AK-47 designer Kalashnikov wrote penitent letter

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Source: ABC News By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV Associated Press In a regretful letter penned a few months before his death, Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, asked the head of the Russian Orthodox Church if he was to blame for the deaths of those killed by his weapon. The Russian daily Izvestia on Monday published the letter, in which Kalashnikov, who died last month at 94, told Patriarch Kirill that he kept asking himself if he was responsible. The AK-47 is the … [Read more...]

Fasting for Non-Monastics

Fr Sergei Sveshnikov

Source: Blog of Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov ST. HERMAN’S ORTHODOX YOUTH CONFERENCE, MULINO, OR 22-26 DECEMBER 2013  INTRODUCTION A curious phenomenon can be observed in the interactions between pastors and their parishioners at the beginning of each major fast of the Church. Pastors attempt to call their parishioners’ pious attention to the spiritual heights of fasting: the fighting against sin, the conquering of passions, the taming of the tongue, the cultivation of virtues. In turn, … [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...]

Leading Orthodox official urges World Council of Churches to challenge secularism, radical Islam

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Source: CatholicCulture.org Addressing the World Council of Churches, the Russian Orthodox Church’s leading ecumenical official questioned the effectiveness of the ecumenical body and warned that Christians must face the challenges of secularism and radical Islam. “The World Council of Churches today remains a unique instrument of inter-Christian cooperation that has no analogy in the world,” said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. “However, the question arises as to how effective this … [Read more...]

Russia’s “protectorate” over Middle Eastern Christians

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Source: Vatican Insider Defending Middle Eastern Christians has become a strategic asset for Putin and is in perfect harmony with the Patriarchate of Moscow's mission GIANNI VALENTE ROME The Kremlin is about to consider granting citizenship to about 50 thousand Syrian Christians in the region of Qualamun after they issued a collective request to Moscow’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In statements issued in the past few days, the spokesmen for President Putin and the Ministry confirmed … [Read more...]

Muscovite Builds Record-Breaking Jesus Statue in Syria

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Source: The Moscow Times A bronze statue of Jesus Christ, taller than the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, has appeared in war-torn Syria. The statue, titled "I Have Come to Save the World" was apparently the brainchild of Yury Gavrilov, a 49-year-old Muscovite who runs an organization in London called the St. Paul and St. George Foundation. The project was backed by both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian government, which takes an active interest in Syria, … [Read more...]

Of God and Caesar

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Source: The Economist IT IS not every day that a publication of America's foreign-policy establishment, which generally reflects the liberal sensibilities of think-tanks, law practices and college faculties, publishes a sort of defence of the public role of Russian Orthodoxy. Yet that, with a big qualification, is the position taken by Nadieszda Kizenko, a history professor at the State University of New York, in the latest edition of Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign … [Read more...]

Getting Married at the Bottom of the World: Trinity Church in Antarctica

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Source: Slate By Atlas Obscura From the scorching deserts of Sinai to the frozen tundras of Siberia, Orthodox Christianity has a history of building its churches and monasteries in inhospitable places. But only a few can rival Trinity Church on King George Island. The southernmost Orthodox church in the world, Trinity was built near Bellingshausen Station, Russia's permanent outpost in Antarctica. In the mid-1990s Patriarch Alexius II of Moscow gave his blessing for this audacious … [Read more...]

Resurgent Russia: The Hope of Persecuted Christians

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Source: Virtue Online By Ralph H. Sidway, guest contributor Scarcely a day goes by now where we do not read of yet another in a constellation of initiatives being undertaken by both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian government on behalf of persecuted Christians and other victims in Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere in the world. For instance, on July 31 it was announced that a charitable drive launched at the end of June by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia had raised US$1.3 … [Read more...]