Turkey government desecrates the Church of Agia Sophia [UPDATED]

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Source: NeosKosmos.com This is the second time in recent years that the Turkish government has converted a unique Christian church into a mosque The Federation of Pontian Associations of Australia has called upon the Australian government and the international community to protect Anatolia's indigenous Christian heritage. The announcement follows an incident two weeks ago where Muslim prayers were held in the 13th century Orthodox Church of the Holy Wisdom (Agia Sophia) in Istanbul, … [Read more...]

Looted Art From Cypriot Churches Is Returned by Germany

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Source: Bloomberg Businessweek By Catherine Hickley Frescos, mosaics and icons looted from churches, museums and monasteries in Northern Cyprus and seized by police in Munich 16 years ago were today handed over to the Cypriot government. The artifacts were discovered in the Munich apartment of Aydin Dikmen, a Turkish-born art dealer, in 1997. Then valued at 30 million deutsche marks ($17 million), they included a mosaic hacked from the wall of the 6th-century Kanakaria church and a … [Read more...]

Drowned bishop a symbol of Bulgaria’s blurred loyalties

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Source: Reuters  By Tsvetelia Tsolova The death last week of one of Bulgaria's most senior bishops, found floating in the Black Sea wearing a snorkel and flippers, was mysterious in its own right, but it was only the final chapter in an enigmatic life. [VARNA, Bulgaria] In the days after Bishop Cyril of Varna, 59, was found dead, a picture emerged of a man respected by many but who had also spied for the communist-era secret police, brokered land deals that raised questions and driven a … [Read more...]

Grassroots Ecumenism of Friendship Keeps Orthodox-Catholic Hopes Alive

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Source: The Catholic World Report by John Burger “The light of the East has illumined the universal Church, from the moment when ‘a rising sun’ appeared above us: Jesus Christ, our Lord, whom all Christians invoke as the Redeemer of man and the hope of the world.” Thus began Pope John Paul II’s 1995 apostolic letter Orientale Lumen (“Light of the East), which encourages Latin Catholics to better know the traditions of the Christian East. Rather than collecting dust on a Vatican … [Read more...]

Thousands queue in Russia to see religious relic

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Source: AFP BB News SAINT-PETERSBURG (AFP) - Around 65,000 people have queued for hours in Saint Petersburg to see a religious relic brought from Greece, officials said Saturday, in the latest sign of the Russian Orthodox Church's influence in post-Soviet Russia. The cross of Saint Andrew -- said to be a relic of the X-shaped cross on which Andrew the Apostle was crucified -- was placed in Saint Petersburg's Kazan Cathedral on Thursday after arriving from its historic home in Patras in … [Read more...]

Our Children Victims of the Darkness?

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Source: Orthodox Observer  by Andrew Manatos “As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does the loss of our Church. In both instances there is a twilight, and it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” Disturbing data about our Church and our country led me to use this paraphrase of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas’ words at the Archdiocesan Council meeting in Boston on May … [Read more...]

Greek-Americans Turned off By Church Simony, Nepotism

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Source: The National Herald To the Editor [of the National Herald]: Dwayne Templeton asks many poignant questions, but the thought of bishops from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America answering any of them as he suggests in his Letter to the Editor (Jul. 4) [also printed below] is laughable. There are reasons Greek-Americans do not attend church regularly, especially those that are between the ages of 25-55. I often broach that subject when meeting with Greeks at conferences, social … [Read more...]

Death of Metropolitan Kiril of Varna caused by hypothermia

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Source: The Sofia Globe Bulgarian Orthodox Church Metropolitan of Varna Kiril, found dead on a beach near Varna on July 9, appears to have drowned after suffering from hypothermia, Bishop Tikhon of Tiveriopol said on July 10. Bishop Tikhon, the chairman of the trustees board of Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Sofia, dismissed all speculation of foul play that appeared in some local and international media, as “an absolute canard”. Bulgarian National Television (BNT) quoted Varna … [Read more...]

Macedonian authorities urged to give archbishop fair trial

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Source: B92 [TANJUG] BELGRADE -- The Conference of European Churches (CEC) has called on the Macedonian government and PM Nikola Gruevski to ensure a fair trial for Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid. They were also urged to release him from custody pending his trial, in line with the country's criminal law provisions. The appeal was issued at the end of the CEC General Assembly, held in Budapest on July 3-8, according to the website of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC). The CEC Assembly … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Philip Blesses the Convent of St. Thekla Property and House

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Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America On June 29, 2013, the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, the patron saints of the Holy See of Antioch, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip traveled to Glenville, Pennsylvania in York County to bless the property and house which will be the home of the nuns of the Convent of St. Thekla in America. His Eminence was accompanied by His Grace Bishop Antoun, and several clergy from the area, including Fr. Peter Pier, the host … [Read more...]