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...]

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...]

Putin Supports Orthodoxy

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Source: Sobornost MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised the role of Orthodox Christianity in the country’s history and congratulated the heads of the world’s Orthodox churches on the 1025th anniversary of the Christianization of Kievan Rus, a medieval state comprising parts of modern-day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. “The adoption of Christianity became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian … [Read more...]

Thousands queue in Russia to see religious relic

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Source: AFP BB News SAINT-PETERSBURG (AFP) - Around 65,000 people have queued for hours in Saint Petersburg to see a religious relic brought from Greece, officials said Saturday, in the latest sign of the Russian Orthodox Church's influence in post-Soviet Russia. The cross of Saint Andrew -- said to be a relic of the X-shaped cross on which Andrew the Apostle was crucified -- was placed in Saint Petersburg's Kazan Cathedral on Thursday after arriving from its historic home in Patras in … [Read more...]