OCPM STORIES

Life in Prison but Life in Christ

Convicted Murderer, Andrei, Finds Faith in Orthodoxy

Imagine being only in your early twenties and facing the prospect of life in a maximum security prison with no chance of parole. That was exactly what convicted murderer Andrei faced. 

But ten years ago his life radically changed when a friend suggested he contact Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry. We reached out to Andrei, sending him the writings of the Church Fathers, icons, and a special catechism correspondence course that taught him the basics of Orthodoxy. “I developed a much better understanding of our faith,” says Andrei, who is originally from Ukraine. “I discovered the beautiful depth of patristic writings, felt a profoundly warm sense of peace when I read St. Isaac the Syrian.”

OCPM also regularly answered his letters with responses that spoke to his personal circumstances. On average, a prisoner will receive mail from OCPM 120 times per year.

Andrei is now 50-years-old. He will never leave prison, but he says he is confident that he can still live a life of peace.

“Through the patient and compassionate presence of OCPM in my life, I feel the presence of the Church and the light of the Lord that shines even on this sinner, into this dark depth,” says Andrei.

“Every day, as I get up before 4:00 a.m. to pray, I have a long list of reasons to thank the Almighty Lord. OCPM is high on that list,” he says.

When we “visit” prisoners like Andrei, we are obeying the Lord’s direct command found in Matthew 25:36 (“I was in prison and you visited me.”). Help us bring the presence of the Body of Christ to prisoners like Andrei by supporting OCPM

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Read a letter from Andrei telling us about his his journey of Faith.

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