After a baptism from the Greek Orthodox tradition of Christianity was released online, social media users shared their collective outrage at the violence of it. Because the clip shows the Greek Orthodox bishop baptizing a helpless baby in water – in the very violent way – people quickly contributed their reactions and judgments. You’ll watch the archbishop swing the naked baby boy around in the air before grabbing him by the arms to dunk him into the water.
He dips him in the basin three times before he hands the naked and crying baby back to his parents who seem proud and unfazed by the shocking ceremony.
The clip is believed to have been filmed at a Greek Orthodox church in Ayla Napa in Cyprus. The baptism at these churches is traditionally “forceful” because it has been argued as being responsible for the decrease in the infant mortality rate.
Nevertheless, social media users from American and other English-speaking countries quickly cast judgment onto the Greek Orthodox tradition and the “forceful” baptism.
Zita London, a Twitter user, wrote, “Oh my! I bet this baby is left brain dead.”
Other people quickly jumped at the opportunity to criticize the church.
“OMG that’s the most violent baptism I’ve ever seen!”
“Baptism? More like attempted murder.”
“But this sort of baptism. Aaah! It’s actually roughism.”
Last year a similar video emerged from Georgia where a baby was baptized with violence and force.
Many people quickly criticized this Christian baptism. Others stepped up to defend this segment of the faithful. They say that in a Greek Orthodox church, it is common to witness a baptism like this as it is part of the tradition.
“I went to a Greek baptism last year, and this is genuinely what it’s like, (although I) thought the guy was gonna drown the baby.”
Another person defended the tradition, writing, “That was a Greek baptism and very custom. It also wasn’t just water, but olive oil in that said water.”
On Mail Online more people joined the conversation to contribute their two-cents about what was going on during this Greek baptism.
“Organized religion (all of them) is bloody ridiculous. Believe in God but throw off the shackles of religious dogma!”
“Look at the kids behind him. So scared! The bowl isn’t even deep enough. The poor baby’s back. I would have slapped him.”
Others agreed that this priest was abusive toward the baby.
“This priest is dangerous. Does he hate children? This is not okay at any level.”
One person who is Greek Orthodox wrote how this baptism is not acceptable:
“I’m Orthodox and having been to many Orthodox baptisms I can tell you that this isn’t the norm but an exception. Most priests are careful handling the babies. This priest is an idiot and besides clearly abusing the child. He’s also making a mockery of the whole ritual, which truly is beautiful.”
What do you think about this baptism? Should the priest be allowed to perform it like this if it is part of the religious tradition?