The volatile and precarious situation of Christians in the Middle East was of deep concern to the members of the February 2011 meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee, and it will be highlighted in an upcoming conference on Christians in the Middle East to be held in Greece.
With the diminishing presence of Christians in the region, the Central Committee said in a public statement in February, the "conviviality among peoples from different faiths, cultures, civilizations, which is a sign of God's love for all humanity, will be endangered."
The Central Committee also called for a major conference on this issue for 2012. One part of this effort is an upcoming conference in Volos, Greece, from 20 to 22 June to explore the situation from a theological, ecumenical, cultural and political perspective.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia supports the idea of a multi-polar world and has called for Russia to become one of its poles.
"Politicians, economists are talking on the subject of multi-polarity. Everyone understands that the creation of a unipolar world with a single center of political and economic decision-making, could be dangerous for the entire globe, for all countries," the Patriarch said at a session on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Russian Peace Fund in Moscow, where he was awarded with this organization's golden medal.
Last Tuesday (May 3rd), in the midst of the Paschal season, His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Western American Diocese, presented an inspirational and engaging lecture at the Patriarch Athenagoras Institute, Berkeley University.? At 6pm Bishop Maxim presided over Vesperal Liturgy service at the chapel, followed by dinner. The lecture titled "Liberated from Bondage to Decay Through the Freedom (Romans 8:21): True Freedom as the Conquest of the Self", was dedicated in honor of St. Nikolaj Velimirovic Bishop of Zica, referred to as Serbia's New Chrysostom, whose feast day was celebrated that Tuesday.
Russian-Chinese consultations concerning contacts and cooperation in religious sphere held in Moscow10. June 2011 - 13:12
The first consultations of the Russian-Chinese group for contacts and cooperation in religious sphere were held on June 8, 2010, at the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations.
Background: in November 2009, a delegation of Russia's Presidential Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations, which included representatives of the Department for External Church Relations, visited China at the invitation of China's State Administration for Religious Affairs, to discuss the development of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the religious sphere in accordance with the 2009-2012 Action Plan for Implementation of the Treaty of Good-neighbourly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation between the two countries.
The Chinese constitution guarantees freedom of religious confession, but in recent months about dozens of members of Christian churches was arrested. From seventy million Christians in China, about 50 million Christians belong to non-registered groups, while others belong to churches that were approved by the state.