Orthodox Church Aid and Missions FILANTROPIA

Filantropia is the international diakonia and missions agency of the Orthodox Church of Finland.

The purpose of Filantropia is to deepen the work of diakonia, missions, and responsibility for our neighbor, in the Orthodox Church of Finland and its members.

Filantropia supports the growth and development of the younger Orthodox local churches, and implements cooperative development projects in partner countries. Filantropia disseminates humanitarian aid to areas affected by crisis and catastrophe, in which the organization has a functioning network.

At the present time Filantropia operates in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania), Eastern Europe (Moldova, Russian Karelia) and the Middle East (Syria).

Filantropia's work approaches local societies and their members from a comprehensive perspective, in which equal attention is paid to both material and spiritual needs. The goal of our work is to develop the competencies of local communities, both at home and abroad.

Filantropia focuses on three sectors of activity, represented by the themes Word (education and schooling), Bread (water, food, and livelihood), and The Least of These (the vulnerable, weak, and poor of society).

In all our projects and activities we pay attention to the following themes unite our entire work: Christian witness and service, human rights, and creation.

Christian identity

Christian identity springs from the Church's understanding of the human person, which emphasizes the dignity and worthiness of respect of every creature. A person needs God, other people, and all creation for their salvation. A Christian's work in the world is to act according to Christ's example: to praise and thank God and to serve their neighbor, action summed up by the three Greek words doxologia (praise), eucharistia (thanksgiving), and diakonia (service).

As Christians, we are not meant to seek an easy life lived among those like us, but to reach out to God through the other person. When we encounter another person, we encounter Christ. What we do or leave undone defines our Christian conviction.

Foundational Human Rights

Concern for and care for our neighbor belongs to the Christian understanding of the person. All persons are our neighbor, irrespective of nationality, ethnicity or any other factors that limit human beings.

The work of Filantropia is based on the concept of human rights. Central to what we do is the promotion of human capacities: the possibility to affect one's own life and be able to speak one's own behalf.

Human rights consists of diverse rights to a good life belonging to all people and communities. From the perspective of the work of Filantropia, every person has the right (for example) to survival, belief or non-belief, clean water, food, schooling, freedom of speech, and freedom from discrimination.

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