Orthodox Churches

Joint Declaration by Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece

We, Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, have met on the Greek island of Lesvos to demonstrate our profound concern for the tragic situation of the numerous refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who have come to Europe fleeing from situations of conflict and, in many cases, daily threats to their survival. World opinion cannot ignore the colossal humanitarian crisis created by the spread of violence and armed conflict, the persecution and displacement of religious and ethnic minorities, and the uprooting of families from their homes, in violation of their human dignity and their fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The tragedy of forced migration and displacement affects millions, and is fundamentally a crisis of humanity, calling for a response of solidarity, compassion, generosity and an immediate practical commitment of resources.  From Lesvos, we appeal to the international community to respond with courage in facing this massive humanitarian crisis and its underlying causes, through diplomatic, political and charitable initiatives, and through cooperative efforts, both in the Middle East and in Europe.

Church-state delegation visits Syria

Church-state delegation visits Syria
Church-state delegation visits Syria
Church-state delegation visits Syria
Church-state delegation visits Syria

A delegation of Russian parliamentarians, members of the inter-factional group for defending Christian values, was on a visit to Syria from April 9 to 12, 2016. It included S. Gavrilov (State Duma), A. Yuschenko (Council of the Federation and State Duma), D. Sablin (Council of the Federation), and Ms. N. Kuskova and Ms. Ye. Averkova, members of the Committee for Solidarity with the Peoples of Syria and Iraq. With the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR), the delegation was joined by Hegumen Arseny (Sokolov), representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Hieromonk Stephan (Igumnov), DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations.

The Feast of Annunciation of Theotokos in Nazareth

The Feast of Annunciation of Theotokos in Nazareth
The Feast of Annunciation of Theotokos in Nazareth
The Feast of Annunciation of Theotokos in Nazareth
The Feast of Annunciation of Theotokos in Nazareth

On Thursday, the 25th of March/7th of April 2016, the feast of the Annunciation of Theotokos was observed by the Patriarchate in panegyric memory of the fact that the Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Mariam, the pure daughter of Nazareth, and addressing her “Rejoice, O Full of Grace”, told her that by the Holy Spirit she would conceive the Son the of God, to which she replied “I am the servant of the Lord, may your word to me be fulfilled”.

International exhibition of Orthodox icons to be held in Paris

An exhibition of Romanian and Bulgarian Orthodox icons will be held in Paris from April 21 till May 26, 2016, reports Sedmitza.ru with reference to the Orthodoxie.com French Orthodox website.

The exhibition will be held under the auspices of the ambassador of Bulgaria to France. The exposition is being organized by the Bulgarian Orthodox parish of St. Euthymius of Tarnovo in Paris with the blessing of Metropolitan Anthony of Western and Central Europe (the Bulgarian Orthodox Church).

Only 37.9% of the places of worship built in Romania after 1989 belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church

The Romanian State Secretariat for Religious Affairs has recently published a centralized analysis regarding the number of places of worship in Romania, as at 31 December 2015. These statistics offer the possibility of a quantitative comparison between religious denominations and have the advantage of clarifying an aspect that has been more and more invoked as problematic: building churches.

King Abdullah II of Jordan funds Holy Sepulchre restoration work

“His Majesty King Abdullah II has issued a Royal Benefaction (makruma) to provide for the restoration of Jesus’ Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, at His Majesty’s personal expense.” The news was announced by Jordanian press agency Petra, which says that the Hashemite Court sent an official letter to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III. It will therefore be a Muslim sovereign and direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad who will foot part of the bill for the restoration of the niche in the Holy Sepulchre, the place of Jesus’ burial and resurrection in Jerusalem, which has, for centuries, been the most venerated Christian shrine in the world.