THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

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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 highest-ranking cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and he believed Orthodox bishoprics in Ukraine should secede from the Moscow Patriarchate and form an independent church entity. Though the…

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 Russian dissident and priest Father Gleb Yakunin died, outside the small circle of the liberal opposition and its sympathizers,…

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 the evil Eye of Sauron, after the Russian Orthodox Church complained the installation would invite mysterious…

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 under a halo. But when the Christians in Iraq actually needed some help, it was the U.S. and Britain which intervened on…

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 shot down, but many from the country expect bloodshed in the current crisis. Sztanko feels the rest of…

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 that he sees their future in Ukraine. Separatists in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions have declared independence and asked to join Russia. Moscow has rebuffed their appeals,…

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 Ukraine have catalyzed a major crisis.  The United States, the European Union and NATO are involved in reactions to the events in Crimea. …

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 Sakhalin, killing a nun and a churchgoer and wounding six others. The shooting occurred on Sunday at a time…

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 front so that the Christian Orthodox voice will be also unified during international events. The delegation met with Syrian President…

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 percent in 1989. The proportion identifying themselves as Muslim has also risen from about 1 percent in 1991 to 7…

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