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Source: The National Herald ISTANBUL (AMNA) – The Ecumenical Patriarchate criticized the “intervention” by the Patriarch of Moscow in its affairs through statements and demarches made in favor of Vatopedi Monastery abbot Ephraim, reiterating that Mt. Athos belongs under the Church of Constantinople’s jurisdiction. An announcement issued at the Phanar after Tuesday’s meeting of the Synod stresses that Mount Athos is “normal territory” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. “It is comprised indeed of Orthodox monks of various nationalities, this however in no way attributes to it a pan-Orthodox character, allowing intervention of any kind in it by other Autocephalous Churches”. The…

Source: Orthodox Church in America MEXICO CITY, MEXICO [OCA] Faithful arrived early at the Cathedral of the Ascension here on Sunday, January 8, 2012, as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah presided at the Divine Liturgy and celebrated the Great Blessing of Water marking the diocese’s 40th anniversary. Concelebrating with Metropolitan Jonah were Bishop Alejo of Mexico; diocesan clergy from as far as Monterrey and Guadalajara; priests from the US who offer assistance to the diocese, including Archpriest Ernesto Rios of Port St. Lucie, FL and Priest Antonio Perdomo of McAllen, TX; a priest of the Patriarchate of Moscow; and Protodeacon Joseph…

Source: Interfax MOSCOW. Jan 3 (Interfax) – The construction of a Russian Orthodox culture and religious center in Paris will soon be started, Russian presidential property manager Vladimir Kozhin said. “A contract has already been signed with the company Bouygues, which will build the center. The work with the drawings is under way now. The construction itself will begin after the New Year’s,” Kozhin said in an interview with Interfax. A project presented by Manuel Yanovski’s Society of Architects and Developers (SADE, France) and Moscow-based Arch Group won the tender for building the Orthodox center in Paris. The project will…

Source: Journal of Church and State | Rev. Dr. Daniel Payne Introduction Upon the recent death of Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow and All Russia, Sergei Lavrov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry (RFM), stated, “It is impossible to overestimate the contribution of the Primate of the Church to strengthening the positions of our Fatherland in the world and enhancing the international prestige of Russia.”1 First and foremost, the signing of the 2007 Act of Canonical Communion of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) signaled “a new stage in [the Russian Foreign Ministry’s] efforts…

Source: New York Times | Sophia Kishkovsky MOSCOW — Among the thousands of Russian voices raised against the Kremlin this month after parliamentary elections widely dismissed as fraudulent, perhaps the most surprising was that of Patriarch Kirill I, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, who defended popular protests as a “lawful negative reaction” to corruption. Always a reliable pillar of support for the government of Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin and his United Russia Party, the powerful Orthodox Church has been noticeably — to some, shockingly — critical of the elections. Arguably the only major national institution outside the…

Source: Today’s Zaman 25 December 2011 / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL The thousands of Christians in Turkey began their Christmas celebrations on Dec. 24, and several religious ceremonies were held in different churches as political figures like the president and prime minister issued holiday messages. İstiklal Street was the center of activity where Christians gathered together to spend the evening. Some joined parties while many others went to church to pray. Many Catholics celebrated Christmas with a religious service on the night of Dec. 24 at St. Antuan Church on İstiklal Street. The evening Christmas Eve service commemorates the fact that…

Source: Greek Reporter | Stella Tsolakidou The Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki is taking an active part in reviving the Theological School of Halki in Istanbul. This trend has been supported by 30 professors of the Greek University, who will provide the Ecumenical Patriarchate with their knowledge and know-how (in terms of research and study) in order to propose alternative methods of rebuilding and renovating the School. This is a joint initiative of the University’s Deanery and the Technical Sciences Department of the University, which was officially announced during the meeting of Dean Yannis Mylopoulos with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in…

Source: The Wall Street Journal | Lucette Lagnado Kirolos Andraws had every reason to be excited about the January uprising in his native Egypt, figuring democracy would bring hope for young people like him. Then one day in February, says Mr. Andraws, a gang of thugs beat him and told him, “you deserve to die.” His offense, he says: refusing to convert to Islam. In late March, Mr. Andraws, a 23-year- old engineer, used a tourist visa to board an Egyptair flight for New York City. He let a room in a friend’s apartment, hired an immigration lawyer and applied…

Source: The London Daily News The Greek courts have ruled that a respected Orthodox Christian monk will be imprisoned over Christmas over a land dispute in northern Greece. Abbot Ephraim who leads the largest monastic order in the Orthodox Christian world, has strong links to the royal family in the United Kingdom, among others, and his supporters have threatened the Greek government with widespread protests to release the Abbot. Speaking to the London Daily News Bishop Athanasius of Limassol in Cyprus said: “The abbot has not been imprisoned yet and is now on his way to Athens, we hope the…

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