In 1933, Fr. Nikodemos, who had had contacts with members of the non-canonical African Orthodox Church, was invited to Uganda by Reuben Spartas, who had been ordained into the African Orthodox Church by Daniel William Alexander. Through his mediation and assistance, the AOC members made contact with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Alexandria and that led to thier reception into the Orthodox Church.

Continuing his missionary work, Fr. Nikodemos, on his return from Uganda to Moshi, brought two Baganda, who were members of a native ethnic group in Uganda, to live with him and learn about Orthodoxy. In addition to his missionary work Fr. Nikodemos also nurtured cooperative relations between the new native African Orthodox community and the Greek community in Kampala.

Fr. Nikodemos reposed in 1941.