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Source: International Business Times BY JASON LE MIERE Nearly 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith in 2016, equivalent to one every six minutes, according to a new study by the Italy-based Center for Studies on New Religions (Censur). The annual study, which is set for release next month, also indicated that between 500 and 600 million Christians were prevented from freely practicing their faith. The number has actually declined from 105,000 in 2015, but it still makes Christians the most persecuted religious group in the world, Massimo Introvigne, director of Censur, told Vatican Radio when announcing the findings on Monday.…

Source: Basilica.ro Published by Aurelian Iftimiu His Grace Justin Hodea became Tuesday, 27 December 2016, the new diocesan Bishop of Maramureş and Sătmar. The enthronement ceremony was held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Baia Mare. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delegated His Grace Varlaam of Ploieşti, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, to this event. Hundreds of believers, clerics, academicians, local and central officials participated Tuesday in the Divine Liturgy and the enthronement ceremony of His Grace Justin as Bishop of Maramureş and Sătmar. His Eminence Andrei, Metropolitan of Cluj, Maramureş and Sălaj, presided over the Divine Liturgy, at which eighteen…

Source: Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America PASTORAL LETTER 2016 The Birth of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ  “And I will make my home among them; and live with them; ‘I will be their God and they shall be my people’.” (2 Cor. 6:16; Lev. 26:11-19) Beloved Spiritual Children in Christ: Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics and Devout Faithful of our God-protected Episcopate: Dearly Beloved, Once again, after a long year, we are today celebrat­ing the birth of the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ, the Light of the world! The burden of the weeks and months, the cares and…

Source: Russia Today Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was shot dead in Ankara, has been buried in Moscow with honors. Russian President Vladimir Putin was among those who bid a final farewell to the slain diplomat, who was named a hero of Russia posthumously. The funeral for the assassinated ambassador began at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the ceremony to pay his last respects. Putin “expressed heartfelt condolences to Andrey Karlov’s family, his mother Maria, widow Marina, son Gennady ,and sister Elena,” a statement from the Kremlin said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presented…

Source: St. Katherine College December 20, 2016 “There are very few colleges and universities that earn an “A” from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for having a solid curriculum and I was delighted to learn that a new college recently was added to ACTA’s list: Saint Katherine College. This tiny school located near San Diego is an educationally serious place with a religious orientation.”- The National Review Dear Friends, We are proud to continue to receive recognition and accolades from trusted sources that are serious about higher education in America. But hardly a day goes by when the…

Source: Charleston-Gazette Mail For the first time in history, Congress has passed a law that protects people who doubt religion. The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act — named for a former congressman who championed freedom of conscience — is designed to shield all types of minority believers who suffer attacks and prejudice. It specifically says authorities must “protect theistic and non-theistic beliefs as well as the right not to profess or practice any religion.” The bill passed Congress last week and is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama. This first-time inclusion of nonbelievers recognizes a transformation…

Source: Frankly Speaking – Oinos Educational Consulting By Frank Marangos, D.Min., Ed.D. “I believe with all my heart that those who will direct Japan – and all other Nations – in the decades to come must not ignore the message of Jesus Christ. He is the only hope for this troubled world.” – Captain Mitsuo Fuchida Christmas was once America’s preeminent national holiday. First celebrated in the year 98, it was forty years later before the early Church officially adopted Christmas as an annual Christian festival. It was not until the fifth century that the day of its celebration became permanently…

Source: Fox News MOSCOW –  The Russian Orthodox Church is expanding its influence in what was once an officially godless state — and President Vladimir Putin appears eager to harness that resurgent power of faith to promote his own agenda. Long consigned to society’s margins in the Soviet era of “scientific atheism,” religious activists in today’s Russia can get theater performances banned and exhibitions closed. Their next target is to end state funding for abortion in a land where nearly half of all pregnancies end in termination. Putin has condemned recent attacks on art exhibitions and efforts to hound performers…

Source: The Orthodox Evangelist By the V. Rev. Fr. Timothy Cremeens, PhD Dean – Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA To the Christian believers gathered in the Church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). He likewise writes to the Church at Galatia, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14). The Cross is the indispensable center of the…

Source: Nobody’s Children The 25-year old charity, Nobody’s Children, a 501(c)(3)(a) tax-exempt organization founded in 1991 in New Hampshire, is working urgently with Dr. Antonio Capone, Jr. and Dr. Michael Trese of Associated Retinal Consultants from The William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI, the world’s experts in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), to help Maria Elena Sauca of Maramures, Romania. Maria is a  7 mo old infant with rapidly progressive blindness who needs surgery urgently to prevent further visual loss. Her operation is scheduled for Jan 9, 2017. Please contribute toward this $24,000-26,000 surgery. Thank you in advance for any support you can find to help this…

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