Русский | Orthodox Church in Thailand (Moscow Patriarchate)/ | May 4, 2009
English translation by Nina Tkachuk Dimas

Heterodox Christians in Bangkok received into Orthodoxy

Mr. Jakra Taranwan (Demetrius)
at St Nicholas Church

In the St. Nicholas Church in Bangkok hegumen Oleg (Cherepanin), a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand, performed the rite of reception into Orthodoxy of Tonkama Piaksayavona, a former [Roman] Catholic and Jakra Taranwan, a former Lutheran.

Tonkam Piaksayavon, a citizen of Laos, had been baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church in his homeland, and thereafter was sent to a [Roman] Catholic mission in one of the provinces of Thailand, near Bangkok. Soon the [Roman] Catholic missionaries selected Piaksayavona to study in the college in Saengtham, planning to later send him to one of the Roman Catholic seminaries in the Philippines.

While still living in the [Roman] Catholic mission, Piaksayavon began in his free time to visit the Orthodox Church in Bangkok; he was interested in the theological differences between Orthodoxy and [Roman] Catholicism. Upon completing the 2nd course in the [Roman] Catholic College, T. Piaksayavon left this school as well as the [Roman] Catholic mission, and appealed to the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church, stating his conscious desire to be an Orthodox Christian. He retained his desire to be a cleric and asked to be given a theological education in one of the religious educational institutions in Russia.

Piaksayavon was received into Orthodoxy through Chrismation, named Anthony, in honor of St. Anthony the Great, and stayed in Bangkok's St. Nicholas Church for a year's internship.

Jakra Taranwan, a citizen of Thailand, completed Ramkankhensky University of Bangkok in 2004; was baptized in the Lutheran Church of the USA. He was catechised for nearly four months at the St. Nicholas parish of the Moscow Patriarchate in Bangkok.

In accordance with the rite of reception of someone from the Lutheran Confession into the Orthodox Church, Jakra Taranwan testified in the presence of numerous parishioners of his free will to become Orthodox, and renounced the misconceptions of the Lutheran faith. After reading the Orthodox Nicene-Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith in the Thai language, Jakra Taranwan was chrismated, then received the Lord's Holy Body and Blood (as an Orthodox Christian). Jakra Taranwan was received into Orthodoxy with the name Demetrius.

To avoid any possible misunderstandings, several days before receiving Jakra Taranwan, Hegumen Oleg (Cherepanin) informed Yukka Helle, the head of the Lutheran mission in Thailand, of this; he [Helle] was quite understanding about the the conscious choice made by his former co-religionist.