Christian world

Report on Assyrians Under Kurdish Rule in Northeastern Syria

Syria’s disintegration as a result of the Syrian Civil War created the conditions for the rise of Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria, specifically in the governorates of Al-Hasakah and Aleppo. This region, known by Kurds as ‘Rojava’ (‘West’, in West Kurdistan), came under the control of the Kurdish socialist Democratic Union Party (abbreviated PYD) in 2012, after the strain of the civil war caused the weakened Syrian state to withdraw and leave the area under local militia control.

Roman Catholic – Oriental Orthodox Dialogue – 2017

The 14th meeting of the International Joint Commission For Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and Oriental Orthodox Churches took place in Rome from January 22-27 2017, hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches took part in the conference.  The Coptic Orthodox Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church,  the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Reception in Honor of the Diplomatic Body in Syria

On the occasion of the new year 2017, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II invited their Excellencies the Ambassadors, Charge d’Affaires and Diplomatic Representatives to a Formal Reception at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma.

The reception was attended by their Excellencies: Mario Cardinal Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, and the ambassadors or heads of missions of the following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Norway, Palestine, Spain, Sudan and Sweden.

Abandoned churches near site of Christ’s Baptism may open again

“Ghost” churches near the Jordan River, where St. John the Forerunner baptized the Lord Jesus Christ, could be reopened to pilgrims as part of an effort to remove booby-traps and land mines, reports Reuters.

Thousands of mines litter the river banks which once served as a war zone between Israel and Jordan. Following its 1967 capture of the West Bank, Israel booby-trapped some of the area’s seven now-abandoned Orthodox and Catholic churches as protection against Jordanian incursions.

Hungary to allocate funds for reconstruction of four Orthodox churches

Timed to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to Hungary, the government will adopt a resolution to allocate funds for the reconstruction of four Orthodox churches, stated Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Siyarto.

An important topic of the visit will be cooperation in the field of culture, reports RIA-Novosti. “We’re looking forward to Feb. 2 to adopt a government resolution on the reconstruction of four Orthodox churches in Hungary and the allocation of funding for it,” said Siyarto in an interview with the newspaper “Kommersant.”

Gay pride parade nixed in Arctic Circle

LGBT activists gave a notification of intention to hold two rallies and a march in the Russian town of Salekhard, the closest town to the Arctic Circe, 1200 miles northeast of Moscow. In its turn, town administration gave its refusal, reports Interfax-Religion.