Punished for Becoming Russian Orthodox — Water and Medical Aid Cut Off to Entire Village

"They said that access to water would only be permitted for those who would continue to attend the church of the Patriarchate of Alexandria . . ."

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, the Head of the Patriarchal African Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, posted a story about an Orthodox parish in Tanzania, which he checked twice before publishing.

“Archpriest Andrei Novikov visited the village of Sokoine and the local Orthodox mixed Massai-Tanzanian community, headed by priest Christopher Casiani Mendwele. Many members of the local community, and not only the Orthodox, gathered to welcome the guests. The meeting started with a prayer in Swahili, which was followed by a short presentation about the Russian Orthodox Church and a sermon. Father Andrey handed out crosses and icons."

"Then the local catechist rose to speak on behalf of the community. He said that not far from the place where they met, there is a spacious church, in which the Orthodox of Sokoine gathered to pray until they were ousted from it by the Patriarchate of Alexandria, as soon as the priest and his parish decided to transfer to the Russian Orthodox Church."

"Well aware that the locals are short of basic food products, the local Bishop of the Church of Alexandria tried to bribe the parishioners. Sacks of seeds and flour were delivered to Sokoine, to make residents of the village change their minds and return to Patriarchate of Alexandria. After the community unanimously rejected the bribe, the Diocese blocked access to the only well with clean water, which was drilled on the grounds of the church and was used by the entire village. They said that access to water would only be permitted for those who would continue to attend the church of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which has been closed for many weeks. They also stopped providing medicines and medical treatment to two local children from Orthodox families, who are seriously ill."

"A real humanitarian crisis broke out in the village. Parishioners and residents asked the Russian Orthodox Church for assistance in providing clean water, opening a medical center, and a school.”

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