The Orthodox Peace Fellowship in The Netherlands/OPF Nederland – ANBI status:
Overview of the activities of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship in 2015-2016
We have continued, via our journal In Communion and the In Communion web site, to focus on core elements of peacemaking as they relate to the Orthodox Church and Christian life such as war, disarmament, nationalism, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, the needs of refugees, the value of hospitality, etc.
In Communion produced a larger-than-normal issue of In Communion (no. 70) that is being used as an introduction to the OPF and is mailed or given to people interested in our work. The issue is themed to answer the question “What is the Orthodox Peace Fellowship?” by showcasing some of the key articles published in past issues and archived on our web site: http://incommunion.org/contents/previous-issues/
In Communion website: There has been a complete reworking of the website, making it more attractive and easier to navigate, as well as easier to load and use on mobile devices. Content is linked to our Facebook page as well as Twitter. The site continues to receive a great deal of traffic. (See a more detailed website report below.) Work of the website continues in 2016.
Staff developments: Former IC editor Pieter Dykhorst worked with Nick Sooy in designing and planning an internship for Nick for the summer of 2016 and this has led to Nick becoming associate secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship-In Communion. Based in Alkmaar, Nick will be involved in OPF work in Europe in the summer of 2017. Nick has also taking on the editorship of In Communion.
Staff travel: On OPF’s behalf, in April 2017 Nick Sooy participated in a conference at the Free University in Amsterdam on what could be done to bring about reconciliation in Ukraine, presenting a paper “Profile of the Peacemaker.” OPF international secretary Jim Forest made two trips to Greece to present translations of two books, one on the love of enemies, the other on the Beatitudes. He has also been active in the annual Orthodox-Catholic conference at the Monastery of Bose in Italy, recently chairing a panel on peace in Ukraine. In 2016, Nick Sooy represented OPF at the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete. OPF’s coverage of the Council was published on In Communion and republished by other media outlets.
Advisory board: In the coming year we hope to create a more functional advisory board with members who are strategically placed and are interested in helping us build bridges and open doors within the Church.
Facebook presence: Just under 3,000 people are now linked to the OPF’s Facebook page — www.facebook.com/groups/orthodoxpeace/ . Alex Patico is the administrator.
Webmaster’s report: The OPF website — http://incommunion.org/ — has been successfully updated to a new theme and look, which was designed to be more contemporary. A significant amount of work was done to fix problems some of which date back to the original launching of the website. The new site is more richly visually oriented with more dynamic content. The Facebook community is also now integrated within the website. See bottom right and menu.
A new series of blog posts by Nicholas Sooy called “Solomon’s Porch” — http://incommunion.org/solomons-porch/ — has offered timely essays and fresh content, including a series of reports from the Church Council held in Chania, Crete. This significantly boosted traffic during the last year.
Most popular eight articles of 2016
Living The Beatitudes
Mother Maria of Paris: Saint of the Open Door http://incommunion.org/2004/10/18/saint-of-the-open-door/
A Christian Perspective on Islam
The Heresy of Racism
St. Moses The Black: A Patron Saint Of Non-Violence
The Role of Conscience
Restoring The Diaconate of Women
General Statistics: In general the site averages around 2000 unique visitors per month, but given the use of VPNs and and anonymized traffic it’s hard to determine what’s bots and what are real viewers. However Googles data below shows people that can be verified.
Page view averages of verified human users:
- United States: 15,532
- United Kingdom: 2,016
- Canada: 1,974
- Australia: 1,589
- Philippines: 860
- India: 612
- Russia: 298
- Other: 46,048
- Overall: 68,920
Webmaster activities have generally been focused on cleaning content each month, updating plugins, backups WordPress versions and interacting with security threats. The site seems to be in a healthy state. The webmaster continues to go through old articles to find and fix past content issues as content on the site continues to age as the WordPress platform evolves. Website traffic often seemed to mirror what was happening in the world politically. For example, after the election of the current U.S. president, spikes reading about racism occurred. When attacks by terrorists happened, traffic regarding Islam and Christianity spiked, and each time the Ukraine conflict intensified, the OPF got spikes in traffic on Ukraine-related articles.
— Jim Forest, OPF international secretary
— Nicholas Sooy, editor, In Communion
— Alex Patico, associate secretary
Alkmaar, The Netherlands
1 June 2017