Bishop of Hamina (in the middle) at the praying service for peace in Ukraine (March, 2022). Photo: Anu Miller


The podcast Channel of Light (and Darkness) is hosted by Father Johannes Lahtela, who is the priest for multicultural work and Kotikirkko Church at the Orthodox Parish of Helsinki. At this time his guest is Bishop Sergei, who is the vicar bishop of the Helsinki Orthodox Diocese (Patriarchate of Constantinople), with the title of Bishop of Hamina. The language of discussion is both English and Finnish. Acquire a peaceful spirit may be listened to on the Spotify (follow the link) and on SoundCloud.

The name of the third episode Acquire a peaceful spirit (in Finnish Löydä sisäinen rauha) is a quotation of saint Seraphim of Sarov, who has taught “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved.”

– The Orthodox Church of Finland (EP) strictly condemns the war in Ukraine and the statements made by the Moscow Patriarchate. At this horrifying situation it is important to concentrate on protecting yourself and your community from the darkness that surrounds us, says Father Johannes on social media.

Bishop Sergei reminds us that we all have free will to choose between right and wrong, between good and evil. Sometimes the decisions made may cause a terribly lot of pain and suffering as now it is happening in Ukraine. Even a whole community may make a wrong choice.

– The darkness is not somewhere over there. It may be here, inside of us. That is why it is so important to take a closer look at one’s own actions and thoughts.

The situation in Ukraine is shocking. There is a lot of emotional suffering, such as anger, fear and anxiety at the moment. Why do we have to suffer?

– Suffering is always a mystery, says Bishop Sergei.

Bishop Sergei advise us to pray for peace in Ukraine. We can also help the refugees in a practice. Everyone should seek for peace and live according to that.


Text: Anu Miller

The podcast Channel of Light (and Darkness) is aimed for the multicultural community of the Orthodox Parish of Helsinki. There are many non-Finnish-speaking people who are interested in orthodox religion in Finland. The Channel of Light (and Darkness) is an answer to that need. Father Johannes, the host of the podcast, will talk about the spiritual issues from the different points of view. He will visit different places and meet new people. From all of that you will hear in the future. We all can learn from each other. Every month will be released a new episode of the podcast. Stay tuned!

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