Photo: Sergey Pyatakov / RIA Novosti
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted a document on the parish working with the youth subcultures, which gave advice to priests on the behavior of young people. “Pastoral guidelines for parish work with young people involved in subcultures” published on the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The document notes that “almost all” of the subculture in some way connected with the adherence to certain authorities (musicians, ideologists criminal “romance” of nationalist organizations), some invented images (from the world of fantasy, anime), denying the traditional social norms (punks, hippies, Goths and others). “That is, in the end, idols, contrary to one of the most important of God’s commandments, even if we are talking about the most “harmless” subcultures”, — stated in the “Pastoral recommendations”.
There are also listed the main trends of youth subcultures: a healthy lifestyle, “a kind of asceticism in consumption”, the popularization of extreme sports, and volunteering. In the “Pastoral recommendations” as indicated cyclists, gamers, lovers of Board games and gadgets and football fans. Among the reasons for involvement in the subculture in the document indicated by the absence of full traditional socialization (dysfunctional relationships with parents or peers), abrupt changes in the habitual way of life (divorce of parents, moving, death of loved ones, change of status or financial situation), infantilism, in which “representatives of informal groups want to appear older, but to live easy and carefree life.”
“Thanks to the involvement in the group is a unifying sense of “we” that raises the level of psychological importance of each, gives some guarantee (or its illusion) of independence and security from the society”, — stated in the “Pastoral recommendations”.
The aim of the work with representatives of subcultures should be “the desire to show them the fullness of life in the Church with Christ, not a desire to alter young man and pulling out a subculture (also destructive)”. To do this, priests need to continuously raise awareness in social networks, schedule appointments and interviews with young people, hold them in the temple, and gathering places for youth, to engage young people in joint activities and events in the public life and social service of the temples, and interact with adolescent and family psychologists.
Priests are also advised to communicate with young people with respect and sincerity, to see the personality of young people “for the outrageous appearance or demeanor”, “thoughtfully and attentively listen to the young people of other beliefs”, and find themes for communication, which would have caused interest among members of subcultures are not focusing attention on the “difference in the understanding of life values”. Doesn’t make sense to flirt with young people and use slang language, but it is important to note that the same word can have different understanding and significance, the document says.
The recommendations also said that young people should “feel the love and support of the Church in the person of the parish priest and the community”.
Earlier, the head of Ivanovo-Voznesensky diocese on the relationship of the Church with society and the media mark Markish said that the abuse of Internet and other modern technology alienates people from the Church and God. According to him, 200 years ago, people communicated with the priest, but now there are books and the Internet, and members are looking for answers to your questions there.
Video, photo All from Russia.