Annual Awards of “The Orthodox Church Review”

Pawel Cecha
The Polish Orthodox Church

Count Konstanty Bazyli Ostrogski, who was a sixteenth-century aristocrat, one of the greatest minds of his time, and at the same time a benefactor and protector of the Orthodox Church in the Republic of Poland, is the patron of the Annual Awards of “The Orthodox Church Review,” granted by the editorial chapter headed by editor-in-chief Eugeniusz Czykwin for contribution in the development of thought, culture and spirituality of the Orthodox faith, and work for the unification of Christians. The winners of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Awards were Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Prof. Kallistos Ware and Prof. Alexei Osipov, the First Belgrade Singing Society, the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic and the Soyuz television channel. The Awards were granted in the following spheres of activity: schooling, education, science, culture and charity…

Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius, established in Bialystok in 1989, is active in many fields. The Chapter particularly wanted to emphasize its schooling role. Five years ago, the Brotherhood became a founding body for the Saints Cyril and Methodius Primary School. Its activity (a kindergarten has also been opened, and this year a lower-secondary school is to be founded, too) is a great success of the Orthodox community…

Bishop Kallistos (Ware) from the United Kingdom, the Titular Metropolitan of Diokleia under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is one of the most prominent contemporary theologians, longtime head of the theological studies at Oxford University, author of the acclaimed books, of which „The Orthodox Church” and „The Orthodox Way” are best known, as well as of translations into English of „The Philokalia” and „The Festal Menaion.” His works owe their popularity not only to his knowledge and erudition, but also to his openheartedness.

Prof. Alexei Osipov is also a theologian. He reaches people with his written word as an author of well-known and highly regarded books (such as „The Road of Reason in the Search for Truth” which was published in the Polish language in 2011), and also with his spoken word – he is not only a lecturer at the Moscow Theological Academy but he also appears before television and radio audiences. You can listen to his words in a digital format when at home or while driving in a car. He explains, brings closer, compares, awakens minds, and opens hearts…

The First Belgrade Singing Society, founded one hundred and sixty years ago, and in constant operation since then, is much more than just a choir, it is a real Serbian national institution which has been cultivating the tradition and seeking new forms of expression. Among its patrons were many kings and now the Serbian Patriarch, as the choir is concerned about the preservation of the Orthodox spirituality and musical heritage, paying equal attention to both these fields of its activity. The Society, which is now under the direction of Svetlana Vilić, grabs you with great performances and its attitude inspires respect. Just remember that when NATO planes bombed Belgrade night after night, the choir gathered in the church up to the very last day singing until the explosions subsided…

Yet another Serb got the award. It is Novak Djokovic, the leader of tennis rankings, born in 1987. However, not for sporting achievements attracting millions of fans in front of their TVs, but for bearing witness to the faith, both spectacularly, when he makes the sign of the cross in front of the cameras, but also quietly, because while making millions he shares the money with those in need. He supports charities, helps children, builds churches. He is a true Christian.

Theology, education, history and culture are the main fields of activity of the Soyuz TV channel. It was established eight years ago in the Orthodox diocese of Ekaterinburg. It is directed by Igumen Fr Dmitri (Baibakov). It quickly gained huge popularity in both Russia and abroad. It transmits live broadcasts of religious services, but it does not focus on religion alone. There is no coverage of politics nor commercials. For over a year now, its Eastern European office based in Minsk, has been in operation led by Artyom Mahakeev, preparing programs concentrating on Orthodoxy in Poland, among other subjects. The channel has many faithful viewers in Poland.

The Orthodox Church Review” is a magazine which has been published in Poland for 28 years, with its first editor-in-chief Eugeniusz Czykwin still in office, who has also been member of the Polish parliament for many terms. „The Review” is published by the Ostrogski Foundation.