St Innocent of Alaska (March 31)

St. Innocent was born in 1797 to a poor family in a remote village in a rural area of Irkutsk Province in Russia, and named Ioann (John). He was orphaned at the age of six, and assigned to the seminary at Irkutsk at nine. Shortly after he arrived, the relics of St. Innocent of Irkutsk were found, whose name and apostolic ministry young Ioann later would inherit. He was a hard working and outstanding student, who also was seen as humble and kind, and for these qualities he was given the name of Veniaminov after the late Bishop Veniamin of Irkutsk who was beloved by the faithful.

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Hieromartyr Philip the Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia

Saint Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow, in the world Theodore, was descended from the illustrious noble lineage of the Kolichevi, occupying a prominent place in the Boyar duma at the court of the Moscow sovereigns. He was born in the year 1507. His father, Stephen Ivanovich, «a man enlightened and filled with military spirit,» attentively prepared his son for government service. Theodore’s pious mother Barbara, who ended her days as a nun with the name Barsanouphia, implanted in the soul of her son a sincere faith and deep piety. Young Theodore Kolichev applied himself diligently to the Holy Scripture and to the writings of the holy Fathers. The Moscow Great Prince Basil III, the father of Ivan the Terrible, brought …

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New Mosque Project Sparks Controversy In Moscow

MOSCOW — People in a southeastern Moscow district have begun a campaign to stop the construction of a new mosque, RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

More than 1,000 people in the Russian capital’s Tekstilshchiki district signed a petition on September 11 protesting plans for the construction of a new mosque in the area.

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Swiss Theologian Gabriel Bunge Becomes Orthodox

Fr. Gabriel Bunge was a Benedictine monk in Switzerland who had been living the eremitical life since 1980. As a Patristics scholar, he has contributed many articles and books to numerous spiritual and monastic journals.

On August 27, 2010 Fr. Gabriel converted to Orthodoxy in the presence of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk and Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia during an All-Night Vigil at the Church of the ”Joy of All Who Sorrow” Icon in Bolshaya Ordynka Street in Moscow.

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Moscow authorities discuss plans to build 200 Orthodox churches

MOSCOW, August 30 (Itar-Tass) – A total of 200 Orthodox churches are expected to be built in Moscow’s residential areas.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov took a decision to this effect on Monday.

The patriarch thanked the Moscow authorities for meeting the interests of Orthodox believers. He said, “According to our data, in Mordovia there is one church per 3,000 people while in Moscow there is one church per 37,700 people, almost per 40,000 people.”

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On the Death of My Husband: Widow of Fr. Daniil Sysoev

Matushka Yuliya Mikhailovna Sysoeva and her daughters Iustina Daniilovna Sysoeva and Dorofei Daniilovna Sysoeva laying flowers on the grave of her husband, the murdered Fr Daniil Sysoev.

Thank you, dear ones, for your support and prayers. I can’t express my pain in words. It’s like the pain of standing by the Cross of the Saviour. Yet, it’s also a joy that you can’t convey by mere speech… it’s the joy of coming to the empty tomb. Where is thy victory, O death? Fr Daniil foresaw his demise several years before the crime.

He always wanted to be found worthy of martyrdom, and the Lord granted him this crown. Those who shot him, wanted to spit on the face of the Church, as once they spat on the face of Christ, but, they have not achieved what they wanted, because they failed to spit on the Church. Fr Daniil ascended his Golgotha right inside the church that he built and where he committed all his time and strength. They killed him as though he was an ancient prophet, between the altar and the place of sacrifice, and he rightly earned the title of a martyr. He died for Christ, Whom he served with all his might. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Welcome or Not, Orthodoxy Is Back in Russia’s Public Schools

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Sergei Kivrin for The New York Times

KOLOMNA, Russia — One of the most discordant debates in Russian society is playing out in public schools like those in this city not far from Moscow, where the other day a teacher named Irina Donshina set aside her textbooks, strode before her second graders and, as if speaking from a pulpit, posed a simple question:

“Whom should we learn to do good from?”

“From God!” the children said.

“Right!” Ms. Donshina said. “Because people he created crucified him. But did he accuse them or curse them or hate them? Of course not! He continued loving and feeling pity for them, though he could have eliminated all of us and the whole world in a fraction of a second.”

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More than 70 per cent of Russians in favour of teaching Orthodox culture in schools

Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra in the early 20th century.

Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra in the early 20th century.

Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Almost 70 per cent of Russians are in favour of the introduction of a course titled ‘Foundations of Orthodox culture’ in the country’s school curriculum, this according to a survey by Levada Center conducted in 46 regions of the Russian Federation.

Teaching Russian Orthodoxy in Russian primary and middle schools has been an openly debated issue since the Education Ministry announced a pilot project on ‘spiritual-moral training’. The latter will include 20,000 classes in 12,000 schools, with around 256,000 children and 44,000 teachers. However, the course will not be restricted to Russian Orthodoxy, but will include the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Buddhism (in accordance with the pupils’ choice), focusing on the foundations of religious culture, traditional religions and public ethics.

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Patriarch Kirill to Islamic states: More attention to Christian minorities

Kiril-BartholomewMoscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow has urged the governments of Muslim majority states to respect Christian minorities.

Meeting ambassadors from 20 Arab States, September 4, Kirill said that » More attention to the needs of the Christian minority [in Islamic countries] would be an additional factor in the Christian-Muslim dialogue».

During the talks, held in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, the Patriarch also stressed the theme of reciprocity by stating that «Christian Orthodox churches in Arab lands the same as numerous mosques in Russia are a symbol of the friendship of Christians and Muslims, an indication of our intentions to live in friendship and mutual respect». Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The city of Antalya in Turkey (the ancient Greek town of Attaleia) welcomes an Orthodox church request by the Russian Patriarch

A recent request from Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill that the Mediterranean city of Antalya must have an Orthodox church has received support from local politicians and tourism investors.

Kirill noted during his visit to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week that Antalya, which hosts millions of Russian tourists every year and also has residents of Russian origin, does not have an Orthodox church. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Cyril ΙΙ of Moscow at Hagia Sophia Cathedral Church in Constantinople

 Hagia Sophia II

The newly elected Patriarch of Moscow Cyril, visiting the Church of Jesus Christ, the Holy Wisdom of God the Father (Hagia Sophia), Christendom’s greatest and most impressive architectonical achievement ever constructed, during his three day irenical Visit at the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Constantinople.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with Cyril of Moscow in Constantinople

Bartholomew and Cyril IIEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, right, with the newly elected Patriarch of Moscow Cyril II, left, at the Patriarchal Church of St. George the Great Martyr in Phanar, Constantinople, Sunday, July 5, 2009, during a Patriarchal con-celebration of the Divine Liturgy, celebrated on the occasion of the first Irenical Visit of the new Russian Primate at the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Russian Orthodox Church thinks of creating pro-Orthodox group in European Parliament

Brussels,  Interfax – Archpriest Antony Ilyin, acting representative of the Moscow patriarchate in European international organizations, has called for the creation of a group promoting Orthodox values in the European Parliament.

«The creation by Orthodox parliamentarians of a group promoting orthodox values in the agenda of the European parliament of the new convocation and in the socio-political life of the EU in general is an ambitious, but a realistic task,» Fr. Antony told Interfax-Religion.

Several parliamentarians, including Tatyana Zhdanok (Latvia) and Slavi Binev (Bulgaria) have reached an agreement to coordinate their efforts in their direction if they get re-elected.

The priest also recalled the position of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the contribution of the Orthodox civilization to the future of Europe.

«The project of European integration began as a Western project, but it can no longer continue as purely Western, especially after the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, and also taking into account the 8 million Russian diaspora in the EU countries, which is culturally connected to Russian Orthodox traditions,» Fr. Antony said.