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.
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”.
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 Church12. April 2016 - 12:59
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.
“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.
On March 30, 2016, as part of the program “Spiritual Bonds,” a reliquary of the great saint of the 20th century, St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, was brought to Christ the Savior Cathedral in Kaliningrad, Russia.