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Holy Orthodox Diocese of Botswana Celebrates Two Year Anniversary

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A Greek-British private school opened last month in Botswana, funded by the Orthodox Diocese of Botswana under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.

Greek, Greek-Cypriot, Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian and indigenous pupils are already visiting the school’s courses, which among others include the learning of the Greek and Russian language and the local dialect Setswana, as well as Orthodox catechism.

Bishop Gennadios is in constant talks with the Ministry of Education of the country, aiming at upgrading the school to High School levels. The Embassies of France and Germany are also aiding the purpose of the private Orthodox school.

Through these efforts, the Orthodox Diocese aims at gaining a decent presence and activity at the country by organizing different activities and initiatives concerning the fields of education and health.

“It is of high importance for our Orthodox Church to be able to serve the people and the society of Botswana in key sectors such as health and education” pointed out Bishop Gennadios in his interview to major circulation local news magazine “Discover Botswana”. The Bishop added that the Orthodox Church’s future lies in education. “The best schools in South Africa and other neighboring countries belong traditionally and essentially to the Orthodox Church. People support our work by sending their children to school to become educated and learn about the Christian values. What our Church needs to do is come out of its shell and approach the people and their needs without too much preaching and philosophy” highlighted the Orthodox Bishop.

Bishop Gennadios gave interviews to well known “Animal Planet” and “National Geographic” channels and invited the journalists to participate at this year’s Orthodox Easter celebrations in order to experience the spiritual dimension of Christianity.

During Easter time, the first doctors from Crete are expected to arrive in Botswana in order to implement new pilot medical programmes against AIDS. These programmes will be conducted in cooperation with the Medical Clinic of the Anglican Church “Hospice-Holy Cross”, where children suffering from AIDS are being treated.

The Orthodox Diocese is celebrating this year its second anniversary from its establishment in October 2010. However, the Diocese does not have a Cathedral yet. Therefore, the Bishop will hold a new meeting with the authorities in charge to secure the right property where the first Orthodox Cathedral will be built.

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  • FactChecker

    ‘since all missionary acts, no matter what their form might be, are strictly forbidden by law in the purely Christian populated country’- 
    The above sentence is inaccurate in a number of ways, devoid of any facts. Instead of making assumptions, the author should investigate about the country they write. Better yet they should back up their claims with relevant sections of the law or regulations which supposedly prohibit people from practising  their religion ( in contravention with the country’s Constitution Chapter II §11 on Freedoms of conscience- which covers religion and the freedom to hold beliefs or thoughts and act on them without interference)
    1. Botswana is not ‘purely’ Christian. It has other religions such as Islam, Sikh and even traditional African religions. Granted , a majority ( about 70%) regard themselves as Christians but this hardly qualifies as ‘purely’ christian, especially when 20% of the population did not identify with any religion ( International Religious Freedom Report 2007). Further, contrary to what you wrote, Catholicism is not the majority religion in Botswana ( with the same report identifying Anglicans, Methodists, UCCSA and the new ‘Pentecostal’ churches which are popular with the young). 2. Missionary acts are very common in Botswana and carried out by different religions. There is no law that prohibits them. You should ask religions such ask the Latter Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witness, Islamic Women’s Charity Organisation, SVD and Flying Mission (Botswana).  All these and other religions carry out missionary work on a daily basis without any interference from the authorities. Because what they are doing is NOT illegal.  (American) Open Baptist churches are some of the churhces that carry out missionary work especially with the (only) National university, University of Botswana’s student organisation ( Scripture Union) WITHIN the university campus. Just across the said campus is the country’s largest mosque.We may have a lot of things wrong as a country. but religious intolerance at national/governmental level is not one of them ( and I should know- I am an atheist who gets harassed by LDS and Jehovah’s witness people every weekend).  

  • Stella Tsolakidou

    Thank you for your comment. I will make the appropriate corrections in the post.
    What you read is merely the translation of a Greek original article.
    I will see to it that the Greek author also knows of the misinformation delivered.

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