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Beyond the Bars Blog

What Role Does Demonic Spiritual Warfare Play In Our Struggles?

In this second part of a series, Fr. Stephen Powley answers some provocative questions he received by email. Question:   “In your opinion, do you think the role of evil, the devil, demons, and spiritual warfare is understated and not given fair recognition for the sins and/or crimes that are committed in today’s age? I […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Are We Forever Marked By The Worst Thing We’ve Ever Done?

In this first part of a two part series, Fr. Stephen Powley answers some provacative questions he received by email. Fr. Stephen is the priest in charge of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Pueblo, CO. Fr. Stephen began serving as a Prison Chaplain in 1985. He has ministered in every prison security […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

She Tried Prison Ministry, Then She Got Hooked

Mary-Jo Dukas is an Orthodox Christian who is serious about whether she is fulfilling the Lord’s commandments. She went through Matthew 25:35-36 like it was a checklist and saw that the one thing that was missing was that she hadn’t visited someone in prison. “I really felt called to prison ministry, but I was afraid,” confesses Dukas, […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

5 Facts About Prison and Religion That May Surprise You

For those of us living in freedom, it is all too easy to forget the more than two million men and women imprisoned in the US. Out of sight, out of mind. And yet, the United States has the highest prison population in the world. Chances are, you or someone you know has been touched […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Breaking Free From Prison

Christ is Risen!  Every Pascha, Orthodox Christians around the world venerate the Paschal icon of the Lord storming hades and breaking the chains of death. That icon provides a visual reminder of a spiritual reality – something that has happened and continues to happen for everyone who sincerely repents and cries out to Christ for […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Adjusting to Life After Prison

Greg is a former prisoner who was recently released to perform his parole in a small town in California. Like all prisoners, freedom and reintegration into society was disorienting. Nevertheless, one of the first things he did in freedom was look for an Orthodox parish.   “I was still unfamiliar with the bus routes and schedules […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Would you be ready to greet a released felon?

After serving six years in prison, Greg was a free man. But freedom did not mean that the “residue” of prison life was suddenly gone. He would need months, perhaps even years, to fully adjust to life on the outside. For one thing, he still felt deeply ashamed of the crime he had committed and […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Finding the Ancient Church Behind Bars

“In my somewhat limited study of Orthodox theology so far, I have come to realize that because God the Father cannot be understood or fathomed by the limited human mind, any understanding of God that I receive by my own power is idolatry and heresy. I can only understand God the Father by what is […]

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A Prisoner’s Attitude of Gratitude

by Fr. Luke A. Veronis  Fr. Luke A. Veronis and his wife Presbytera Faith have served Sts. Constantine and Helen Church since December 2004. Fr. Luke also serves as the Director for the Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity, which is located at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and teaches as an Adjunct Instructor at both Holy Cross […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Honoring the Ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2021

Every year we observe Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in honor of the civil rights leader’s achievements in advancing racial equality through non-violent protest. Dr. King’s peaceful approach, inspired by Christ and the teachings of the Holy Bible, revolutionized this nation and its trajectory.  Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry honors his legacy and all those […]