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Source: Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, notes with sorrow and dismay new reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may convert the Hagia Sophia to a mosque. Hagia Sofia in Istanbul is known throughout the world as the Great Church of Christ. Built in the sixth century by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, Hagia Sophia was for nearly a thousand years the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the center of the Orthodox Faith, and the world’s most magnificent cathedral. Following the Muslim conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it was converted to…

Source: Orthodox Christianity Istanbul, March 13, 2019 – The Orthodox Churches have no right to speak on the matter of the Ukrainian crisis other than to affirm the decisions and actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, according to Patriarch Bartholomew’s reply to the Albanian Church that was recently published in Greek and subsequently in Russian. In December, Pat. Bartholomew wrote to the primates of the Orthodox Churches throughout the world, calling on them to recognize the results of December 15’s “unification council” that created a new ecclesiastical structure in Ukraine. On January 14, the Albanian Church responded that while it cannot accept…

Source: Hurriyet Daily News By ARIANA FERENTINOU “We have known you for years and we appreciate your devotion to the Mother Church. It needs the devotion and faithfulness of the ones who serve it, because it faces, especially these days, many problems and challenges and its privileges as the First Seated Church are being disputed and attacked passionately,” said His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew in a recent speech welcoming the appointment of a new bishop. It was his first public statement after he returned to Istanbul, from his bittersweet, week-long tour in Greece during which the ongoing crisis between the Autocephalous Church of…

Source: Associated Press By LEFTERIS PITARAKIS, HELENE FRANCHINEAU and SUZAN FRASER BUYUKADA ISLAND, Turkey –  Each morning, Erol Baytas checks for further damage on the imposing but derelict timber building on an island off Istanbul that for decades housed orphans from the minority Greek community. The scene on the hilltop on the island of Buyukada, the largest of the nine Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara, looks more like the shattered remains of a horror movie set than the majestic hotel and casino complex that it was originally intended to be. Parts of the roof have caved in, wooden…

Source: Department of External Church Relations – The Russian Orthodox Church On August 31, 2018, His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, arrived in Istanbul. The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church visited the Patriarchate of Constantinople, where, accompanied by Metropolitans Emmanuel of France and Bartholomew of Smyrna, as well as Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR) and Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman, he venerated the shrines of the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Protomartyr George. After that, a fraternal meeting took place at the building of the Patriarchate…

Source: Hurriyet Daily News ISTANBUL Patriarch Kirill of the Orthodox Church of Moscow visited Bartholomew I, the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church based in Istanbul, on Aug. 31 in an eleventh hour bid to prevent the Ukrainian church from being separated from Moscow. Against the backdrop of Patriarch Kirill’s suggestion to hold a conference on the matter, Patriarch Bartholomew said the issue had been debated for a long time and “they will go with the decision,” according to sources of the patriarchate in Istanbul. A senior official in the Orthodox Church in Istanbul also told the Associated Press reported on Aug. 31 that “there is no going back” in granting Ukrainian clerics ecclesiastic…

Source: The National Herald By TNH Staff Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has reprimanded Church of Bulgaria Patriarch Neophyte for supporting a breakaway church in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as “Macedonian,” with Greece still trying to settle a 26-year-long dispute with that country over what its name should be. The strongly worded statement by Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, came after the Bulgarian Church agreed to acknowledge and be the “mother church” of “Macedonia,” which is considered “schismatic” by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. “The action of the sister church of Bulgaria was wrong. It complicates…

Source: Last News from Russia Deputies of the state Duma supported the idea to return the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Turkish Orthodox Church. As reported by RIA «Novosti», said the head of the Duma Committee on property issues,coordinator of the Interfactional parliamentary group for the protection of Christian valuables Sergey Gavrilov. International campaign for the return of the Cathedral of the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been held for several years. The temple currently has the status of a Museum. The Deputy reminded that on 23 September 2015 in Moscow, was inaugurated the Moscow Cathedral mosque. «The significance of the event…

Source: Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the USA Istanbul—On Tuesday, June 16, 2015 His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew warmly received the Executive Committee of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America at the Phanar in Constantinople. During the meeting, which took place in a spirit of open exchange in the personal office of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the hierarchs reviewed with His All-Holiness the work of the Assembly of Bishops, especially as it relates to the overall work of its committees. Particular attention was given to the work of the Committees for Pastoral Practice and…

Source: Today’s Zaman A man attacked a church in the Kadıköy district of İstanbul with a Molotov cocktail on Tuesday, setting the building’s door on fire. In a video purporting to show the attack, the man is seen shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and “Revenge will be taken for Al-Aqsa Mosque” as he throws a bomb at the Aya Triada Orthodox Church in the Bahariye area of Kadıköy. The door of the church caught fire, but the blaze was extinguished shortly after the attack. The man was detained by police. [subscribe2]

Source: First Things THE GREAT COUNCIL OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN 2016 by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis A Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church has been scheduled for 2016. In March of 2014, the leaders of all the autocephalous (independent) Orthodox Churches met in Istanbul, the sacred see of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which historically (since at least the fifth century) coordinates such assemblies, facilitating unity while serving as a center of appeal among these churches. Arguably the foremost decision unanimously agreed upon at that assembly of church heads was the convocation of a Great Council in 2016, tentatively planned…

Source: Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Halki Seminary Once the world’s leading Eastern Orthodox seminary, Halki was closed by the Turkish government 43 years ago. The US and religious freedom activists want it reopened. But Turkish officials have long said that won’t happen until Greece improves conditions for Turkish minorities living there.  Transcript of Video KIM LAWTON (@KimLawtonRandE), correspondent: The Theological School of Halki was once the world’s leading Eastern Orthodox seminary. But it was closed by the Turkish government in 1971. More than 43 years later, the US government and many faith-based activists around the world are still waging a campaign to…