Deputies of the Russian State Duma have proposed replacing the bells at St. Thekla Orthodox Monastery in Maaloula, Syria, reports Interfax-Religion. “We, the members of the committee and panel for the protection of Christian values have addressed the patriarch with an offer to replace the bells in place of those earlier stolen from the Monastery of St. Thekla,” said Sergei Gavrilov, head of the Duma committee for the development of civil society and religious organizations. The legislator added that he and other Duma deputies from the Syrian relations group had personally been to St. Thekla’s while in Syria to visit Russian troops there. They saw firsthand the consequences of its capture by terrorists.
500 Churches of all denominations have been converted into private homes in London since 2001, while 423 new mosques have appeared in that time, often in converted church buildings, according to the not-for-profit international policy council and think tank Gatestone Institute. “London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together,” according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of London’s leading Islamic clerics. The number of English identifying as Anglicans dropped by 1.7 million, from 21 to 17% between 2012 and 2014, while the number of Muslims grew by nearly a million, with converts often embracing the violence of Islam.
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on the occasion of Palms Sunday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma, Damascus.
A stash of bronze coins dating to the fifth through seventh centuries has been found on the highway leading to Jerusalem in an archaeological excavation that began in June 2016. Archaeologists believe the coins may have belonged to Christians fleeing the invading Persian forces, reports Christian Today. The coins discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority were easily dated as they bear the image of the Byzantine emperors during whose reign they were made. Three periods are represented in the find: the reigns of Emperor St. Justinian (483-565), Maurice (539-602), and Phocas (547-610). Each coin depicts its respective ruler in military dress and bearing a cross.
On 16th May 2017, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, accompanied byu His Eminence Narkissos Metropolitan of Accra and Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria and the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, visited Government House of the Great City of Alexandria, where he donated an elaborate bronze bust of Alexander the Great, a unique work by an artisit from Tinos, with the inxcription “Praxitelous”.