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Source: Interfax Moscow, October 18, Interfax – The majority of Russians questioned in an opinion poll expressed support for a proposal to organize Orthodox Christian militias for the declared purpose of protecting holy sites. The idea was backed by 66% of respondents in a survey carried out by the All-Russia Center for Public Opinion Studies (VCIOM) last month. The initiative to form militias for patrolling city streets, put forward in August by the leader of the Holy Russia organization, had the widest support among respondents who support the ruling Yedinaya Rossia (United Russia) party – 71%, – among those are…

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) RAMALLAH, October 17, 2012 (WAFA) – The Palestine Liberation Organization and France Wednesday signed an agreement to repair the roof of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. The 200.000 euors agreement was signed in the Muqata and in the presence of Palestinian and French officials. A presidential committee established on December 15, 2008 a special fund to repair the roof of the Church of Nativity in cooperation with the three Christian denominations that control the church – the Greek Orthodox, the Custodian of the Holy Land, and the Armenian Orthodox church. The Palestinian…

Source: The Financial Times By Clive Cookson A scientific effort is under way to reveal and record palimpsests at the world’s oldest continuously operating library The Greek Orthodox monks of St Catherine’s monastery in Sinai have been accumulating manuscripts and books since the sixth century, making their library the world’s greatest repository of early medieval writing after the Vatican. The collection is even richer than it first appears, because many of the 3,300 ancient manuscripts contain hidden text and illustrations older than their visible contents – and a large scientific effort is under way to reveal and record them. The…

Source:  AmericanCatholic.org By FRANCIS X. ROCCA VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the start of a special Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI called on Catholics to revive the “authentic spirit” of Vatican II by re-proposing the church’s ancient teachings to an increasingly Godless modern world. The pope spoke at a special Mass in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 11, half a century to the day after the opening ceremonies of Vatican II. About 400 bishops from around the world, including 15 of the 70 surviving members of the 1962-65…

Source: International Society for Orthodox Church Music [ISOCM] The Fifth International Conference on Orthodox Church Music, “Church Music and Icons: Windows to Heaven,” will be held at the University of Eastern Finland, in Joensuu, Finland, on 3 – 9 June 2013. The conference will take place at the School of Theology (Agora Building), Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland (Yliopistokatu 4, 80101 Joensuu). The conference programme will include a panel discussions, interdisciplinary contributions relating to iconography and hymnography, and an excursion to local Orthodox and Finnish locales. CALL FOR PAPERS It is expected that participants from around the world will gather…

Source: Trend Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Turkey is closely monitoring increasing attacks of Israeli extremists against sacred sites of Muslims and Christians. Vandals damaged the door of St. George Romanian Orthodox church and tossed garbage at its entrance. A tiny fringe group of pro-settler extremists are suspected in the vandalism. They have conducted similar attacks on churches, mosques and Israeli army property. The statement said Turkey strongly condemns any attack against sacred sites belonging to any religion or belief. The statement also noted that Turkey has called on Israeli authorities to take effective measures to prevent…

Source: The Australian BY: ROWAN CALLICK THE mother superior of a 1500-year-old monastery in Syria warned yesterday during a visit to Australia that the uprising against Bashar al-Assad has been hijacked by foreign Islamist mercenaries, with strong support from Western countries. Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix was forced to flee to neighbouring Lebanon in June when she was warned of a plot to abduct her, after she revealed that about 80,000 Christians had been “cleared” by rebel forces from their homes in Homs province. She described on the website of the Greek-Melkite Catholic monastery of St James, the church she…

Source: OCP News Service by Amir Ramzi (OCP Correspondent in Egypt) Egypt/Cairo: Heads of Egyptian Christian Churches (Oriental and Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Evangelical Church) gathered at the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo for a joint prayer meeting. Numerous faithful, Priest, Bishops of various denominations attended the prayer meeting. The purpose was to pray for the Divine choice of a new Shepherd for the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and All Africa. The Papal election are scheduled for the month of December 2012.

Source: Romfea / MYSTAGOGY by Nikos Pitsiakides Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, among great personalities from around the world, is an Orthodox priest known as the “saint” of prisoners. Father Gervasios from Thessaloniki has dedicated his life to offer assistance to needy prisoners. The last 35 years he has contributed to the release of 15,200 needy prisoners, who come from 90 countries, having raised more than 4,100,000 euros! People of the arts and many scientists from five continents have suggested the Archimandrite Gervasios Raptopoulos as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Academy. The countdown to…

Source: Anatolia News Agency ISPARTA – The ruins of a church and mosaics discovered in illegal excavations in Isparta will be prepared for visitors. The remains are believed to be from the late Roman and Byzantine period and expected to attract faith tourism Excavations are being competed on an early basilica and mosaics that were discovered two months ago during an illegal excavation in the southern province of Isparta’s Kaletepe region. Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Abdullah Kılıç told Anatolia news agency that the illegal excavations had been done by the gendarmerie, followed by rescue work. “During these excavations, we…

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