Seychelles

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Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles, is a republic that consist of an archipelago of about 100 islands in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar. Orthodox Christianity only came to the country in the late twentieth century.

History

Human habitation came to the islands of the republic only in comparatively recent times. The earliest recorded visits took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Vasco da Gama after which the islands were used by pirates and as a transit point for traders between Africa and Asia. By the mid-eighteenth century the French had taken control of the islands and brought Roman Catholicism. In the early nineteenth century the British assumed control of the islands.

As the islands of Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current population is composed of people who have emigrated to the islands. As both the French and British land owners brought to the Seychelles enslaved Africans and indentured servants from India, the population came to be principally Christian, mostly Roman Catholic with an Anglican presence that is next in numbers but a distant minority. Of note is that while the Seychelles and Cyprus were under British control in the 1950s, Archbishop Makarios III of Cyprus was exiled, in 1956, to the island of Mahé within the archipelago for a year during the agitation to free Cyprus from British control[[1]].

The presence of Orthodox Christians in the republic is recent as Orthodox Christians became citizens of Seychelles without any organized Orthodox Christian communities. Srdjan Janosevic, a Serbian by birth and a naturalized Seychelles citizen, who retired in 2008 after working with the airline industry in the republic for 23 years, became interested in the spiritual work of the Orthodox Church. In 2009, Metropolitan Dimitrios (Zaharengas) of Irinoupolis, whose jurisdiction the Metropolis of Tanzania and Seychelles is in, visited Seychelles and established a parish. He also asked Srdjan to enter the priesthood. After he was ordained deacon in Tanzania later in 2009, Deacon Srdjan traveled to Greece for further study and was ordained a priest in Greece in December as the first resident priest of Seychelles.

Sources

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