Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy


Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

Aviv Saliu-Diallo, Pierre Haab

Fr. Pierre Haab, a Swiss former Roman Catholic who was disappointed with his religion and was carried away by Buddhism, Hinduism and other screamingly “fashionable” Eastern teachings and who is now a subdeacon of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in Geneva, speaks about his conversion to Orthodoxy.

* * *

—Can you tell us a few words about your family, education and the story of your conversion to the Orthodox faith?

I was born in an under-developed, impoverished, hungry country where the sky is permanently overcast with dark clouds—of course, in the spiritual sense. I am speaking of Switzerland, and especially of the city of Geneva—the center of world freemasonry and finances, the stronghold of obscurantist heresy, and a materialistic megalopolis that is enjoying the lulling, stable comfort that easily protects it from the numerous everyday tragedies of humanity.

My parents raised me in the Roman Catholic faith that they had inherited from their ancestors, for which I am extremely grateful to them; they implanted the fundamentals of Christian Revelation in me from childhood—namely faith in God, the doctrine and the necessity of prayer.

We were a practicing Catholic family. We attended Mass on Sundays and major Church feasts, and prayer was a part of our daily life (at least it was so for the first ten years of my childhood). My father, a journalist, devoted his professional life to the protection of the oppressed and justice. As far as my parents are concerned, they did their best to provide the continuity of religious education in our family.

As for the Church, though in my case the more precise name was “Papism”, the situation was different. As a child (in the 1950s) I felt comfortable in that religious environment; for example, I had no problem with prayers in Latin. Although for me faith was “the faith in obedience,” I used to ask many questions, and the adults—my parents and priests—were unable to answer them. And if they did answer me, they did it with a smile and condescendingly, thinking that I was trying to get to the core of the matter too seriously. They gave me to understand that performing the morally required duties was enough for me. And I decided that I would get the answers to my questions later through my independent, in-depth research and analysis of the primary sources, where the morals come from. Judging by my childhood memories, I always had a thirst for truth.

So I was waiting for some changes, when, at the very dawn of my youth, a crucial event happened in the West—a real revolution in Papism (which is still going on today). I mean the Second Vatican Council of 1962. Over a short span of several months (or, in some cases, two to three years) a whole set of rules which had been shaped in the living daily reality of Western Christianity formany centuries, were abolished, declared invalid and obsolete and even partly prohibited; in the twinkling of an eye this heritage was declared the lifeless and dusty relics of archeology. For example, thenceforth during the Mass the officiating priest and the altar were “turned around” and must face toward the congregation; the use of Latin—the centuries-old language of Western liturgies—was banned; the Sunday Mass was moved to Saturday evening—in order to give believers the opportunity to go skiing or sleep more on Sunday morning; the cassock (or soutane)—a non-liturgical garment traditionally worn by Catholic clergy—was declared “unnecessary”; all fasts (the Eucharistic fast, Lent and fasting on Fridays) were abolished; the Continue reading “Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy”


Video: La svolta, storie di conversione al Cristianesimo – Tatiana Goritcheva ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Italian


La svolta, storie di conversione al Cristianesimo

Tatiana Goritcheva

What is Yoga? – Jeremy Butler

What is Yoga?

by Jeremy Butler

Yoga is a practice that has become very popular in the United States. According to a 2008 study, there are 15.8 million Americans who practice Yoga. Before we can answer whether Christian’s should practice yoga or not, we need to define what Yoga is.

Yoga is a practice found in all sects of Hinduism. There are different types of yoga, but all are touted as a means to achieve unity with the divine and thus to earn salvation. There are several practices within Yoga. These include, but are not limited to meditation, repetition of sacred sounds or syllables (typically “Ohm”), breathing techniques, acrobatic exercises, and positioning one’s body in difficult postures.

Meditation is central to all forms of Yoga. Meditation helps its practitioners to be able to find release from the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. “Yoga is a method of spiritual training whose purpose is to integrate or unite the self. A physical exercise, its goal is nonphysical-uniting with God. Yoga teaches that people should attempt to yoke the individual spirit to God, to atman – the individual soul or essence of a person – and to Brahman”. So we see that Yoga is essentially physical exercises in which one tries to attain unity with the universal divine essence of Hindu theology.

Θάνατος σε Spa και οι κίνδυνοι από ψευδοεπιστημονικές “θεραπείες” Hot Yoga



Θάνατος σε Spa & οι κίνδυνοι

από ψευδοεπιστημονικές “θεραπείες” Hot Yoga

Κατά τη διάρκεια «πνευματικής» θεραπείας (spiritual treatment) μια ζεστή καλοκαιρινή μέρα, άλειψαν με λάσπη τη Lavigne, την τύλιξαν σε αρκετές στρώσεις σελοφάν και φόρεσαν ένα χάρτινο κουτί στο κεφάλι της για εννέα ώρες.

Τρία άτομα που εργάζονταν σε Spa στο Quebec του Καναδά, καταδικάστηκαν σε φυλάκιση με την κατηγορία ότι συνέβαλαν στο θάνατο της Chantal Lavigne.

Φυσικά, δεν εκπλήσσει το γεγονός ότι η όλη διαδικασία της προκάλεσε αφυδάτωση. Η κατάστασή της ήταν τόσο σοβαρή, ώστε χρειάστηκε να διακομισθεί εσπευσμένα στο νοσοκομείο, όπου υπέκυψε λίγο αργότερα λόγω ανεπαρκούς λειτουργίας ζωτικών οργάνων.

Στους τρεις εργαζόμενους στο Spa επιβλήθηκε ποινή κάθειρξης 2-3 ετών, η οποία χαρακτηρίστηκε ως πολύ ελαφριά. Δεν είναι η πρώτη φορά που παρουσιάζεται αυτό το φαινόμενο.

Το 2011, ο James Ray, ένας αυτο-αποκαλούμενος γκουρού, καταδικάστηκε σε δυο χρόνια κάθειρξης με την κατηγορία της ανθρωποκτονίας εξ αμελείας, ύστερα από το θάνατο τριών ανθρώπων από θερμοπληξία κατά τη διάρκεια «τελετουργικού πνευματικής αναγέννησης».

Ο κίνδυνος σ’ αυτές τις περιπτώσεις δεν είναι εμφανής. Οι περισσότεροι διερωτούνται «και που είναι το πρόβλημα;». Είναι σημαντικό να γίνεται συχνή ενημέρωση για τους Continue reading “Θάνατος σε Spa και οι κίνδυνοι από ψευδοεπιστημονικές “θεραπείες” Hot Yoga”

The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas – Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA


The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas

By Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA

Printed in Issue 24 – Death to the World




I’m an Orthodox Christian living in Homer, Alaska and experienced Jesus Christ in the Himalayas, in India.

I listen to the heartbeat of rain outside…

Cold, Alaskan fog blowing in off the bay, emerald hills now that autumn is here and summer chased away into the mountains. But a milky white fog spreads over the bay like a silken ghost. I used to visit Trappist monasteries, back when I was Catholic, at the beginning of high school, and searching for a relationship of love. I read plenty of philosophy then to know that knowing isn’t enough, that having a realization in the mind is entirely different from experiencing a revelation of the heart.

I spent two birthdays in the Himalayas…

Traveling along gravel roads that drop deep into icy gulches where the Ganges river rages below not yet packed with the filth and mud and newspapers of villages, not yet carrying remainders of Indians in her current, I found Christ found me. It’s a difficult and strangely compelling atmosphere to confront oneself, – – India, – – sandwiched with black corpses, white snow, pagan fires and virulent animals.

I took a bus north from Delhi. It was crowded, tight and cramped, flies buzzed between my face and the windows smeared with brown slime. It’s so Continue reading “The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas – Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA”

Ρωσία: Από τον Βουδισμό στην Ορθοδοξία – Το τελευταίο δαχτυλίδι – Αληθινή ιστορία από τον «Κήπο της Όπτινα»

Ρωσία: Από τον Βουδισμό στην Ορθοδοξία

Το τελευταίο δαχτυλίδι – Αληθινή ιστορία από τον «Κήπο της Όπτινα»



– Φτάνει, δεν θα φιλοξενήσεις κανέναν πια στο σπίτι,μου είπε μία μέρα αυστηρά ο γέροντας.
– Πάτερ, εσείς μου δώσατε ευλογία να δέχομαι προσκυνητές.
– Κάποτε έδινα ευλογία, μόνο που η κοινή συγκατοίκηση δεν σας ωφελεί πια και από σήμερα απαγορεύεται να ξαναφιλοξενήσετε.

Πρέπει να ακούσω τον γέροντα. Πόση ντροπή όμως αισθάνθηκα που δεν μπόρεσα να φιλοξενήσω για ένα βράδυ μια οικογένεια με πολλά παιδιά. Το μωρό κλαίει στην αγκαλιά της μάνας του. Είναι αργά και τα παιδιά νυστάζουν, ενώ στο ξενοδοχείο των προσκυνητών απαγόρευονται τα μικρά παιδιά. Τους εξηγώ μπερδεμένη ότι ο στάρετς δεν μου δίνει ευλογία να φιλοξενήσω προσκυνητές και νιώθοντας ενοχή τους ζητώ να με συγχωρήσουν.
– Σωστά, πρέπει να ακούμε τον στάρετς, λέει η κουρασμένη μητέρα. Να, παιδιά, ένα μάθημα σημαντικό από το άγιο μοναστήρι. Σε κάποιους από σας δεν αρέσει η υπακοή. Ποιο είναι το πιο σημαντικό πράγμα για τους μοναχούς και τα μικρά παιδιά;
– Η υπακοή!

Το αισθάνεσαι πως πρόκειται για μια πιστή οικογένεια. Γι’ αυτή τους την πίστη ο Κύριος τους έδωσε μερικούς καλούς φίλους κι ένα καταφύγιο. Επέστρεψε από το μοναστήρι η φίλη μου η Γκαλίνα και δέχτηκε την οικογένεια σπίτι της.
– Το σπίτι μου είναι μεγάλο, υπάρχει χώρος για όλους και πολλά σμέουρα ώριμα. Μήπως δεν σας αρέσουν τα σμέουρα;
– Δεν είμαστε από αυτούς! φώναξαν τα παιδιά διασκεδάζοντας και ανέβηκαν στο αυτοκίνητο της Γκαλίνας.
Ο στάρετς έχει δίκιο όταν λέει πως πως η κοινή διαβίωση στο σπίτι δεν με ωφελεί επειδή, όσο και να προσπαθήσω, δεν μπορώ να γλιτώσω από το πάθος της ικανοποίησης των ανθρώπων. Αυτό είναι κάτι που έχω κληρονομήσει από τους συγγενείς μου στην Σιβηρία, οι οποίοι πιστεύουν πως ο μουσαφίρης είναι σταλμένος από το Θεό και ό,τι έχεις στο φούρνο πρέπει να το βάλεις στο
τραπέζι. Τότε αφήνεις τα πάντα στην άκρη, αφού πρέπει να φροντίσεις τους Continue reading “Ρωσία: Από τον Βουδισμό στην Ορθοδοξία – Το τελευταίο δαχτυλίδι – Αληθινή ιστορία από τον «Κήπο της Όπτινα»”

Can a Christian practice yoga without getting caught up in the religious aspects of it? – Jeremy Butler

Can a Christian practice yoga

without getting caught up in the religious aspects of it?

by Jeremy Butler

By defintion, Christians should not practice yoga. They can, however, stretch. Stretching is good. The philosophical occult aspects of yoga are not. Yoga is religious in nature and an eastern philosophical one. Remember, the point of the practice of yoga is to unite oneself with “God.” Take this quote from the Yoga Journal…

“Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, judging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.”

As one can see, Yoga is more than just a physical exercise. We do not want to leave our minds open to false teaching.