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Source: BosNewsLife Listen to this BosNewsLife News report via Vatican Radio: http://www.bosnewslife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/warnow.mp3 By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife KYIV, UKRAINE (BosNewsLife)– The influential Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) says it has removed prayers for the government from its liturgy, after as many as 100 people died when a truce broke down between security forces and anti-government protesters.Thursday’s clashes came while European Union ministers attempted to talk with the embattled president Viktor Yanukovich. Central Kyiv turned into a war zone. Demonstrators were running for cover as snipers and other security forces attacked them. Protesters, some of them wearing helmets, rushed…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] – In response to a letter from the Orthodox Church in the Czech Lands and Slovakia, dated January 13, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, sent a congratulatory message to Sister Church’s newly elected Primate, Metropolitan-elect Rastislav, Archbishop of Presov and Slovakia. Metropolitan-elect Rastislav was elected at the 13th General Assembly of the Church in the Czech Lands and Slovakia on January 11, 2014. “I accept this result of the elections as my service to our Orthodox community which, after the abdication of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Christopher, found itself in a challenging ecclesial…

Source: Press Republican By Terry Mattingly, On Religion  This elderly patriarch’s image is striking, with his stern face and a gray beard that flows over his chest, contrasting with the colorful clothing typical of his flock and his unique line of work. Just before Christmas, he created a stir with a blunt statement on a very controversial issue. No, this wasn’t the Duck Commander in Louisiana. This patriarch resides in the city his followers formally refer to as Constantinople-New Rome. “The Lord appointed the marriage of male and female in the blessed family,” proclaimed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, while discussing Mary,…

Source: RIA Novostil MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) – The proportion of Russians who consider themselves Orthodox Christians has risen four-fold in the past 24 years, according to a new survey. Two out of three Russians now regard themselves as Orthodox Christians compared to just one in six in 1989, when the Soviet Union was nearing dissolution. The poll of 1,603 people by the independent Levada Center found that 68 percent described themselves as Orthodox Christian now, up from 17 percent in 1989. The proportion identifying themselves as Muslim has also risen from about 1 percent in 1991 to 7…

Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] The Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Christian Education [DCE] has several resources available for individual and group study that focus on the upcoming Great Feasts of Nativity and Theophany. In addition to over a dozen scripts and resources that provide ideas for Nativity Pageants and “yolkas” at dce.oca.org/resources/plays, several new resources are now available.  Among them are the following. Calling All Ancestors of Christ to the Feast of His Nativity: A rhyming poem written by Father Daniel Kovalak, in the style of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” this charming piece reviews the Ancestors of Christ,…

Source: Asia News by Nina Achmatova The idea is to amend the Charter to enter Christianity as “the foundation of national identity and cultural heritage of Russia.” The Patriarchate supports the initiative , but calls will be addressed in a public debate . Defending human rights warns it is likely to raise a “civil war” in the minds of people. Moscow (AsiaNews) – The proposal of some lawmakers to amend the Constitution to insert, in its preamble, the exclusive role of the Orthodox Church in Russia has generated heated debate in a multi-religious country where issues related to the coexistence…

Source: Huffington Post By Naomi O’Leary (Reuters) – Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff. The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March. In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry…

Source: Global Post [Agence France-Presse] With a queue stretching at least a kilometre, a hi-tech exhibition giving a rosy view of the house of Romanov and jointly organised by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin has drawn tens of thousands of visitors in central Moscow. In another sign of the power of the Russian Orthodox Church in post-Soviet Russia, it is a holy icon which has drawn the crowds as much as nostalgia for Russia’s ousted by the monarchy. But historians say the authorities — who are fond of mixing both Soviet and Tsarist symbols to project Russian power…

Source: The National Herald To The Editor, I wish to thank and commend The National Herald for calling the attention of its readers to the work of the internationally-known iconographer, Sirio Tonelli, through its recent article describing the work the Tonelli Studio is executing for the newly dedicated church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Southampton, NY (Nov. 9). Your description of Tonelli as “an artistic renaissance man imbued body and soul in Byzantine iconography” is not only accurate but is also one regularly appreciated by Greek Orthodox Christians attending the many churches you mention that are adorned by…

Source: inSerbia A group of female MPs of the European Parliament asked Greece recently to abolish a regulation, according to which women are strictly forbidden to visit the Holy Mountain, its twenty monasteries and 2,500 monks. The request says that the law “violates gender equality and introduces discrimination against women, which is not consistent with democracy”. At the same time, ads appeared in Serbian media, offering to take women on the “pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain” at the price of EUR 100 – 200. In this way, a question of women going to the Holy Mountain and the monastery of…

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