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Orthodoxy in the Philippines

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This article seeks to be a clearinghouse of information and links regarding the history and state of '''[[Orthodox Christianity]] in the Philippines'''. The current Orthodox presence in the Philippines is minimal. However, early in the 20th century a small Russian parish, exclusively for Russian nationals, once existed served émigrés in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The presence of this Russian parish ceased to exist after the Second World War. Another Orthodox parish under the [[jurisdiction]] of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]] was founded in Manila during the early 1990s.
== Beginnings of Christianity in the Philippines ==
===1930s - Russian Orthodox Christians===
[[Image:John Maximovitch Tubabao.jpg|right|thumb|Abp. John Maximovitch in Tubabao]]An influx of Russian emigrees émigrés fleeing the Soviet regime occurred during the American colonial regime. In 1935, a Russian [[parish]] was established in Manila, and the [[Patriarch]] of Moscow and All Russia appointed Father Mikhail Yerokhin as vicar. The Episcopal Church then permitted Fr. Mikhail to use the north transept of their cathedral for worship. In 1937, the first Orthodox church was built and was named after the Iveron [[Icon]] of the Mother of God. This also became the first Orthodox [[altar]] in the Philippines. Later, both the Episcopal Cathedral and the Russian Orthodox church in Manila were destroyed by American bombing during the Second World War.
In 1949, 5,500 Russian Orthodox from China, including then-[[Archbishop]] [[John (Maximovitch)]], were relocated to a former US Army base on [ Tubabao], in the south central Philippines by the International Refugee Organization and with the permission of the newly independent Republic of the Philippines. Abp. Under Archbishop John Maximovitch then established 's direction a wooden church, orphanage, and other buildings in Tubabao exclusively were established on the grounds of the base, for the Russian refugees.
Tubabao, however, was (and still is) an underdeveloped island which is humid, prone to typhoons, and at times inaccessible due to the ocean conditions. When a Russian commented on their fear that a typhoon would destroy their camp to local Filipinos, they replied that there was nothing to worry about because "your holy man blesses your camp from four directions every night." There were no typhoons or floods while Abp. John was therethe Russian refugees sheltered at Tubabao.
Abp. John Maximovitch did not preach the Orthodox faith to the native [ Waray]-speaking inhabitants of the Philippine islandsTubabao. No Filipino was baptized, chrismated, ordained or consecrated during his the refugees' stay in the Philippines. Through the persistent lobbying of Abp. John to himself was only present for a few months, until the camp was set up and running; during most of the two years the refugees were at Tubabao, he was in America, lobbying the Congress for their reception into the UUSA.S. CongressThrough his persistent lobbying, the refugees were allowed to settle in the United States and Australia beginning in 1951.
=== 1990s - Filipino Orthodox Christians===
In 2007 the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in the Philippines[], was established under the [[Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand]]. In 2008, two Filipino denominations were received into the Antiochian church, including 32 communities with some 6000 believers. These denominations - one ex-protestant, led by Fr Jeptah Aniceto, and one ex-independent, led by Fr Pascualito Monsanto - formed two vicariates, based in Davao and Manila respectively. In 2009 Jeptah Aniceto [ left the Antiochian Church] to pursue native religious teaching in Africa, and now [ identifies as a Muslim]. Many of his followers left the Antiochian Church; some connected with an [[Old Calendarist]] group under Bishop Kleopas (Daclan).
In 2013, clergy from both ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate responded to requests from Filipino groups for catechism and baptism. Two dioceses of the [ Iglesia Filipina Independiente ("Aglipayans"] entered into a period of catechism, and beginning in 2015 many parishes were received in mass baptisms[][]. In 2017 a hieromonk was sent from Russia to reestablish the parish of the Iveron Icon of the Theotokos, destroyed in 1945. On July 17, 2017, mission clergy and leaders were commissioned by Archbishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate in East and South Asia. [] The . Three priests now serve the Russian mission which now numbers approximately twenty parishes and mission communities, mostly in Mindanao.
There are also some [[Independent Orthodox churches|independent groups]] in the Philippines that use the term ''Orthodox'' in their names but are not in communion with or are recognized by any canonical Orthodox church.

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