THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

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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 fratricidal violence to stop as soon as possible,” the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics added.

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 building relations between representatives of various ethnic groups and religions. Speaking about the role of religion in society’s life, Roman Bogdasarov, the deputy chairman of the agency for relations between the…

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 magazine had depicted in cartoons in defiance of a ban in Islam on representing its founder. Kirill, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir…

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 powerful demographic growth.” Russia’s population has been declining since the mid-1990s, hit by falling birth rates and life expectancy…

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,…

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