Russian Orthodox head slams French weekly’s mockery of Christians

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Source: Reuters MOSCOW (Reuters) - The head of Russia's influential Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, said on Sunday cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were "childish" compared to offences it had dished out to Christians. Charlie Hebdo has regularly offended Muslims, Christians and others with its irreverent cartoons. Gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris office of the weekly this month saying they were avenging the Prophet Mohammad, whom the … [Read more...]

‘Horrifyingly high’ abortion rate must be cut, says head of Russian Orthodox Church

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Source: Christian Today Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill called on Thursday for a deep cut in the "horrifyingly high" number of abortions, which he linked to a Western rejection of moral norms. "The idea of absolutely prioritising the value of free choice and of rejecting the priority of moral norms has become a slowly exploding bomb for Western civilisation," he said in a speech to lawmakers. "If we could just cut in half the number of abortions, there would be steady and … [Read more...]

Orthodox Church leader Reflects on the Religious Dimension of the Ukrainian Crisis

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Source: Eurasianet Patriarch Filaret heads the Kyiv Patriarchate, the branch of Ukrainian Orthodoxy that is loyal to President Petro Poroshenko’s administration. He recently sat down with EurasiaNet.org to discuss religious affairs in Ukraine and how the ongoing conflict between Kyiv and Moscow is extending into the spiritual sphere. In 1991, after Ukraine gained independence, then-Metropolitan Filaret Denysenko led a different kind of independence movement. At that time, he was the … [Read more...]

Remembering the Russian Priest Who Fought the Orthodox Church: Father Gleb Yakunin

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Source: The Daily Beast He defied the atheism of communism and the empty religious practices of Putinism. With Father Gleb Yakunin’s death on Christmas, Russia has lost a liberal voice of conscience. On Christmas Day, the world lost an extraordinary man of faith who once went to prison for his Christian beliefs under an atheist state and later challenged both his church and the repressive entanglement of church and state under a regime that claims to celebrate religious values. When the … [Read more...]

Russian group abandons ‘evil’ Eye of Sauron installation after Orthodox Church warning

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Source: Toronto Star A church spokesman told Moscow radio a project to place the Lord of the Rings’ flaming eye atop a skyscraper would symbolize the “triumph of evil … rising up over the city.” By: Dan Peleschuk Globalpost MOSCOW— Russian fans of the writer J. R. R. Tolkien were disappointed Wednesday after a local art group abandoned plans to install a flaming eye from his The Lord of the Rings series atop a Moscow skyscraper. The group, Svechenie, said it would not re-create … [Read more...]

Why Won’t Putin Help Middle East Christians?

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Source: Accuracy in Media by Cliff Kincaid An article titled, “Iraq’s Christians See Putin As Savior,” appeared on the website of The Daily Beast in late June. It was picked up by literally dozens of “news” sites all over the Internet, contributing to the perception that Russia was actually prepared to do something on behalf of these Christians and other minorities. The article referred to “Russia’s increasingly cozy relationship with Middle Eastern Christians” and included a photo of Putin … [Read more...]

Local Ukrainian community reacts to Malaysian Plane crash

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Source: WHEC News 10 Rochester By: Rebecca Fath The news of the plane crash is forcing many in the local Ukrainian community to take action and help those in need overseas. At the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, they say they have strong opinions about what is going on. They are collecting money to help people.   Nicholas Sztanko is the vice president at St. Mary’s Ukraine Orthodox Church. Sztanko says the Ukrainian community is shocked and saddened to hear about the plane being … [Read more...]

Russia’s Putin calls for compromise in Ukraine

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Source: Charlotte Observer By LYNN BERRY Associated Press MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly expressed support Sunday for Ukraine's declaration of a cease-fire in its battle against pro-Russian separatists and called on both sides to negotiate a compromise. Putin said such a compromise must guarantee the rights of the Russian-speaking residents of eastern Ukraine, who must feel like they are "an integral part" of their own country. Putin's statement appeared to signal … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Tikhon calls for ongoing prayers

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Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] - His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, has asked that prayers for peace and justice in Ukraine continue. Parishes, monasteries, and seminaries are requested to include the following petition in the Litany of Fervent Supplication:  “Again we pray that the people of Ukraine and Russia be granted the wisdom, mutual respect and love which will protect them from violence and preserve them in peace.” By way of background, recent events in … [Read more...]

Nun shot dead as gunman opens fire in Russian Orthodox church a week after country’s first school shoot-out

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Source: Daily Mail Shootings happened at main cathedral on the island of Sakhalin Nun and churchgoer killed, while six others were wounded Suspect believed to be employed as private security guard Killings happened at a time when Russian security forces on high alert for the Winter Olympics in Sochi But officials say there is no apparent link to the Games By SHARI MILLER A man employed as a private security guard opened fire in a Russian Orthodox cathedral on the island of … [Read more...]