A radical Jabhat al-Nusra "opposition" group, which occupied the small Christian town of Ma'loula in Syria in the last months of 2013, desecrated absolutely all shrines of the town, reports al Hadas portal with the reference to materials of the al Akhbar Lebanese newspaper.
According to evidence of eyewitnesses who fled from Ma'loula during the latest warfare in the region, members of al Nusra tried to change the religious and architectural-historical look of the ancient Christian town entirely: completely destroying some churches, the militants brought down all bells from other ones. The fate of two other world-famous monuments of Ma'loula was no less tragic: extremists blew up the statue of Christ the Savior, which had stood at the entrance of St. Thecla Convent, as well as the statue of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, which had stood close to the Safir hotel, the latter of which served as the main shelter for Takfirists for many months.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will travel to Istanbul on Monday 13 January 2014 to visit Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
As Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, the Ecumenical Patriarch is primus inter pares (first among equals) in the Eastern Orthodox communion.
Didn’t send your Christmas cards out yet? Still looking for the perfect gift? No worries if you follow the Julian calendar – you still have about 24 hours. Hundreds of Sacramentans don’t celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25; they celebrate the birth of Christ today and continue celebrating through tomorrow.
Sacramentans who launched their Christmas holiday last night include some Russians, Serbians, Ethiopians, Georgians, Coptic Christians from Egypt, Armenians and other followers of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, said the Rev. Dino Pappademos of Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Elk Grove.
Epiphany, in Greek “Theophania” or “Fota,” is one of the most important days for the Orthodox world and it is celebrated in January 6.
According to the Orthodox tradition, this day indicates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Traditionally, a priest throws a cross in the water and the men of the area jump in to catch it. The first man who catches the holy cross will gain good luck and the blessing of the priest.
This decision was made by the city administration together with the Diocese of Volgograd, reports V1.ru.
This was reported by the mayor of Volgograd Irina Guseva after a prayer service before the myrrh-streaming Icon of the Theotokos "Seven arrows", or "Softening of Evil Hearts", which was performed on January 2 in the Volgograd administration by Dean of the Kazan Cathedral Archpriest Vyacheslav Zhebelev, with the blessing of Metropolitan German of Volgograd and Kamyshin.