TheGayUK – October 18th 2014

Orthodox Calendar is the title of wall calendars and videos first published in 2012, featuring nude and semi-nude photographs of members of the Orthodox Church. The calendar is the brainchild of a group composed mostly of Orthodox eastern Europeans of the former communist region. The primary goal was to create the very first organised global effort against homophobia in the Orthodox Region. At the same time, the calendar takes an ironic approach to the Orthodox Church itself, which in recent years has been embroiled in artist repression, questionable behaviour and homophobia.
Through their unconventional and bold images, Orthodox Calendar’s creative team seeks to counteract the negative and outdated influences of most of the Orthodox Church leadership. While recognizing that change might not come quickly to the official Orthodox Church position, Orthodox Calendar nonetheless believes that at least it can encourage people to reflect and realise that there is an urgent need for an update in values as part of the modern society.
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The team behind the Orthodox Calendar first met in Bucharest during a shooting in summer 2010, and from this meeting was born a friendship and an exchange of viewpoints and ideas and a creative collaboration. They created stories featuring some of their members striking a pose and openly standing for who they are underneath the priest’s clothing they wear; regular people with passions, preferences, interests and desires.The first series in 2013, called “For freedom of speech, unity and tolerance” tells the individual story of 12 intensely masculine young men and their guests representing different parts of Eastern Europe. All are open-minded and believe that it is important to be perceived as individuals committed to diversity and acceptance against homophobia who reject contempt and violence. Disrespect for gay human beings weakens thousands of children and adolescents, promotes risk-taking, and increases vulnerability to HIV and those steeped in silence, shame and secrecy.

The second series in 2014, called “LOVE IS LOVE – ORTHODOX OR NOT!” pays tribute to gay marriage. It’s the story of young gay couples from Eastern Europe sharing a common dream of one day being able to wed their beloved at the altar of their local Orthodox chapel.

The third series (#OC2015) called “S.A.L.I.G.I.A (Superbia, Avaritia, Luxuria, Invidia, Gula, Ira, Acedia)” pays tribute to social tolerance. The story takes place on the right bank of the Moskva River south of Moscow, where some priests believe that same-sex unions are NOT a sign of the coming apocalypse, contrary to what Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill may claim. These priests set out, in a humorous way, to remind the world that homosexuality is NOT one of the 7 deadly sins and in fact that Jesus Christ never even referred to homosexuality as a sin!

Yet in the words of many in the Orthodox hierarchy, LGBT people have suddenly become the worst kind of sinners – an omen of the impending end of the world. What about wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony?

Starting today, anyone can discover #OC2015 wall calendar pictures by simply ordering on-line from Amazon or directly from their store at www.orthodox-calendar.com/shop. The price for the classic wall calendar is €18.99 and the explicit version is €34,95. The “Making Of” DVD is priced at €16,99. Check out the Orthodox Calendar on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CalendarOrtodoxAVA and Twitter: @OrthodoxCalenda

Read the article on TheGayUK site here.

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