Teaching of Orthodox religion in South Africa

отац ПантелејмонThere are few suburbs in Johannesburg where only local black people are living. These parts of towns are called locations, and they are very unsafe with high rate of crime. There are unwritten rule between white people not to go there under any circumstances. One of these suburbs is Thembisa where Christian School Saint Atanasius is located.

This year for the end year function Mrs. Bertha Motswane, invited representatives of Serbian Orthodox Church in Africa father Pantelejmon, Deacon father Stephen and member of Church Comity Mr. Zivojin Jovanovic. On the 25th November 2007 we left our Church Saint Thomas and went to visit School. Many people were confused how brave we are to go there.

отац ПантелејмонOwner and teachers of the School are very close to our Orthodox Archbishopric and their wish is to transform their School to Orthodox Christian School Saint Antanasius. That is why representatives of Orthodox Church were invited. Celebration was started with pray for pupils and blessing of water. On the end of the service Father Pantelejmon spread teachers, pupils, parents and classrooms with holy water.

From January 2008, start of next school year, with blessing from Archbishop Seraphim, school will start with classes of Orthodox religion. Classes will be held during the regular school hours, and all pupils will have to attend. Father Pantelejmon suggested to have two classes every week and he promised to come to Thembisa and to lecture the pupils. It is agreed that Father Pantelejmon has classes for older people in Thembisa and Clipfontain View

отац ПантелејмонCelebration was continued with pupil's recitals and playwright. Everything was so nice and interesting full of Bible messages. On the end new school director was elected and then pupils received their degrees. Mrs. Bertha owner of the school asked Father Pantelejmon to award pupils.

Representative from South African Government, from Department of Christian schools, give presents to the pupils. After celebration, parents were asking all kind of questions about lectures and Orthodox services, that will be held by Father Stephen every second Sunday, with blessing from Archbishop Seraphim. Mrs. Bertha, asked Father Pantelejmon to help with school pamphlet and to put big sign in front of school: "Orthodox Christian School Saint Atanasius". Father Pantelejmon promised that he is going to help with this.

Next year Archbishop Seraphim will be invited to attend celebration. From January 2008 Father Pantelejmon will held classes about History of Serbian Orthodox Church in Orthodox Seminary of Patriarch Petros in Johannesburg, with blessing of Archbishop Seraphim.

отац ПантелејмонOn the end of the beautiful day, that we spent with our friends, they showed us a Saint Sava Icon that Father Pantelejmon presented to them, last year on Saint Sava day, when they visited our Church. Icon was given to them to become a witness that Orthodox religion is religion of salvation for all people and nationalities around the world regardless of their tribe or skin color.