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Source: Interfax Moscow, August 15, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has congratulated Fidel Castro Ruz on his 90th birthday. “God gave you a long life. Over the past years you have gained valuable experience in public administration, become a great authority in your own country and beyond, having written your name in the chronicles of Cuban and world history,” the patriarch said in a congratulatory message, his press office said. The people of Russia and Cuba became friends thanks in large part to Castro’s personal contribution, the patriarch said. “The Russian Orthodox Church is grateful to…

Source: Inquirer.net By: Lito B. Zulueta LALIBELA, Ethiopia—Filipino Catholics who have resolved to visit the Holy Land at least once in their lifetime but are discouraged by the tinderbox situation in the Middle East may have found the next best option in this ancient mountain town in northern Ethiopia. Here, huge whole ancient churches carved from mountain rocks have been drawing, since medieval times, Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims and, only lately, European, North American and other foreign tourists, especially since United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has inscribed the colossal structures in the World Heritage List. So impressive are…

Source: Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America [CLINTON, MI – August 12, 2016] With sadness, we report the fact that around noon on Friday, August 12, the church of Ascension of the Lord Monastery in Clinton, Michigan burned down. The cause of the fire is as yet unknown. His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel together with Rev. Fr. Vicar Dan Hoarste traveled to the monastery to be with the monastic community immediately following the fire. During this difficult time, we pray to God to give peace and comfort to the monastic community during this difficult test. Out of concern and a display of support, the…

Source: SIGHT Magazine David Adams The continued detention of Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church Patriarch Abune Antonios is a “clear indictation” of the Eritrean Government’s “obsessive determination to monitor, suppress and control every religious community”, according to the chief executive of UK-based religious freedom advocacy Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Calling for his “unconditional release and reinstatement”, Mervyn Thomas this week hosed down reports that patriarch, who has been held incommunicado under house arrest since January, 2006, had apologised to the church synod and spoken positively of the government’s role in reconciling him with members of the church synod which had forced him from…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity Two members of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) attended / were part of the staff of the Holy and Great Council in Crete. Peter Marudas attended and was photographed with His Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Gayle E. Woloschak, Ph.D., was extremely busy working as of volunteer member of the Press Team for the Council.

Source: Ahram Online Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, called Tuesday on Egyptian Coptic expats in the US not to demonstrate in front of the White House hours before a planned protest over attacks against Christians in Egypt. “I oppose any demonstrations that might harm Egypt and cause conflict with higher authorities…Please, for Christ’s sake, avoid this behaviour that is not acceptable in any of our churches in the USA,” said the pope in statement published on Coptic World, the official website of the Coptic Orthodox Church. On July 22, Coptic Solidarity, a non-profit organisation, called the…

Source: Christian Today Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR The Roman Catholic Church took the first tentative steps towards women’s ordination today when Pope Francis announced a new commission to look at the possibility of women deacons. However, there are concerns among campaigners for women priests in the Catholic Church that women deacons will be ordained in an attempt to fob them off from expecting any further moves towards equality. In an indication that the Pope is serious about moving forward on this issue, half of the commission’s members are themselves women, all highly regarded as intellectuals and academics from…

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, offered the Prayer of Invocation today, Thursday July 28, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa. In the long established tradition of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to offer a prayer in both the Democratic and the Republican Conventions, Archbishop Demetrios was invited by the Democratic National Committee and was introduced by Kevin Washo, executive director of the Philadelphia 2016 DNC host committee. His Eminence delivered the invocation at the beginning of the fourth and last day of the…

Source: Breitbart by BREITBART JERUSALEM (AFP) – Violence against Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christian minority, one of the largest and oldest groups of Christians in the Middle East, has escalated at an alarming rate in the last several weeks, with little official response. Since late May, Christians in Egypt have been the victims of at least a dozen sectarian attacks, and activists and politicians say the government has done little to stop it, despite Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s early overtures to the Coptic community and their staunch support of him. “It is escalating in a very short time,” said Mina Thabet,…

Source: Daily Mail Fedor Konyukhov flew around the world in a hot air balloon in 11 days – beating the last record by two days He began his trip from an airstrip near Northam, a town east of Perth, then headed east across South America   The 65-year-old battled with lack of sleep and freezing temperatures near the end of his historic trip  By ASSOCIATED PRESS and ASHLEIGH DAVIS FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO A Russian Orthodox priest has entered the record books after enduring 11 days of freezing temperatures and ferocious storms to become the fastest person to fly…

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