Ask an Eastern Orthodox Christian: How Do I Convert from Hinduism to Russian Orthodox?
Commentary by Nicholas Damascus
I am a Hindu from India. Now, I am highly influenced by Christ, and I want to convert to Russian Orthodox. Please give me the answer. Even if it includes going to Russia I’m willing.
The Eastern Orthodox Church is the Church that Christ and the Apostles established from the beginning without any addition to, subtraction from or any alteration to the original faith. Within the EOC, there are several jurisdictions, such as Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, etc. What one should keep in mind is that regardless of the jurisdiction, it is all the same undivided Church — as in the Church of Jerusalem, Antioch, Corinth, Thessalonian, etc., — each having its own jurisdiction, yet the same one, holy, catholic (universal) and Apostolic Church.
The Orthodox faith is not a religion; it is “a way of life” with guideposts to aid in each person’s journey of life experiences. The will of God for us is to become more like Him by His grace and mercy and, should be understood by all, that a Christian is always a work in progress.
The process of becoming an Orthodox Christian is not a conversion or accepting a set of rules and regulations or that one could score enough points to get that ticket to slide into heaven.
It is not so much a destination but a journey where one, through their expressions of love, strives to live a moral life in the likeness of Christ. This transfiguration of self is known to Orthodox as theosis, where one strives to acquire a humble and repentant mind and heart.
We approach our relationship with Christ from a transition from worldly thinking of “being right” to “right being,” making an effort to understand and learn Christ’s real intention and purpose for us.
There is no formal catechism for inquirers/seekers that desire to become members of the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, the process to become a member of the EOC begins by contacting the priest of any Orthodox parish who will assist you in your desire to become an Orthodox Christian.
Should you decide to commit as a catechumen (one who plans to become a member of the Church), your journey involves self-examination, some counseling and education of the faith, determining what is best for you and those in your life. When a catechumen is received into the Church, it is done by the Holy Sacraments of Baptism or Chrismation or both.
Baptism is an outward sign of an inner belief, a profession of faith, the rite of passage, the dying of the worldly person and the resurrection of a new person in union with Christ, opening the gateway to enter the Kingdom of God.
Chrismation is receiving the Seal of the Holy Spirit immediately following baptism by the anointing of the newly illumined catechumen with this holy oil. Any catechumen having been baptized in another recognized Christian faith does not have to be re-baptized and may enter the Church through the anointing of the Holy Sacrament of Chrismation.
God is the Lord, and He has revealed Himself to us. If you are indeed curious enough, come and journey with us and step into the ship that will bring you to where you may have never been before and discover that “being is communion.”……. με αγάπη
As Orthodox Christians, we believe in the profession of faith known as the Nicene Creed, established in the early ancient Church when the Church was one.
List of books for inquirers:
- Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives by Elder Thaddeus
- The Orthodox Way by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
- The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church by Vladimir Lossky
- Courage To Pray by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom
- Knowledge of God by Harry Boosalis