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Source: World Council of Churches In a presentation to a gathering of experts on religious freedom and religious rights of minorities, the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I said there must be respect for the “inherent rights of all human beings and their aspiration and rights of religious freedom should be important components to sustain tolerance among all God’s creation.” Bartholomew made his comments on 30 November at a consultation in Istanbul, Turkey, called Freedom of Religion and Rights of Religious Minorities which is sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs and hosted…

Source: BosNewsLife CAIRO, EGYPT (BosNewsLife)– Christians in Egypt “request prayers” amid concerns about deadly violence and political uncertainty, ahead of the country’s first parliamentary elections since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February. The call for prayer, monitored by BosNewsLife Sunday, November 27, came amid reports that 70,000 believers already gathered for an all-night prayer vigil in one of the poorest areas of Cairo, the capital. Organizers described the November 11 gathering as the largest Christian event in Egypt “in more than a millennium”. It was held at St. Simeon the Tanner Coptic Orthodox Church in Mokattam, known as…

Source: The Independent | Catrina Steward When it comes to fixing the church roof, rarely has it been so difficult to reach agreement as at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. But, after a centuries-old stand-off between Greek Orthodox monks and rival religious sects, it looks as if the reputed birthplace of Jesus may finally get the renovation it so badly needs. With Palestine’s recent admission to Unesco, the body responsible for protecting historic sites, the Palestinian Authority hopes to win recognition for the 1,500 year-old basilica as a World Heritage site, the first step towards tapping the UN’s…

Source: The National Herald | Theodore Kalmoukas BOSTON, MA – One of the most prominent Greek Orthodox priest s in the United States, Protopresbyter George Papadeas, has died at the age of 93. Papadeas was a loving husband, a caring father and grandfather, a prolific writer and author, and a TNH contributor. In a phrase, he was the best of the best. Even at 93 he would drive halfway across Florida – from South Daytona to Ocala – to conduct liturgies and administer sacraments. He served at St. Demetrios Church in Daytona Beach as pastor until “retiring” in 1983. After…

Source: Buffalo News | Michelle Kearns The Rev. Volodymyr Zablotskyy had given up on getting back a stolen Holy Gospel book — treasured by the members of SS. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church — until a stranger handed it to a stunned parishioner over the weekend as he walked the Lovejoy neighborhood. “To me, it was very emotional,” said Zablotskyy, who read from the book with portraits of saints embedded on its red velvet cover during the Sunday service at the Ideal Street church. “I can’t express how happy I am to have it back. It was the best news…

Source: Antiochian Archdiocese | Report and Photos by Shelley Pituch View photo gallery The 2011 Orthodox Institute, held at Antiochian Village, near Ligonier, PA, over the weekend of November 3 – 6, was advertised as “an event like no other” and it proved to live up to its claim in more than one way. The theme was “Scripture through the Lens of the Holy Land” and this was the first time that the Orthodox Institute was a multi-jurisdictional collaboration between the host of the event, the Antiochian Department of Christian Education, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Orthodox Church in…

Source: Mystagogy The Nativity Fast in the Orthodox Church begins on November 15th. From that time until December 17th (or some observe December 12th) we fast from meat, milk products, and eggs, though fish is allowed. After the 17th (or 12th) we fast also from fish. But fasting from food, according to the command of our Lord, must go hand in hand with spiritual fasting in order for it to be beneficial and have a deeper meaning. For this reason it must be coupled with prayer and almsgiving. Hence, with these fasting periods the Church calls us also to a…

Source: The National Herald | Theodore Kalmoukas BOSTON – Unknown intruder or intruders attempted to rob the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Church in Astoria on Sunday, Nov. 13 around 9PM. It seems that they entered from a basement door, but they left with no plunders because the alarm went off. The intruders went directly to the icon of St. Irene – which is filled with valuable gold and silver items reflecting expressions of faith. They did not manage to break the casing because it is bulletproof and speciallymade. They attempted to break the icon of the Mother of God on the…

Source: Orthodox Church in America Just two months after “Project Buffalo” — a ministry initiated by the Diocese of New York and New Jersey aimed at revitalizing Saints Peter and Paul parish here — thieves stripped $6,000.00 worth of copper from the parish church and made off with an antique, silver-plated Gospel book during the night of Friday, November 11, 2011. After stripping both copper and lead from the church, the thieves broke into the church, apparently through a basement window. Priest Volodymyr Zablotskyy, the parish’s recently appointed acting rector, later determined that the Gospel book also had been taken.…

Source: Interfax Beirut, November 15, Interfax – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Lebanese President Michel Suleyman discussed at a meeting in Beirut the current complicated situation in the Middle East and they agreed that peaceful changes must be carried out and new manifestations of Christianophobia prevented. “We are extremely concerned about the position of Christian communities in Egypt, Iraq and Libya. We have been witnessing radical growth in Christianophobia in other countries, as well,” the Patriarch said. The Russian Orthodox Church cannot remain indifferent to the fate of the Antiochian Church, whose jurisdiction extends to Syria and…

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