A church that dates to the Byzantine period which is paved with breathtakingly beautiful mosaics and a dedicatory inscription was exposed in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting near Moshav Nes-Harim, 5 kilometers east of Bet Shemesh (at the site of Horvat A-Diri), in the wake of plans to enlarge the moshav. According to archaeologist Daniel Ein Mor, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The site was surrounded by a small forest of oak trees and is covered with farming terraces that were cultivated by the residents of Nes-Harim. Prior to the excavation we discerned unusually large quantities of pottery sherds from the Byzantine period and thousands of mosaic tesserae that were scattered across the surface level."
Former captain of the Chernomorets Odessa football club has become a deacon of the Russian Orthodox Church. Kirlik's career in football finished last summer, when Chernomorets refused to prolong his contract. Before it, Kirlik had played for Metallist, Kremen, Niva and Arsenal clubs.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill plans to pay a fraternal call on local Orthodox Churches in capacity of newly elected Head of the Church in accordance with an age-long tradition. He expressed his wish Tuesday night at the annual reception held by the Greek Embassy on the occasion of Orthodoxy Sunday. Patriarch mentioned that the order of his visits would be identified in accordance with the diptych, the service list containing the names of primates of Orthodox Churches.
President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday signed a decree on the recreation of the New Jerusalem Monastery. The government was instructed to subsidise the monastery restoration fund from the federal budget starting in 2009.
Diplomats and hierarchs from Orthodox countries attended the Feast of Orthodoxy at the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on Sunday. The feast is celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine Rite to commemorate the return of icons to the churches.