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Source: Greek Reporter A video from 2022 that came to light recently shows fragments falling on visitors from the dome of Hagia Sophia, the former epicenter of Christian worship at Constantinople, today’s Istanbul. The footage released by the Turkish newspaper, BirGün, raises serious questions over the safety of the former Orthodox Christian cathedral, now a mosque. BirGün notably quoted officials as saying that “pieces are falling from the roof, due to the humidity created by the crowd, but no precautions are being taken”. The president of the Turkish Art History Association, Serif Yasar, argued for restoration of the monument as soon as…

Source: U.S. Religion Census The book, “U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Adherents,” is now available for download free of charge at: https://www.usreligioncensus.org/sites/default/files/2023-10/2020_US_Religion_Census.pdf This unique publication offers national, state, and county-level information and statistics on congregations and membership for 372 religious groups, including fourteen Eastern Orthodox and nine Oriental Orthodox Churches. The book’s ten chapters examine various aspects of church life in America and can also be downloaded individually at: https://www.usreligioncensus.org/node/1638 These chapters include: Quick Answers to Important Questions from the U.S. Religion Census Historical Efforts to Collect U.S. Data on Religious Congregations Trends in Adherents Data: 2010-2020 Patterns of Historical and Organizational Events and Conflict…

Source: The Moscow Times By Ksenia Luchenko The celebration of Orthodox Christmas in both Russia and Ukraine on Jan. 7 provided ample evidence of what the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War has called Russia’s weaponization of religion in its propaganda war against Ukraine. Just as Ukraine’s 2013 Maidan Uprising was seen by Vladimir Putin as a personal affront, the 2018 creation of an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church to replace the Moscow-aligned Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate, has not been forgiven by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, who was left fearing a domino effect should other regional churches seek to break…

Source: Amazon The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Orthodox Christianity, by Rev. Fr. Eugen Pentiuc, investigates the various ways in which Orthodox Christian, i.e., Eastern and Oriental, communities, have received, shaped, and interpreted the Christian Bible. The handbook is divided into five parts: Text, Canon, Scripture within Tradition, Toward an Orthodox Hermeneutics, and Looking to the Future. The first part focuses on how the Orthodox Church has never codified the Septuagint or any other textual witnesses as its authoritative text. Textual fluidity and pluriformity, a characteristic of Orthodoxy, is demonstrated by the various ancient and modern Bible translations into…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Aristotle Papanikolaou Amidst the culture wars, the word “traditionalist” has gained currency and has been co-opted in a variety of ways. Broadly, it is a self-naming mostly by those who identify as religious and are seemingly faithful to their religious tradition in the face of attacks either against religion in general or by others within their religious tradition who challenge various givens of that tradition. For the Orthodox Christian crowd, a very simple example would suffice: a self-named traditionalist would typically oppose the ordination of women to the diaconate, while a non-traditionalist—usually called, pejoratively, a liberal—might…

by Aykhan Hasanov The Republic of Azerbaijan is a Caspian coastal state in the Southern Caucasus which re-established its independence upon the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia, Azerbaijan acts as a bridge-builder in the dialogue of both civilizations. Historical background, geographical position, and population’s ethnic composition gave rise to the existence of various religions on its territory. At certain periods, idolatry, fire-worship, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and a number of other beliefs spread across to varying degrees, mutual influence of which had drawn up the originality of country’s religious…

Source: The Tribune BUCHAREST, Romania — More than 90 percent of those who took part in a national referendum in Romania supported defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but the vote was invalidated as too few people cast ballots, officials said Monday. The Central Electoral Commission said near-final results showed 91.61 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment to change the definition of marriage — it currently says it’s a union between “spouses.” But the ballot failed to attract the minimum 30 percent turnout for the result to stand. Election officials said just 20.41 percent…

Source: Orthodox Christian Laity The Laity must find its voice to renew Orthodox Christianity in USA. The appointed donor elites, the clerical handlers, the old world governments, synods and patriarchates, the Assembly of Bishops, who refuse to assume responsibility to establish canonical order, and the apathetic laity, all bear responsibility for the malaise, bankruptcy and mortgaging of the Institutions established by our grandparents. The status quo is unacceptable. Renewal involves open and free discussion by those who have been blocked out of governance, including hierarchs, clergy and laity across jurisdictions. Millions of dollars will be expended in the next few…

Source: Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University BY PATRICK VEREL Fordham’s Orthodox Christian Studies Center has secured two grants totaling $610,000 that will be used to fund a multiyear research project devoted toward the issue of human rights. One grant, for $360,000, comes from the Henry Luce Foundation, while the other, for $250,000, comes from Leadership 100. The center received the Leadership 100 grant in February, and the Luce grant in March. The Center will use the grants to fund an interdisciplinary, international research initiative on Orthodox Christianity’s complex, even turbulent, engagement with human rights discourse. Center co-director George Demacopoulos, Ph.D., professor of theology and the Father…

Source: Pew Research Center Originally published on November 8, 2017 Concentrated in Europe, Orthodox Christians have declined as a percentage of the global population, but Ethiopian community is highly observant and growing Over the last century, the Orthodox Christian population around the world has more than doubled and now stands at nearly 260 million. In Russia alone, it has surpassed 100 million, a sharp resurgence after the fall of the Soviet Union. Yet despite these increases in absolute numbers, Orthodox Christians have been declining as a share of the overall Christian population – and the global population – due to…

Source: Patheos Orthodox Christian Concerns: A Lament for Our Millennial Daughters By Jennifer Nahas Originally posted on January 16, 2015 What is best about the Orthodox Church—holding true to early teachings and traditions—also presents its greatest challenge: making sure tradition doesn’t trump appropriate treatment of others. While many prize the richness of the Orthodox Church, our traditions can lead to exclusion of some from fully participating in the community of Christ.  It’s a fine line, preserving ancient rites without marginalizing particular groups, within a patriarchal structure, and is ripe for discussion, particularly as it pertains to women. Many Orthodox Christians immigrated…

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