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...]

Russian Patriarch Holds Landmark Service in China

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Source: RIA Novosti HARBIN, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – The leader of Russia’s Orthodox Church conducted a landmark service in the Chinese city of Harbin on Tuesday, the first in several decades. Patriarch Kirill, accompanied by a large Orthodox clergy delegation, sang a hymn celebrating Easter at a 1930-built cathedral in the city. Kirill’s visit to China, which began last week, is the first by a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. Harbin, in northeast China, founded by imperial Russia … [Read more...]

Russian Orthodox Church responds to Pope’s resignation

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Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines by Lucia Bellinello A few hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, Russia was already thinking about building relations with his successor. It had not happened for nearly 600 years. On February 11, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI (Ratzinger) announced his resignation in Latin to the Vatican. “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” he … [Read more...]

More Than 82,000 Bathe in Icy Water on Epiphany in Moscow

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Source: RIA Novosti MOSCOW, January 19 (RIA Novosti) - More than 82,000 Moscow residents bathed in icy cold water to mark the Epiphany early Saturday, as air temperature in the Russian capital stood at minus 13 degrees Celsius (+ 8.6 Fahrenheit), a spokesman for the Emergency Ministry's Moscow branch said Saturday. Epiphany, also known as Theophany, is one of the Great Feasts, marking the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and the beginning of his ministry. The … [Read more...]

No Drunk Driving or Flashy Cars, Russian Patriarch Tells His Clergy

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Source: The Wall Street Journal By Andrey Ostroukh The head of the Orthodox Church in Russia, the country famous for its penchant for expensive cars and an unsafe driving culture, called on his clergy to choose their vehicles “with modesty” and not to drink “holy sacraments” before driving. The Russian Orthodox Church has been marred by scandals in 2012, some of which were vehicle-related. Social networks, popular with the Russian opposition and the country’s politically active middle … [Read more...]