CHURCH ARSON SUSPECT ORDERED TO STAND TRIAL

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Source: San Diego Union-Tribune By Dana Littlefield El Cajon — A man accused of setting fire to a Greek Orthodox church in unincorporated El Cajon, and later attacking his cellmate in county jail, was ordered Monday to stand trial on charges including premeditated attempted murder and arson. Darin Wayne Williams, 39, was arrested and booked into jail Jan. 27, hours after the early-morning fire started at St. Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox Christian Church.   At the end … [Read more...]

Bishops Remain Missing After Capture In Syria

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Source: National Public Radio Click here to Listen to the Story - All Things Considered (3 min 50 sec) TRANSCRIPT ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: As Orthodox Christians around the world celebrated Easter this week, the Orthodox communities in Syria and neighboring Lebanon postponed festivities. Instead, they gathered in churches to pray for the safe return of two bishops kidnapped outside the Syrian city of Aleppo last month. While the Syrian opposition and the regime of President Bashar … [Read more...]

Holy Fire Lights Orthodox Easter In Jerusalem’s Church Of The Holy Sepulchre (VIDEO) (PHOTOS)

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Source: Huffington Post In this stunning video, Orthodox Christians welcome the Holy Fire, a miracle that Orthodox Christians believe occurs every year on the evening before Easter Sunday. Close to 10,000 people crowded the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, believed to be the location of Jesus' burial and resurrection. Since the 9th century, Orthodox Christians celebrate the Holy Fire ceremony with a belief that a mysterious 'blue fire' lights a candle held by the Greek Orthodox … [Read more...]

PRESIDENT OBAMA ISSUES STATEMENT FOR ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AROUND THE WORLD

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (GOA)

NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is pleased to announce the receipt of a very significant message and greeting from the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the First Lady Michelle Obama, on the occasion of Orthodox Pascha (Easter). In his message, the President makes reference to the ordeals facing Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and North Africa and reaffirms his commitment to religious freedom as a universal human right. The Statement of the … [Read more...]

Cremation under debate in Greece

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Source: Southeast European Times The Greek Orthodox Church refuses to allow the practice, but analysts said the church should be more compassionate. By Andy Dabilis for Southeast European Times in Athens The refusal of the Greek Orthodox Church to allow cremation has sparked a debate in the country. With urban cemeteries filling so fast that bodies are dug up after three years and put in ossuaries so plots can be reused, Greece gave approval for cremation in 2006. Although Athens … [Read more...]

Settlers Burn Greek Orthodox Church Land In Jerusalem

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Source: International Middle East Media Center by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News Sunday evening April 28, 2013, a group of extremist Israeli settlers burnt a land that belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church in Wadi Hilweh, in Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center reported that dozens of extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers gathered in the area, and that the armed settlers went on to burn the church land. On Saturday, three Palestinians, member of … [Read more...]

Calm the Bomb! Learning to Lead Under Pressure [Reflections on the Boston Marathon Bombing]

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Source: Oinos Consulting by Fr. Frank Marangos, D. Min., Ed. D. "I have learnt through bitter experience the supreme lesson to conserve my anger. As heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so, anger controlled can be transmuted into a power that can move the world."  - Mahatma Gandhi The deadly percussion of two homemade bombs shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon on our nation’s April 15th celebration of Patriots’ Day.  Fragments retrieved from the anniversary of the … [Read more...]

The Historical Development of Holy Week Services In Orthodoxy

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Source: Preachers Institute The Paschal fast of Holy Week1 is the most ancient part of the Great Fast.2 It is already well attested by the second century, in conjunction with the rites of Christian initiation through baptism. At first spanning one or two days, the fast lengthened to four and then to a full six already by the third century. With the conversion of Constantine, the ensuing flood of people desiring to enter the Faith and imperial interest in holy places, the fourth century … [Read more...]

Palm Sunday: Is there a ray of hope for Christians in the Middle East?

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Source: Albawaba Sunday is the Orthodox Palm Sunday, celebrating when Jesus returned to the city of Jerusalem. The day is known as  Shaa'nineh in Arabic and is one of most important dates in the Orthodox religious calendar. The event enables families to come together celebrate mass, and the day is traditionally a familiar affair and an excuse to cook up a good feast and is well celebrated across the Levant nations of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and beyond. Palm Sunday also … [Read more...]

Pope appeals for release of Syrian bishops

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Source: Aljazeera The appeal comes after a Christian group retracted its claim that the clerics had been freed. Pope Francis has called for the release of two Syrian bishops kidnapped by gunmen near Aleppo, after a Christian group appeared to retract its claim that the clerics had been freed. Aleppo's Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yaziji and Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim were kidnapped on Monday by armed men en route from the Turkish border. Speaking to an audience of around … [Read more...]