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IECS Report 9 (pdf, 290 kB) / October 2022

Drs. Huub Vogelaar has previously published on the Orthodox Church in Alaska in the journal Pokrof: Oosterse christenen, kerken en culturen. In this three-part IVOC-report (in Dutch), Drs. Vogelaar reflects on his previous publications by discussing the influence of Herman of Alaska, the interaction between shamanism and Orthodox Christianity, and the changing political environment of Alaska.

IECS Report 8 (pdf, 404 kB) / January 2022

In this report Matija Miličić, PhD candidate at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, looks into the Coptic Orthodox Church in the Netherlands. He conducts his research as part of the ERC project Rewriting Global Orthodoxy, where he analyzes publications, practices and activities of the Coptic communities in Western Europe during the last fifty years. He explores tensions between preserving tradition and heritage, and negotiating challenges set by migration and a perceived need for modernization. Moreover, he seeks to discover how the Coptic community reinterprets its tradition while facing challenges en route to inscribing itself into local societies.

IECS Report 7 (pdf, 365 kB) / September 2020

In this report Alfons Brüning connects the recent Belarus protests with debates on political theology in the Orthodox world, highlighting conflict in the relationship between church and state in the post-Soviet space.

IECS Report 6 (pdf, 270 kB) / July 2020

During the past years large groups of Syrians fled their homeland because of the Syrian civil war. The Netherlands faced an influx of refugees, also of Syrian Christians, who faced not only the consequences of oppression and civil war, but also the increase of sectarian violence. The Syrian Christians who were interviewed for this report by Heleen de Graaf are satisfied with their current life situation in the Netherlands. They trust the Dutch government and highly value the freedom of religion. Difficulties arise when entering the labour market. Syrians (Christians and others) are disappointed that certificates are much more important than experience. Syrian Christian value their contact with members of the established churches, but they have been surprised to learn that there is little knowledge of the history and rich traditions of the Oriental churches. Some of the interviewees are wary of radical Islamic elements that come to Europe to create division between different layers of society, due to their experiences with sectarian violence in Syria. Nevertheless, overall Syrian Christian refugees highly value their new life in the Netherlands and most want to settle here permanently.

IECS Report 5 (pdf, 359 kB) / Press Release / July 2020

Among the third wave of Eritrean refugees who now live in the Netherlands and who belong to the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, we see an increase in both personal religiosity and church attendance. In this contribution by Alissa Kivits, both psychological and transnational social causes for this phenomenon are explored. Religion helps young Eritreans deal with the challenging circumstances they face during their journey and after they have arrived in the Netherlands, which stimulates them to study their faith, whereas in Eritrea religion was mostly based on experience. In addition, they tend to attend church regularly, giving them access to the social network of Eritreans in the Netherlands. Furthermore, church services and the study of one’s religion contribute to the ongoing connection with the homeland and the culture one has left behind. These factors all feature in the case study that formed the starting point of this contribution. This small qualitative case study consisting of six interviews and participant observation during church services in and around Nijmegen focusses on practices of saint veneration by recent refugees.

IECS Report 4
Throughout history, the Georgian people have often dealt with outside threats, and Orthodox Christianity was one of the main factors which preserved a sense of distinctiveness among Georgians during times like these. The OCG has naturally been cast in the role of a guardian of the Georgian identity and independence. In the last decades the church has been able to claim as such a privileged position in society and in the political sphere. Geographically outside of Europe and rarely making headlines in the West, Georgia is usually out of sight and thus out of mind. Yet for those with an interest in Orthodox Christianity, for its intersection with the political sphere and specific positions with regard to ecumenism, the Orthodox Church of Georgia represents a fascinating case. The present text explores the role of Georgian Orthodoxy in relation to society, the state, and other Christian churches in the context of Georgia’s Soviet history.

IECS Report 3 (pdf, 386 kB)
A summarizing report of an International Workshop, 29 March-1 April 2017,
Beek-Ubbergen  about "Reconciliation - What's in a word?"

IECS Report 2 (pdf, 594 kB)
Institute of Eastern Christian Studies Report, 2, September 2016
Church and Religion in Ukraine, The Religious Dimension of the Current Conflict.

IECS Report 1 (pdf, 273 kB)
Institute of Eastern Christian Studies Report, 1, December 2015

Over the last months, the number of Christians among the refugees that arrived in Europe in general and in the Netherlands in particular has grown considerably. This is not surprising, considering the fact that many Christians are in the middle of the current conflict; they are sometimes targeted directly and are very often affected indirectly. This first IECS Report seeks to shed some light on the particular migration patterns of the Christians during the current crisis.