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Orthodoxy in the Philippines

2,020 bytes added, 02:17, October 3, 2019
Updated info on the Russian Orthodox Diocese of the Philippines with external links.
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 ==
== Arrival of Orthodoxy ==
===1600s - Armenian, and Greek and Macedonian Orthodox Christians===One source suggests that the Armenians, Greeks and Mecedonians were the first Orthodox Christians on the island. An eighteenth century document written by Murillo Velarde, a Jesuit historian describing their Order’s missionary labors in the Philippines, records the presence of Armenian, and Greek and Macedonian settlers in the Philippine capital city of Manila as early as 1618. [;cc=philamer;q1=morenos;rgn=full%20text;idno=afk2830.0001.044;didno=AFK2830.0001.044;view=image;seq=31;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;] (Blair & Robertson's The Philippine Islands 1493-1898, Cleveland, Ohio: 1906, Vol. XLIV, p. 27).
In his book ''Historia de Philipinas'' (published in Manila, 1749), the Jesuit historian Velarde wrotes: "I believe that there is no city in the world in which so many nationalities come together as here....There are a considerable number of Armenians, and some Persians; and Tartars, Macedonians, Turks, and that he who spends an afternoon on the ''tuley'' or bridge of Manila will see all these nationalities pass by him, behold their costumes, and hear their languages - something which cannot be done in any other city in the entire Spanish monarchy, and hardly in any other region in all the world."
===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 Iberian 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===
On April 20, 1990, a Filipino [[hieromonk]], Fr. Vincentius Escarcha (a former Benedictine Abbot and a Roman Catholic priest for more than 20 years in Bajada, Cataingan, Masbate island), together with four nuns and faithful members of his community, were received into the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan [[Dionysios (Psiahas) of Proussa|Dionysios]] of the [[Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Zealand]] and assisted by [[Sotirios (Trambas) of Korea|Bishop Sotirios of Zelon]]. On January 19, 1994, Metropolitan Dionysios, assisted by Bishop Sotirios, received by [[Chrismation|Holy Chrismation]] several Filipino Christians in Manila.
In 1996, the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia was created for the needs of the faithful under the [[Church of Constantinople]]. In 2004, the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Bajada, Masbate was consecrated by His Eminence Metropolitan [[Nikitas (Lulias) of Hong Kong|Nikitas]] of Hong Kong and South East Asia. At present, the nuns of the Theotokos Orthodox Monastery in Bajada run a kindergarten.
[[Image:Filipinorthodox.jpg‎|left|Filipino Orthodox faithful in Paranaque, Manila]]Within the Ecumenical Patriarchate's [[Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia]], there are currently three Filipino Orthodox priests in the Philippines, along with four nuns, and are administratively under an ecclesiastical vicar from Greece. In these communities, the Divine Liturgy and other Orthodox worship services are said in English, Greek and Filipino.
Recently, In 2007 the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in the Philippines[], was established under the [[Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand]], was made defunct. In 2008, however, 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 Orthodox 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. Two dioceses of the [ Iglesia Filipina Independiente ("Aglipayans"] entered into a period of catechism, and beginning in 2015 several 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, originally established in 1935 but destroyed by bombing during World War II. In February, 2019, a [ Diocese of the Philippines] was established within the Russian Orthodox [ Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia]. [ Eight priests] now serve the Russian mission which now numbers approximately thirty parishes and mission communities.
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.
==See also==
* [[Exarchate of the Philippines|Exarchate of the Philippines, Ecumenical Patriarchate]]
* [[Philemon (Castro)]]
==External links==
*[ Philippines/187805037902231 Affiliate in the Philippines - Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia]
*[ History of the First Filipino Orthodox Community in the Philippines] by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis
*[ Ecumenical Patriarch Consecrates Annunciation Church in Manila]
*[ Greeks in the Philippines and their contributions to the Filipinos]
*[;idno=AFK2830.0001.044 The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 by Emma E. Blair & James A. Robertson, Volume XLIV, 1906] Online edition from the University of Michigan.
*[ Philippine Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church]
{{Parishes of South, East, and Southeast Asia}}

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