Russian Orthodox Church Seeks to Heal Centuries-Old Schism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...]