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Friday, May 31, 2013

Are you looking for some exotic - 12 About Town: Richmond Greek Festival

The Richmond Greek Festival, at Saints Constantine and Helen at 30 Malvern Avenue, combines delicious Greek food and drink along with traditional Greek music and dancing that makes this one of Richmond's most popular festivals.

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Unique icons for everyone


Incredible by its scale exhibition “Axion Estin. Orthodox Art of the 15th-21st Centuries in Private Collections” is open in Donetsk Exhibition Center “Art-Donbas.” Nearly 300 icons were presented by collectors from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Donetsk.

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SYRIA: Support and prayers for abducted Metropolitans from Aleppo

Kidnapped archbishops from Syrian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox dioceses of Aleppo, Syria 







Gathered in Lebanon, the participants in an international and ecumenical conference on Christian presence in the Middle East have issued a statement in support of the two abducted Metropolitans from Aleppo, His Eminence Boulos , from the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, and His Eminence Mor Youhanna Gregorios from the Syriac Orthodox Church of ... 

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100,000 Christians killed every year

Around 100,000 Christians are killed every year around the world because of their faith, a top Vatican official has said.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

AFRICA: Islamic group Boko Haram Kills Nigerian Church Leader

Boko Haram terrorists are believed responsible for the murder of a popular Pentecostal pastor in Nigeria. Faye Pama was the Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, North East zone.

Stefanos Foundation Director Mark Lipdo said Pastor Faye was killed in Borno state Tuesday afternoon.

"Gunmen climbed his fence and got into his house and shot him down... You know the sect says they are out for Christians. Being in that position and being so vocal, he must have been a very marked man," Lipdo said.

Faye had several college-aged children and one in secondary school. Lipdo asked that Christians pray for the pastors widow and children, and for Nigerian Christians who are living under intense persecution.

RUSSIA: Putin Invites Patriarch Theophilos to Join Baptism of Russia Celebrations

President Vladimir Putin invited Patriarch Theophilos to join celebrations of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia. "I hope to see you during celebrations of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia," Putin said. He wished the patriarch of Jerusalem "a useful stay in Russia." The patriarch of Jerusalem has never been in Russia on a visit. 

Putin also thanked Patriarch Theophilos for supporting Russia's initiative to build a hotel for pilgrims on the bank of the Jordan River.

Patriarch Kirill in turn said that Theophilos's visit was of great importance, noting that, "this meeting will definitely promote relations between the two patriarchates." 

The Russian patriarch also said that these contacts will hopefully "facilitate all the good initiatives Russia has been implementing for the sake of peace in the Middle East."
"It is very important that peace, prosperity and tranquility set in the Holy Land, blessed by God's feet," the Patriarch Kirill said. 

Patriarch Theophilos said his visit to Russia was of great historical significance. "This visit is a seal that cements relations between our churches, and between the godly Russian people and the godly people of Palestine," he said. 

On behalf of the Christians of Jordan, Palestine and the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, Patriarch Theophilos thanked Putin "for an active interest in the Holy Land and its sacred places, and in the cause of peace in the Middle East." 

Putin's recent visit to Israel, Palestine and Jordan "is of enormous importance from the political and religious points of view," he said.
"We pray for you as a leader who attaches primary importance to the cause of strengthening human and Orthodox values," he told Putin.

ROME, ITALY: Italian bishops head gives Communion to notorious transsexual at Marxist priest's funeral


ROME, May 27, 2013 ( – The head of the Italian Bishops’ Conference was filmed this weekend giving Holy Communion to a notorious “transsexual” and homosexualist political activist who goes by the name Vladimir Luxuria, at the funeral Mass of a controversial Genoan priest. 

The deceased priest, Fr. Andrea Gallo (hereafter referred to as Don Gallo), strongly opposed Catholic teaching on sexuality. In the video clip, published by the national newspaper Corriere della Sera, Angelo Bagnasco, the Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa is seen giving Communion to Luxuria, and another transsexual at the funeral of Fr. Andrea Gallo

Three thousand flocked from all over Italy for the funeral of Don Gallo, the priest they called the “pretaccio communista” (an ironic use of “lousy communist priest”) and the “angelic anarchist”. Some participants wore t-shirts with the slogan, “Tell me who to exclude and I’ll tell you who you are”. 

Standing in front of a group of priests wearing rainbow stoles and addressing the gathered thousands, Vladimir Luxuria gave a eulogy in which he thanked Don Gallo for “letting us open the doors of your church and your heart.”
“Thank you for having us transgender creatures feel willed by God and loved by God. We hope that many will follow your example and someone will apologize.” 

Born Wladimiro Guadagno, actor and former prostitute Vladimir Luxuria (“Lust” in Latin) was a member of the Italian parliament and a founding member of the Communist Refoundation Party. Although he remains physically a male, he claims “female identity” and is famous in European politics as the first openly “transgender” member of any European national legislature. In 1994 he helped organise Italy’s first Gay Pride festival in Rome. 

ISRAEL: Palestinian cars damaged in suspected settler attack

Palestinian villagers inspect a vehicle that was allegedly set ablaze by Israeli settlers in the West Bank village of Zbiedat near the city of Jericho on May 29, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ ABBAS MOMAN 

Israeli forensic policemen examine a car sprayed with anti-Christian graffiti reading "Jesus is a son of a whore" and slashed tires outside of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem on December 12, 2012.

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RUSSIA: Murdered Priest Hailed a Martyr

Fr. Igor Rozin Serving a moleben. 
The brutal murder of a Russian priest in his church has sent a fresh wave of terror through the Orthodox community in Kabardino-Balkaria.

Since the outbreak of hostilities in Chechnya in September 1999, the Orthodox Church across the North Caucasus has been like a city under siege.

Now the killing of Igor Rozin in the town of Tyrnyauze is likely to reinforce the sense of isolation in a predominantly Muslim society and increase resentment against Islamic militant groups.

Valentina Varapaeva was cleaning the church early in the morning when a young man appeared at the door asking for Father Igor. She told him to come back towards midday when the priest was due to arrive.


U.S.-backed Syrian rebels reportedly massacre Christian village


Members of the Free Syrian Army reportedly attacked the Christian-dominated al-Duvair village in Reef on the outskirts of Homs on Monday, where they massacred its citizens, including women and children, before the Syrian Army interfered. 

This reported attack comes shortly after intense fighting in the city of al-Qusseir over the weekend, in which Bashar Al-Assad’s forces inflicted heavy casualties on the rebels. 

Assad’s forces launched an offensive in April in an effort to cut off supply lines to the rebels by taking the city and its surrounding areas from the rebel groups that had been entrenched there since last year. Two weeks ago, the Syrian forces reached the center of the city 

While the sources describing Monday’s massacre are supportive of Assad, it’s possible that it occurred since the rebel groups fighting the Assad regime are composed mainly of members of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated groups and have committed war crimes and atrocities in the past. 

Jabhat al-Nusra, the branch of al-Qaeda that fought and killed American and allied troops in Iraq, have positioned themselves in Syria and control the rebel movement.

Scandinavia the next battlefield for Sharia warriors

Young Muslims who enjoy tolerance, social institutions and welfare while living in Sweden nevertheless refuse to integrate into the West 

Schools, churches and police stations are attacked by Muslims in Stockholm.

The butcher in London work for a Sharia preacher well connected in Oslo and Stockholm.
The butcher in London work for Sharia preacher Anjem Choudary, well connected in Oslo and Stockholm

 Stockholm experienced a sixth straight night of riots early Saturday, with cars torched in several immigrant-dominated suburbs, as Britain and the United States warned against travelling to the hotspots. 

Nearly a week of unrest, which spread briefly Friday night to the medium-sized city of Örebro 160 kilometres west of Stockholm, have put Sweden's reputation as an oasis of peace and harmony at risk.
The unrest has also sparked a debate among Swedes over the integration of immigrants, many of whom arrived under the country's generous asylum policies,
and who now make up about 15 percent of the population.

An AFP photographer witnessed a car engulfed in flames before firefighters arrived in the Stockholm district of Tensta. Cars were incinerated in three other areas of the capital as well, according to the Swedish news agency TT.
"I've never before taken part in anything that lasted so long and was spread over such a wide area," police spokesman Lars Byström told TT.

Another police official said earlier that Stockholm police were about to receive reinforcements from Gothenburg and Malmö, the country's second- and third-largest cities, but declined to disclose how many would arrive.

In the city of Örebro, police reported a fire at a school as well as several cars ablaze, but quiet had returned around midnight. The unrest in Stockholm had "rubbed off", police told TT.

The nightly riots have prompted Britain's Foreign Office and the US embassy in Stockholm to issue warnings to their nationals, urging them to avoid the affected suburbs.

Firefighters were dispatched to 70 fires the night between Thursday and Friday, extinguishing torched cars, dumpsters and buildings, including three schools and a police station, the fire department wrote on Twitter. This was down from 90 blazes the night before.
Parents and volunteer organisations who have patrolled the streets in recent nights have helped decrease the intensity of the unrest, police have said.

Police, who have so far concentrated on putting out fires, are beginning to round up people suspected of criminal acts, so far arresting at least 29.

Serbian Orthodox Church Rocked By Gay Sex Scandal - The shocking pictures of Serbian Bishop

  1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
What must these men do to get saved?

The Serbian Orthodox Church has approved the resignation of a powerful cleric amid sex-scandal claims that culminated this week with the publication of a graphic video appearing to show him engaged in sexual activity with young men.

Vasilije Kacavenda, the bishop of Tuzla and Zvornik in Bosnia-Herzegovina, retreated from his clerical duties months ago as allegations mounted that he had used his position for years to stage frequent orgies and rape underage boys and girls.

Bojan Jovanovic, a former theological student in Bijeljina, the seat of Kacavenda’s diocese, says he observed numerous orgies organized by the 74-year-old bishop and attended by fellow clerics and prominent businessmen.

“They tried on many occasions to put me in a compromising situation myself or to pull me into their circle,” Jovanovic says. “[The bishop] also suggested that I should use the school where I was teaching science to bring him children up to the age of 10, but of course I refused. I was also a witness when abbots from other monasteries would bring theology students who would spend the night with the bishop.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CZECH: Thousands attend mass Orthodox Church patriarch says in Moravia

Konstantinopolský patriarcha Bartoloměj, považovaný za nejvyšší autoritu pravoslavné církve, vedl 25. května v Mikulčicích na Hodonínsku bohoslužbu u příležitosti oslav 1150. výročí příchodu věrozvěstů a moravských duchovních patronů Cyrila a Metoděje.

About 2000 people attended the liturgy the Orthodox Church Constantinople patriarch Bartholomew celebrated in Mikulcice, a place linked to the medieval Christian missionaries SS Cyril and Methodius, in spite of the rainy weather today.

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GEORGIA: Orthodox clergy break into a trot and lead an angry mob in an attack on a gay-rights rally....

Orthodox clergy and Orthodox Christian activists clashed with gay-rights activists at a rally in Tbilisi marking International Day Against Homophobia on May 17. 
Many were shocked on May 17 to see a phalanx of black-robed Orthodox clergy break into a trot and lead an angry mob in an attack on a gay-rights rally in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
Although the official Orthodox hierarchy in Georgia denounced the violence that left 17 injured, Georgian Patriarch Illia II had called on authorities the day before to ban the rally as an "insult" to Georgian traditions.

Across Eastern Europe, societies in countries such as Georgia, Russia, Serbia, and Moldova are pushing, each in its own way, to modernize and reform -- and movements supporting the rights of women, ethnic minorities, and homosexuals are making unprecedented inroads. What many also have in common, though, are Orthodox churches that often act as brakes, politically and socially conservative forces that tend to view any innovation as a foreign threat aimed at destroying sacred national traditions....


UK: Church Of England Unveils Plan For Women Bishops In 2015

The Church of England published a plan on Friday to approve the ordination of women bishops by 2015, a widely supported reform it just missed passing last November after two decades of divisive debate.

RUSSIA: Russian Patriarch tells European leader: same-sex marriage is sinful

In a meeting with the secretary general of the Council of Europe, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church emphasized that same-sex marriage is sinful.

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The Arab Christians' existential crisis

The recent abductions of Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and his Greek Orthodox counterpart, Paul Yazigi, reflect not only the increasing brutality of Syria's civil war, but also the escalating crisis for Christians across the Arab world one that could end up driving them away altogether.

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GREECE: Ya'ssoo Greek Festival will celebrate culture, food, dance, and more

"We have this idea about love and friendship shown to strangers—felix xenia," says Father Nicolaos Kotsis of Ann Arbor's St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. "We want to make our neighbors and those who come visit us feel welcome. They are supposed to receive more attention than ourselves sometimes."

This sentiment is a perfect introduction to what the Ya'ssoo Greek Festival is all about. People of every cultural heritage gather together to celebrate spring with Greek food, dancing, live music, a marketplace, and tours of the neo-Byzantine church. 

MOLDAVIA: Moldavian bishop threatens Moldavian MPs with anathema

Moldavian bishop Marcellus of Beltsy and Faleshty called on the Moldavian MPs to revoke the bill on equal rights.

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GREECE: Greek government split over anti-racism bill

Greek Prime minister Antonis Samaras waits for the arrival of Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny in front of his office in Athens, on May 23, 2013.

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