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Source: International Orthodox Christian Charities International Orthodox Christian Charities Response to the Crisis in Syria International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) supports one of the largest established networks to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid inside Syria where more than 12.2 million people are currently in need of assistance, 7.6 million of which are internally displaced. In addition to its work inside Syria, IOCC staff is working regionally to address the growing needs of more than 4 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Armenia, Greece, and Serbia, as well as people in need in those host countries. Responding to one of the worst…

Source: Israel National News Powerful Orthodox Church hails government decision to initiate airstrikes against rebels in Syria. Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church on Wednesday voiced support for Moscow’s decision to carry out air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State group (ISIS), calling it a “holy battle.” “The fight with terrorism is a holy battle and today our country is perhaps the most active force in the world fighting it,” said the head of the Church’s public affairs department, Vsevolod Chaplin, quoted by Interfax news agency. Chaplin explicitly said the Church backs Russia’s decision to deploy its airforce in Syria to…

Source: Conference of European Churches (CEC) Istanbul/Heybeliada From September 7 to 9 more than 40 human rights experts from across Europe journeyed to the hilltop theological school of Halki on the Turkish island of Heybeliada. Once the heart of theological education for the Orthodox world, the school closed in 1971 as a result of a ban on private higher education in Turkey. Arriving by plane, train, and even by foot, participants discussed and debated approaches to advancing freedom of religion or belief. Participants were drawn from CEC Member Churches, civil society, academia, and the European Institutions. Topics covered included the…

Source: The National Herald BY THEODORE KALMOUKOS One of the people who lived very close to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 was the leader of our Greek Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Demetrios. In the ensuing days, weeks, months… and beyond, the archbishop became a source of comfort to those who lost their loved ones in that horrific tragedy. Demetrios remembers the details quite vividly, and he shares those memories with The National Herald. “We were in Boston the day before, September 10, for the Constantine G. Karamanlis Chair in Hellenic and European Studies at The Fletcher…

Source: Middle East Eye (MEE) Far right groups across Europe are calling for Muslims not to be allowed in amid a huge refugee crisis Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church has called on its government not to let any more Muslim refugees into the country to prevent an “invasion”. The Balkan EU member has largely been bypassed by the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict and poverty, many of whom set off from Greece through neighbouring Macedonia and Serbia towards northern Europe. But Bulgaria has still seen Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis cross its southeastern border from Turkey. “We help refugees who have…

Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America Statement of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States Regarding the Draft Proposal of the Committee on Canonical Regional Planning  Presented at the Meeting of the Assembly of Bishops Convened in Chicago, IL September 15-17, 2015 The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America has always prayed for and been committed to unity and cooperation of all of the Orthodox Christians in North America. The unity that we seek is true Orthodox unity based on mutual respect, love and cooperation…

Source: CJAD 800AM by Andrew Brennan As the world tries to figure out how to respond to the millions of Syrian refugees fleeing war and strife, the leader of the Syrian Orthodox Church gave his take while in Laval on Sunday. “The world should unite in order to defeat terrorism and to restore peace to Syria, to Iraq and to the entire region,” said Morignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church. “I’m saddened by the fact that it took the photo of a young boy floating on the shore to draw the attention of the world to the…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity Will Canonical Order – Orthodox Christian Unity in the USA – Emerge from the Sixth Meeting of the Assembly of Bishops? Canonical Orthodox Churches have always been Churches in specific geographical areas.  Where the Bishop is, so too is the Church. The Church is not a colonial extension of bishops ruling or directing from other geographic areas.  Canonical order is bishops in a geographic area meeting as a Synod, electing their own head and working with clergy and laity to build up the body of Christ. This is not true for the Churches outside the boundaries…

Source: Ahram Online Our beloved lady: Exploring Egypt’s fascination with the Virgin Mary Dina Ezzat The Virgin Mary continues to be a figure of faith and fascination for Egyptians of different religious traditions The festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which took place on Saturday 15 August, received unprecedented recognition in the public sphere in Egypt. The festival is celebrated by Coptic Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and many other denominations worldwide, who believe that Mary was bodily taken up into heaven at the end of her life. Throughout Thursday, Friday and Saturday, a number of presenters on Egyptian radio…

Source: Crux High-ranking US Jesuit: Married priests would be healthy for the Church By Michael O’Loughlin National reporter A high-ranking US Jesuit says he wouldn’t be surprised if Pope Francis ushers in an era of married priests in the Roman Catholic Church, and says having the conversation would be “healthy” for the Church. “I used to say, ‘Well, it will change but probably not in my lifetime.’ And then Pope Francis came along, and what I see him doing is opening the avenues for discussion,” the Rev. Michael Garanzini, chancellor of Loyola University Chicago and the secretary for higher education…

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