The church is like a hospital. If you are in pain, you go to the doctor. In the Church, if you have sins – – or problems in your heart and your soul, you go to the priest. The Church must hear you and understand you, – – and give you medicines to help – – your soul, your body, your spirituality, – – everything in your life. So the most important challenge – – in the Orthodox Church is to be respectful – – to others and to understand them – – and to be part of the society. I came to Norway – – because we have a flock – – of Greek Orthodox population – – that have lived here fo many years – – and they did not have a priest. I’ve been living in Norway for the last four years, – and I am the first permanent priest – in the history of this community, of this parish. The environment and the culture – – is different than in our country. But it’s also a Christian country, – – and it is very beautiful to live, – – and work, and understand – – that we have differences between churches – – and that we have things in common, – – and work together. We have collaborations – – with other churches – – and the other Christian denominations. And for me, personally, – – I am very pleased to be here – – because I am very useful – – for the Greeks who live here. In Greece – – the Orthodox Church is a majority church – – so a lot of things are a matter of course. You are surrounded by Orthodox, – – the country and the culture is shaped by orthodoxy. But here in Norway – – we are living a minority life. I am very comfortable living as an Orthodox in Norway. Human rights are respected here. People are allowed to keep their faith – – and also practice their faith. The difference between the Norwegian and the Orthodox Church, – – is that “sola scriptura”, – – which means “only the scripture”, – – and faith alone, – – is not sufficient to proceed on our way to eternity – – and to be saved. There need to be a synergy between humans and God. And one has to participate in the living tradition, – – which is not only the understanding of the scripture, – – but also a unique experience – – of a new life. We think this is a two-way communication. We believe in God – – who helps us with his energies. And we perform the actions – – which will lead us to divinity. It is impossible to perform these actions alone. If we don’t believe – – and don’t have God by our side – – we won’t be sanctified. The Orthodox goal is to be sanctified. We need God’s help for that. People may have an impression of our Church – – as very conservative. I think that’s wrong. We are conservative in the sense – – that we have preserved old ways of worshiping God. The things we do are old fashioned. But we try to live in the present. And we are aware of the challenges of present time. But we try to solve problems – – and handle our lives – – with our Orthodox faith. But we are still living in this world – – and pay attention to what happens. I have a mobile phone, – – I’m driving. It is not tradition. But the tradition is more – – spiritual and philosophical. We live in this world. We are not living one thousand years ago. We are synchronised to the world. But because of this, – – we change? No, in the Orthodox Church – – we do not change. We respect the traditions – – and we find traditional solutions, – – in a world that changes every day. When we worship God – – we use everything we can. That is, pleasant smells, – – beautiful visuals – – and beautiful songs. These external things will help our souls to reach heaven. That’s why we emphasise the external. We have these traditional customs – – that we practice in the church. Like kissing the icons. Not the material, – – the wood or the painting. There are many explanations to why we use icons. For example, there is a lot of deep symbolism in them. It’s like in Plato’s world – – where he described something called – – “the world of ideas”. When one enters the church – – and venerate an icon, – – which means to show respect to an icon, – – what one sees is a shadow of the holy person. The person itself is not on earth. He or she is in the world of ideas, – – which is heaven. That is one explanation. I think one of the reasons why people – – are not that interested in Church today, – – and this goes for all of Christianity, – – is that we have a misunderstanding – – about God and freedom, – – and how we can become free. We think we can be free without God – – and that God is someone who just wants – – to torture us and take our freedom away. And if the Church tries to – – keep their members by force, – – that can be harmful. One has to be – – in a free state of mind – – to be able to come close to God. Because God is freedom. And if God is freedom, – the Church can’t force their members. So I think there are some misunderstandings – – that can lead to secularization. We live in a secular society. But it is important to conduct your life in a meaningful way, – – and do what you have to do, – – as long as you don’t – – violate any laws. One has to follow the rules of the society – – and not create any problems. But I don’t find secularization to be a big problem. When the creator, our God – – decided to create the world, – – He also made the Church. The Church is the world, – – the Church is the people. So until the Resurrection, – – the final eschata, – – the Church will remain. So I don’t have any concerns about that – – as an Orthodox priest.