3. Essentially Eastern European. The Orthodox Churches tend to be Eastern European or Middle Eastern cultural outposts. While they welcome converts from Western countries, the latter never really quite fit in. One person commenting over at the Stumble Inn writes:
Eastern Orthodoxy is a gigantic Eastern culture club. They have a saying for a sort of mania new converts (of the generic Anglo/Celtic/German-American variety) get – Convertitis. Basically it’s marked by a) aggressive appropriation of your parish’s ethnic culture, b) rabid defense of your theology. The second one is just the excitement of finding something you believe to be true – it’s an altruistic sort of joy with unintended negative consequences that go away over time.
The first one is a survival/assimilation technique that is pretty much necessary when one finds himself surrounded by Russians, or Greeks, or Arabs… Bulgarians, Romanians, Ukrainians, Serbians, Georgians, Albanians and 20 different varieties of each. There’s nothing else. If you walk into an Orthodox church as an old stock American, you simply don’t belong there. You’re out of your league. You have to make yourself belong – and it’s difficult.
If not impossible.
Comment: It is not surprising that Islam does a better job converting people. Hell is eternal.