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Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops | Alexei Krindatch Assembly of Bishops Research Coordinator Alexei Krindatch has released a new 40-page report titled, Five Interesting Facts About Orthodox Church Geography and Demography in the United States. The report includes the following sections: Orthodox Church Membership in America Orthodox Church Geography in America Orthodox Church Attendance in America Ethnic Culture in American Orthodox Churches Orthodox Monastic Communities in America Download it now in PDF format.

Source: DECR Communications English translation by Katherine Ilachinski On March 16, 2012, a group of journalists accredited in Russia, the People’s Republic of China media (“Xinhua” news agency, China Central Television, China Radio International, China’s news agency, newspaper “People’s Daily”, “Guangming Daily”, “Economic Daily”, “Wen Wei Po”) visited the Trinity-Sergius Lavra . The trip was organized by the Russian-Chinese Business Council and the Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarchate, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Embassy of China in Russia. In the city administration the Chinese journalists were welcomed…

Source: Commentary Magazine | David Aikman From Egypt to North Korea, an unlikely minority suffers a plague of persecution IN OCTOBER 2011, when the so-called Arab Spring took a dark turn in Cairo, Egypt, the social media and smartphone technologies that had aided protesters in their fight for freedom captured new and dangerous developments. On video-hosting websites such as YouTube, one can see footage of the Muslim mobs that began throwing rocks at Coptic Christians on October 8. These young Copts had been protesting the burning of a Coptic church in Aswan and the failure of the Egyptian authorities to…

Source: The Wall Street Journal Regarding Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s “Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians” (op-ed, March 9): No doubt, his piece will be compelling for many readers. Christians in North America are generally sympathetic to Christians who suffer elsewhere. More negatively, many respond well when blame for that suffering is placed on Muslims. The biggest problem with Mr. Oren’s analysis, however, is that it stands in sharp disagreement with the perspectives shared by those he presumably wants to protect. Mr. Oren seeks to speak for Palestinian Christians before he has spoken with them. Palestinian Christians have produced…

Source: BBC News Egypt’s Coptic Christian Pope Shenouda III has died at the age of 88, state television has announced. The leader of the Middle East’s largest Christian minority was reported to suffer from cancer that had spread to several organs. Coptic Christians make up 10% of Egypt’s population of 80 million. After attacks on Coptic Christians in recent years, Pope Shenouda urged officials to do more to address the community’s concerns. Pope Shenouda led the church, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, for four decades. His political adviser Hany Aziz told Reuters news agency that Shenouda…

Source: Orthodox Church in America KANSAS CITY, MO [FOCUS] The Board of Directors of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve (FOCUS) North America, has announced the appointment of Nicholas J. Chakos as their new Executive Director. Says FOCUS NA Chairman Charles Ajalat, “The Board of Directors is extremely blessed and excited to have found such a great leader to take FOCUS North America to the next level.” Nick Chakos has over 15 years of experience in Orthodox non-profit leadership, fundraising, strategic planning, and program development. In his 13 years with the IOCC, he served as Interim Executive Director,…

By George Matsoukas The Orthodox Christian Laity Winter Board Meeting took place in Columbus, Georgia the last week of February 2012 at the Hilton Gardens Inn. Advisory Board member and former mayor of Columbus, retired Colonel Robert S. Poydasheff, was the host of the productive meeting. President Bill Souvall from Salt Lake City, UT presided. The Orthodox Christian Laity Winter Board Meeting took place in Columbus, Georgia the last week of February 2012 at the Hilton Gardens Inn. Advisory Board member and former mayor of Columbus, retired Colonel Robert S. Poydasheff, was the host of the productive meeting. President Bill…

Source: St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary | Deborah (Malacky) Belonick [SVOTS Communications, Yonkers, NY] “It is now possible for students to come to our seminary with their tuition fully funded,” announced Archpriest John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, as he unfolded a new plan designed to help theological graduate students cover the cost of their education. “Effective for this coming academic year,” explained Fr. John, “we’re instituting a newly devised ‘matching grant’ program for students seeking either a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree in theology, and we’re expanding tuition grants available to students in…

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America NEW YORK – National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas on January 17, 2012 issued an immediate appeal to all Philoptochos Presidents, members nationwide and their respective communities to support a drive for the welfare of the people of Greece. President Skeadas stated, “We enter 2012 mindful of the dire economic circumstances and supreme hardships faced by our brothers and sisters in economically ravaged Greece, our ancestral homeland. We cannot and will not turn our backs to the needs of our people.” Daily news reports document widespread poverty in Greece where many parents can no longer…

Source: Orthodox Observer | Archdeacon Panteleimon The Greek Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music (ASBM) has recently published Byzantine Music: Theory and Practice Guide to assist novice-level Byzantine music students and to enrich liturgical music programs in local parishes. Prior to the guide’s publication, the only sufficient Byzantine music textbooks were available in Greek. After the first year of the school’s operation, officials re-evaluated the teaching methods and the resources offered to ASBM students. They concluded that a theory book in English was needed and formed a committee to produce a student-friendly beginner’s level textbook. An audio CD also was created…

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