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Source: Orthodox Church in America SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS] It is with heavy hearts that the Saint Tikhon’s community learned of the Very Reverend Dr. Alexander Atty’s decision to step down as Dean and Chief Operating Officer of the Seminary due to issues of illness. In a statement released to the community on Tuesday evening, Father Alexander said: “I feel at this time that my physical struggles make it impossible for me to devote the time and energy necessary to the Seminary and, most importantly, to the student body.” Father Alexander went on to describe the great blessings he had…

AsiaNews  | Nina Achmatova Posted  by Alex Murphy Moscow (AsiaNews) – Relations between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Church in recent years are experiencing a ” positive trend,” due to the “clear recognition of the need to join forces in defence of traditional Christian values ​​and counter some threats of modernity, such as the ‘aggressive secularism which threatens the moral basis of social and private life, the crisis of family values ​​and the persecution and discrimination of Christians in the world”. This overview of inter-Christian dialogue, and in particular with the Catholic Church, was given by the Patriarch of Moscow,…

Source: Romania-Insider.com Over 20 NGOs have asked the Romanian Parliament to put an end to financing religious groups to the tune of EUR 540 million every year. The funds – around 0.4 percent of the country’s GDP – should be directed to education, research and health. The 23 NGOs which signed the letter to Parliament reminded of the debt on the drug market, of 0.3 percent of the GDP. “In a secular state like Romania it is not normal to have hundreds of millions of euros taken away from state, local and central authorities and from the country’s real needs,…

Source: The Washington Times DALLAS February 5, 2013 – In a surpise move, a commission of the Turkish Parliament last week accepted a petition from a Turkish citizen to reopen the Hagia Sophia as a place of worship for Muslims. The center of Orthodox worship in the Eastern Roman Empire for over a thousand years (360 – 1453), the Church of the Holy Wisdom, more commonly known by its Greek name Hagia Sophia, has been a museum since 1935 and draws millions of visitors every year. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, it became the first…

Source: Orthodox Church in America YONKERS, NY [SVOTS Communications] Priests, chaplains, and other professionals in ministry may now earn an accredited Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree online through a new program at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY.The hybrid program, which combines distance learning with one–week, on–campus intensives, is bridging a gap for students who cannot reside full time on campus. The program will begin in fall 2013, and applications now are being accepted. “Pastors today face immense challenges,” emphasized the Rev. Dr. J. Sergius Halvorsen, assistant professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at Saint Vladimir’s and the program’s director.…

Source: Smithsonian.com In 1978, Soviet geologists prospecting in the wilds of Siberia discovered a family of six, lost in the taiga By Mike Dash Siberian summers do not last long. The snows linger into May, and the cold weather returns again during September, freezing the taiga into a still life awesome in its desolation: endless miles of straggly pine and birch forests scattered with sleeping bears and hungry wolves; steep-sided mountains; white-water rivers that pour in torrents through the valleys; a hundred thousand icy bogs. This forest is the last and greatest of Earth’s wildernesses. It stretches from the furthest…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, hosted His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian, Administrator of the [Moscow] Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America here on Tuesday, January 29, 2013. ROCOR Metropolitan Hilarion presents Metropolitan Tikhon with panagia of the Kursk Icon of the Mother of God. According to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, Metropolitan Hilarion, who had just returned from a visit to Australia, officially greeted Metropolitan Tikhon on the occasion of…

Source: The St. Petersburg Times By Yekaterina Kravtsova MOSCOW – A demonstration outside the State Duma on Tuesday ended in fisticuffs as Orthodox activists clashed with opponents of a bill targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Police and at least one Duma deputy intervened to halt the violence. About 30 LGBT activists met at noon on Georgiyevsky Pereulok for an event they called “Kissing Day” to protest a proposed ban on “homosexual propaganda.” Gay and lesbian couples posed for photographs at the entrance to the Duma building while kissing. But Orthodox activists showed up at the event and tried…

Source: The Daily Star – Lebanon JERUSALEM: Archbishop Nurhan Manougian has been elected the 97th Armenian Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, one of the five custodians of Christian religious sites in the Holy Land, sources told AFP on Thursday. Manougian, 65, replaces Torkom Manougian, who died aged 93 in October 2012, after falling into a coma following a stroke. The new patriarch will lead the small Armenian Orthodox communities in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, as well as take responsibility for parts of holy sites including the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. He was elected with 17 votes in…

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America WASHINGTON – His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America participated today in the National Inaugural Prayer Service in the Capital’s National Cathedral with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the Members of the U.S. Congress in attendance. As it has been the case in previous Presidential Inaugurations, the Archbishop was among the select national religious leaders participating in this service. The National Prayer Service is a tradition dating back to the Inauguration of George Washington. To Watch the C-SPAN video of the Prayer Service go to: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/310530-1 (for His Eminence particiapation forward to…

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