The Russian Orthodox Church expressed anxiety at alleged discrimination against Christians and members of other religious communities in various countries. At a roundtable at the headquarters in Vienna of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Representation to European Institutions, pointed out alleged problems experienced by Christians in Turkey, the Northern part of Cyprus and Kosovo.
The authorities of Madrid will soon transfer a land plot for construction a Russian Orthodox church, Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón Jimenes said at the ceremony of presenting the symbolic golden key to Madrid to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. "We are very pleased that Moscow and Madrid are sister cities, and that our cooperation also involves other large cities. We would like to further strengthen these ties", he said.
President of the Ukrainian Association for Religious Freedom Victor Yelensky predicts that Christianity will soon completely "lose its European exclusivity". "By mid-century the ten countries with the most Christian population will include the USA, China, Brazil, Congo, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Ethiopia, and Uganda", he stated in his interview published by NG-Religii newspaper on Wednesday.
The European Court of Human Rights Tuesday ruled Turkey had violated the property rights of a Greek Orthodox foundation by seizing its land and ordered the government to pay damages. Judges said Turkey had breached the European Convention on Human Rights by barring the foundation from registering its title to a church and surrounding lands on the Aegean island of Bozcaada, a statement from the court said.
In work session on Wednesday, 25 February 2009, the Holy Synod adopted unanimously, Case no. 638/2009 regarding the issue of new electronic passports that include biometric data:
1. 1. Take note of the letter no. 638 of 28 January 2009 Patriarch Daniel to the Ministry of Administration and Interior, which requires some clarification about the new electronic passports that include biometric data.