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Source: The National Herald Though we often agree that the New York Times, long regarded as “the paper of record” lives up to its tagline, “all the news that’s fit to print,” we believe that in the case of its October 31 story regarding the soon-to-be rebuilt St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero, the Times has fallen short of that standard. The Times’ acknowledgment that St. Nicholas’ design, as created by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, was inspired by the Agia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora – both early Christian churches – it points…

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America We are pleased to share a statement of the North American Orthodox Catholic Theological Consultation on the plight of Christians in the Middle East. October 31, 2013 Mississauga, ON – The North American Orthodox Catholic Theological Consultation issued a statement on the plight of Christians in the Middle East at their meeting in Mississauga, Ontario, Oct. 24-26, calling for the release of a Greek Orthodox Metropolitan and a Syriac Orthodox Archbishop, both from Aleppo, Syria, and repudiating the kidnapping, torture and killing of not only Christians but all civilians. The full statement is available…

Source: Reuters BY PHILIP PULLELLA VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25, an encounter that could help mend strained relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church. Russian-Vatican relations have been fraught since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, with Moscow accusing the Roman Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from the Russian Orthodox Church, a charge the Vatican denies. But Putin is the first Kremlin leader since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to publicly profess religious faith – to the Orthodox church – and has several times advocated ending the…

Source: IOCC Athens, Greece (IOCC) — His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece recently met with the Greek Minister of Health, Adonis Georgiadis, to announce support for Greek hospitals with the shipment of five containers of medical supplies valued at nearly $4 million. The Archbishop was joined by Apostoli General Director, Constantinos Dimtsas and IOCC Program Coordinator in Greece, Despina Katsivelaki, to discuss the most effective way to distribute the aid to benefit public hospitals facing shortages of essential medical supplies. Through the support of The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc. and its “Give for Greece” Challenge Gift to International…

Source: SETimes.com An exchange between the Assyrian Orthodox Church and the police directorate raised hopes of ending what some describe as discriminatory practices. By Menekse Tokyay for SES Türkiye in Istanbul A recent exchange between the police directorate-general and a leader in the Assyrian Orthodox Church spurred new hope that public sector institutions will openly accept non-Muslims. Although there is no official ruling or policy that prevents non-Muslims from public service, there have been very few non-Muslim police, army officers or judges. The non-Muslim population is estimated at about 100,000, including 60,000 Armenians, 23,000 Jews, and 15,000 Syriacs. Turkey’s population…

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 instrument is … While we continue to discuss our differences in the comfortable atmosphere of conferences and theological dialogues, the question resounds ever more resolutely: will Christian civilization survive at all?”…

Source: The Chicago Tribune Documents detail spending from fund entrusted to priest; Milwaukee officials investigating By Alexandra Chachkevitch and Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune reporters Even after retiring to Florida, Ervin and Margaret Franczak stayed in regular contact with their longtime priest back in Milwaukee. Especially after Ervin died in 2001, the Rev. James Dokos looked after Margaret, visiting her on occasion and sending poinsettias at Christmas, friends said. Records show she even updated her will to leave Dokos her condo and her car — part of a charitable trust the couple established whose value topped more than $1.2 million. Documents…

Source: Catholic Online By Deacon Keith Fournier Sadad is a small town of 15,000 people, mostly Syriac Orthodox Christians, located 160 km north of Damascus. It has 14 churches and a monastery with four priests. We have shouted to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers? I think of all those who are suffering today in mourning and discomfort: We ask everyone to pray for us. (Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh) SADAD, Syria (Catholic Online) – We have regularly covered the plight of Christians in Syria and…

Source: Huffington Post DIAA HADID BEIRUT (AP) — In the midst of a conflict rife with sectarianism, a giant bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions in the country’s civil war. Jesus stands, arms outstretched, on the Cherubim mountain, overlooking a route pilgrims took from Constantinople to Jerusalem in ancient times. The statue is 12.3 meters (40 feet) tall and stands on a base that brings its height to 32 meters (105 feet), organizers of the project estimate. That the statue made it to Syria and went…

Source: The Christian Post BY STOYAN ZAIMOV, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER An Eritrean Christian woman who was tortured in prison has revealed that her faith helped her get through the darkest of times, describing the experience as a “honeymoon with Jesus.” “When we visited Gabriella at home, she stood up from her seat to welcome us. We immediately saw how much weight she had lost in prison. We could see that she had suffered much. But despite the weakness, Gabrielle looked to us like a soldier who has returned from war victorious. Her joy was very visible and quite overwhelming. We asked…

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