IOCC Publishes Orthodox Diakonia Report
Baltimore, MD (May 19, 2009) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has just published a landmark report on the state of Orthodox charitable organizations called, “Orthodox Diakonia Worldwide: An Initial Assessment.” IOCC commissioned the report in order to provide a mapping of activities of major Orthodox charitable and humanitarian organizations worldwide. The report’s publication had been one of the major goals of the 2005 International Conference on Orthodox Social Witness and Diakonia in Valamo, Finland.
Since the fall of Communism in the 1990s and the opening of Eastern and Central Europe to the west, there has been a steady return of the Orthodox Church as a dynamic force in the social, political, and humanitarian arena. While charitable work has always been a natural outgrowth of the liturgical and spiritual life of the Orthodox Church, the Church had previously been constrained in organizing, networking, and ultimately cooperating with other Orthodox churches and non-Orthodox entities in the international arena. Today, there is a renewed commitment by the national Orthodox churches and their development organizations to cooperate with one another.
IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented over $300 million in relief and development programs in more than 33 countries around the world.