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Church's stance on hunting
  • Was wondering if someone could give me more information on our church's stance on hunting. If we are allowed to hunt, if there are certain restrictions, can we do it for sport, if we need permission, and so on. If you could point me to some sources, that would be nice. If we are completely nonchalant about it (which is what it seems), let me know if you have a source who states that. 
    Thanks
  • From the book of Acts...

    Acts 10:9-16

    9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

    14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”

    15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
  • Hunting, is a worthwhile activity which I've participated in before. Taught me discipline and patience. 
    Hunting is no different than eating meat or poultry that's already been killed and processed for you by farmers, factories, etc.
    I think the 2 principles to live by when hunting are to not torture the animal (kill it quickly) and ensure the animal being hunted isn't an endangered species.

    Other than that, it's probably the most natural way of acquiring food. Our forefathers certainly hunted; it is biblical, and within God's permitted allowance. 

    The Orthodox church is not against hunting. Here in the west, a person must get a licence to hunt which is generally divided into a small game, or big game license, and the kind of weapon used. There are compound bow and arrow, rifles, etc. All these tools and techniques are to ensure the animal dies quickly and humanly. 

    We have to remember that our ancestors hunted, it's how they lived and propagated our species. In the old testament, animal sacrifices were common as well.

    I sympathize with your question and I mean no offense to you but it's probably rooted in the western rooted educational system that's been overly liberalized where the imposition of death upon other species is frowned upon regardless of motive.

    We are Christian however, and we believe we've inherited this earth from God. We were given authority and dominion over this planet to live off it insofar as we preserve it's pristine order and not damage it permanently with pollution or razing its animals to extinction which unfortunately has happened several times over..

    To summarize, hunting isn't against our Orthodox Christian faith. 
  • believe I read somewhere that the clergy can not slaughter animals, i.e. take life, cary guns or kill another person even in self defense. The clergy can not serve in the army as a soldier.

    The clergy are held to a higher standard. Example they can only marry ones even if widowed while the laity can marry up to 3 times even though its “frowned” upon.  

    My apologies that I don’t have sources. And I am not 100% sure about the clergy not slaughtering thing, my memory is fuzzy. Also I think we should distinguish between hunting for pleasure Vs hunting out of necessity.    

    In Christ 

    Theophilus 

  • I have never hunted before but I was just thinking about enrolling in a hunting class and possibly picking up the hobby. I do notice that the verse says "kill AND eat". I am ignorant of hunting, but isn't some hunting done without eating the animal nowadays? Would we be against that? I don't mean to stir up debate or anything, I just want to make sure if I do pick up the hobby that I do it right.
  • Hey davidschanter,

    Look at hunting as a hobby from this perspective.
    "'Not a sparrow', says Jesus, 'is forgotten before God'. In that statement, consists the dignity, the value of the animal world. Each animal pre-exists in God's thought. It has been loved by God, even before its birth. It has been the object of God's intention and loving care." - Jesus, a dialogue with the Saviour, A monk from the Eastern Church (Father Lev Gillet)

    These days if hunting is done for sport or pleasure, or without the necessity of eating, then there may be something that isn't right.

    Please pray for me
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Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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