Russian delegation to Beirut focuses on Syria, Christians

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Source: ALMONITOR Author: Gracia BitarPosted Translator: Steffi Chakti The Russians are elevating their rhetoric in Lebanon, exactly like a czar. A Russian parliamentary delegation visited Syria and then stopped in Lebanon upon the invitation of the Orthodox Gathering. The slogans used by members of the delegation are inspired by the sayings of Jesus: “Truth is on our side, and we will be victorious.” Maybe this is where the elevated tone is coming from. They are seeking to form a unified … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian belief rises among Russians – poll

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Source: RIA Novostil MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) – The proportion of Russians who consider themselves Orthodox Christians has risen four-fold in the past 24 years, according to a new survey. Two out of three Russians now regard themselves as Orthodox Christians compared to just one in six in 1989, when the Soviet Union was nearing dissolution. The poll of 1,603 people by the independent Levada Center found that 68 percent described themselves as Orthodox Christian now, up from 17 … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Church Seeks to Heal Centuries-Old Schism

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Source: RIA Novosti MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s dominant Orthodox Church said Friday it would discuss a draft document that will “heal” a schism with some of the smaller Russian Christian denominations known collectively as Old Believers. An expert on religions in Russia hailed the document as a “timely” effort by the increasingly powerful Russian Orthodox Church, but some of the Old Believers rejected the initiative, claiming it will not redeem centuries of … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Church Gives Flamboyant Crooner Top Award

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Source: RIA Novosti MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) – The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church presented the nation’s answer to Frank Sinatra with a top award on Wednesday for his public service, adding to the flamboyant now-lawmaker’s already glittering array of decorations. Patriarch Kirill awarded Joseph Kobzon, who has in the past been denied a US visa over his purported links to organized crime, the Order of Glory and Honor second degree for the crooner’s work in “developing national … [Read more...]

The role of Orthodoxy in the Russian Constitution: the proposal raises controversy and fears

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Source: Asia News by Nina Achmatova The idea is to amend the Charter to enter Christianity as "the foundation of national identity and cultural heritage of Russia." The Patriarchate supports the initiative , but calls will be addressed in a public debate . Defending human rights warns it is likely to raise a "civil war" in the minds of people. Moscow (AsiaNews) - The proposal of some lawmakers to amend the Constitution to insert, in its preamble, the exclusive role of the Orthodox … [Read more...]

Russians flock to exhibition glorifying Romanovs’ rule

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Source: Global Post [Agence France-Presse] With a queue stretching at least a kilometre, a hi-tech exhibition giving a rosy view of the house of Romanov and jointly organised by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin has drawn tens of thousands of visitors in central Moscow. In another sign of the power of the Russian Orthodox Church in post-Soviet Russia, it is a holy icon which has drawn the crowds as much as nostalgia for Russia's ousted by the monarchy. But historians say the … [Read more...]

Crowds Attend Funeral of Murdered Priest in Russia’s Pskov

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Source: RIA Novosti MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) – The funeral of Pavel Adelgeim, the Orthodox priest stabbed to death in the northwest Russian city of Pskov earlier this week, took place Thursday in the presence of about 1,000 mourners at the Church of the Myrrh Bearers, where he served for the last decades of his life. A religious dissident who lost a leg during a three-year stint in a Soviet prison camp, Adelgeim was one of only a handful of priests willing to publicly criticize the … [Read more...]

Russian Navy Day Festivities to Nix Unchristian Characters

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Source: RIA Novosti MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, will reportedly no longer be appearing at Russian Navy Day celebrations because the Orthodox Church, the strongest religion in the country, has protested against pagan characters at such events. Offending religious believers is a crime in Russia since last month. Violators face up to three years in prison. Pagan beings that were not aboard Noah’s Arc do not belong “at a celebration of an Orthodox … [Read more...]

God Died In Europe – Patriarch Of The Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej

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Source: In Serbia News MOSCOW – Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej said, at the end of his visit to St. Petersburg and Moscow, that Serbia is not running away from Europe, but that it cannot enter “in such a Europe” under the imposed conditions. “We do not have the right to deny our spirituality, culture, all those things that make us people. That is why I hope that the people will bind to its church and be thankful to God for giving them the opportunity to save their … [Read more...]

Orthodox Churches Fight Back As Eastern Europe Pushes To Modernize, Secularize

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Source: Radio Free Europe - Radio Liberty By Robert Coalson Many were shocked on May 17 to see a phalanx of black-robed Orthodox clergy break into a trot and lead an angry mob in an attack on a gay-rights rally in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Although the official Orthodox hierarchy in Georgia denounced the violence that left 17 injured, Georgian Patriarch Illia II had called on authorities the day before to ban the rally as an "insult" to Georgian traditions. Across Eastern … [Read more...]