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Source: American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association WASHINGTON, DC –  Anthony Kouzounis, supreme president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest and oldest membership-based association for the nation’s millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, issued the following statement on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s release of its 2014 Annual Report on April 30: “The return of Turkey’s designation to ‘Tier Two’ country status rectifies to some extent the Commission’s egregious and disappointing designation last year that significantly upgraded Turkey to a country that simply needed to be ‘monitored.’ “The Commission’s 2014 report properly documents many…

Source: BSANNA News Bucharest, May 7. /AGERPRES/. Fifteen years ago, Pope John Paul II conducted, between May 7-9, for the first time, a visit to Romania, a country predominantly Christian Orthodox in faith. It was the first visit of a Pope in Romania. ‘It is for the first time that Divine Providence offered me the possibility to make an apostolic journey to a country predominantly orthodox’, said Pope John Paul II, thanking Patriarch Teoctist of the Romanian Orthodox Church, as the latter greeted him on the airport. During his pontificate, Pope John Paul II conducted a great number of trips…

Source: Greek Reporter by Theodora Matsaidoni Elder Paisios the Athonite (1924-1994), one of the greatest and most revered Elders of the Orthodox Church of our time, is well-known for his spiritual teachings. His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announced that the Holy Mountain Elder will be formally canonized as a saint. Elder Amphilochios (Makris) of Patmos, Elder Sophrony (Sakharov) of Essex, Elder Ephraim of Katounakia and Elder Iakovos Tsalikis are anticipated to follow as well. “The Orthodox Church serves a higher Truth, which has nothing to do with myths and speculations,” said His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch, denying all…

Source: Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) By Nina Shea | Fox News On Wednesday, May 7, history is being made. On behalf of the suffering churches of Egypt, Iraq and Syria, a broad array of American Christians, with a degree of unity rarely seen since the Council of Nicaea in 325, have joined together in a “pledge of solidarity and call to action.” In the “We the People” tradition, the pledge is a grass roots effort, with input from many sources. It is being released publicly on Wednesday morning by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), but it does not…

Source: CatholicCulture.org Catholic World News – May 07, 2014 The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church has written to Pope Francis, proposing that Catholics and Orthodox agree on a date for the celebration of Easter, the Fides news service reports. Coptic Pope Tawadros II sent his message to Pope Francis on the anniversary of their first meeting in Rome. In return, the Roman Pontiff asked the Egyptian prelate to send a representative to attend the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops. A shared date for Easter celebrations would be a boon to Christians in the Middle East, where Catholic and…

Source: Interfax Moscow, May 7, Interfax – A senior bishop has appealed to the international community and the Ukrainian government to protect the Ukrainian Orthodox community that is part of the Russian Orthodox Church from violence. “Today the Orthodox Church, its clergy and its believers are targets of open provocations and threats. The mass media are disseminating untrue information about the Orthodox Church, sowing hostility toward it and hatred for it among the population,” the Moscow-run Orthodox Church’s Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa and Izmail said in a letter to UN envoys to Ukraine, the mission in Odessa of the Organization…

Source: Congressman Frank Wolf UPDATED MEDIA ADVISORY  AMERICAN CHRISTIAN LEADERS “PLEDGE” TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH IMPERILED CHRISTIAN AND OTHER RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IN EGYPT, SYRIA AND IRAQ  Press Conference 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 7, 2014 234 Cannon House Office Building  Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), co-chairs of the bipartisan Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, will host a press conference at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7 on Capitol Hill featuring several prominent American Christian leaders who will be releasing a Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action on behalf of Christians and other religious…

Source: Uexpress.com Originally published on April 9, 2014 by Terry Mattingly Father Seraphim Aldea is so committed to building the first Orthodox monastery in the Scottish isles in more than a millennium that he did something no monk searching for solitude would ever, ever do. “I learned how to use that dreadful Facebook thing,” he said. The Romanian monk has already been handed an abandoned Church of Scotland sanctuary on Mull Island. While Kilninian was built in 1755, it appears in 1561 records as a site associated with the great Monastery of St. Columba on Iona. Thus, this property may…

Source: CatholicPhilly.com BY FRANCIS X. ROCCA Catholic News Service ROME (CNS) — The Orthodox bishop who is coordinating the upcoming pilgrimage to Jerusalem by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said he hopes the patriarch’s May 25 meeting with Pope Francis will give new impetus to efforts for Christian unity. But he also said the two leaders are likely to discuss a range of common concerns, including the predicament of Christians in the Middle East, conservation of the natural environment, and defense of the traditional family. “We hope that this will not just be a meeting like others, but we hope…

Source: St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary In fall 2012 St. Vladimir’s Seminary began requiring all incoming Master of Divinity students to complete one full unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), as a means to strengthen their pastoral abilities. Now seminary Trustee Emeritus Brian Gerich, Hon. D.H.L., is further supporting seminarians in their pastoral training, by paying for hospital fees related to their CPE programs. Dr. Gerich recently pledged $20,000. Dr. Al Rossi directs Field Education a year for the next few years to underwrite the fees, which can exceed $1,000 per student. Students who have successfully completed their CPE training from the spring…

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