Today's reading: Psalms 91-96 (92-97)
"Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!" Psalm 95/96:3
The Orthodox Church is too often considered by her membership as a church that doesn't engage in missionary or evangelical activity. This could not be further from the truth! The Orthodox Church is a church of mission at her very core. Archbishop Anastasios of Albania says that "a church not engaged in mission is simply not the Church."
Fr. Luke Veronis may not have written the book on Orthodox missions and evangelism, but he did write the article "Eastern Orthodox Missions," for The Encyclopedia of Christianty. He has this to say:
"The Eastern Orthodox Church’s missionary tradition is often unknown in Western circles, despite the fact that she has many exemplary missionary figures who reflected distinct missionary characteristics from their contemporary Western counterparts throughout her 2000 year tradition. The Orthodox Church sees the missionary legacy of the apostolic Church continuing in the fourth century through such stalwart missionaries as Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia, Nina of Georgia, Frumentios of Ethiopia, Hillarion of Gaza, and the Syrian monk Alexander, who organized a group of 150 of his most able monks to evangelize the lands around the Euphrates River. In fact, from the 4th through 6th centuries, the Byzantine Church actively evangelized the many pagans within the Empire, while also sending out missionaries to Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, Armenia, Phoenicia, Arabia, Noubia, Ethiopia, India, Mongolia, and China, as well as to the Goths, Huns and Iberians."
The full article, containing not only a lot of interesting history but a description of the amazing missionary work being done by Orthodox Christians throughout the world today, can be found here.