Patriarch Kirill invited to Cuba

Source: Interfax Moscow, May 12, Interfax - President of the Cuban Council of State and Council of Ministers, Raul Castro, has invited Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to visit the republic. "It is a great pleasure for me to meet with you again. We always recall with pleasure your first visit to Cuba and we hope it will not be the last one," the Cuban leader said at a meeting with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Patriarchal Chambers in Moscow. Patriarch Kirill … [Read more...]

On Rigor Mortis of the Church

Source: Classical Christianity I think that one of the most important problems facing the Orthodox Church in Russia, and even beyond its borders, is the ideological rigor mortis of the Church. The Church is considered as a kind of dead body; it is thought to be frozen and that nothing should be changed in it. It is understandable that we should not change dogmatics and Church Tradition — no one argues with that. However, the problem is that people try to preserve superstitions and false … [Read more...]

Russia’s Orthodox Soft Power

Source: Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs by NICOLAI N. PETRO Note from Nicolai N. Petro1 Abstract For many analysts the term Russky mir, or Russian World, epitomizes an expansionist and messianic Russian foreign policy, the perverse intersection of the interests of the Russian state and the Russian Orthodox Church. Little noted is that the term actually means something quite different for each party. For the state it is a tool for expanding Russia's cultural … [Read more...]

Relic of St Demetrios of Salonika the Great Martyr Brought to Moscow from Greece

Source: Voices from Russia The website of Novospassky Monastery noted that on 5 February, a Greek Orthodox Church delegation, headed by Metropolitan Panteleimon Kalpakidis of Veria and Naousa arrived in Moscow from Greece bringing a reliquary containing the hand of St Demetrios of Salonika the Great Martyr. At the airport, the superior of the Novospassky Stavropegial Monastery and the MP First Deputy Chancellor, Bishop Savva Mikheyev of Voskresensk met the delegation. From the airport, they … [Read more...]

Pope: Intra-Christian civil war in Ukraine is a “scandal”

Source: Dalje.com The civil war in Ukraine, pitting Orthodox Christians against other Orthodox Christians, is a "scandal," Pope Francis said Wednesday. "Think, this is a war between Christians. You all have the same baptism! You are fighting between Christians. Think about this scandal," Francis said in his weekly general audience at the Vatican. "We pray first of all for the victims, including very many civilians, and for their families, and we ask the Lord for this horrible … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christians, Muslims and Jews call for dialogue

Source: Vestnik Kavkaza Recently the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media warned Russia media against publication of cartoons on religious topics, as, according to the law, any mocking of saints of various religions can be treated as incitement of religious hatred.Harmonization of inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations is thought to be a priority of Russia's ethnic policy. Moscow believes that the country’s prosperity depends on … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox head slams French weekly’s mockery of Christians

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

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

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

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...]