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Greek Orthodox mark Good Friday with solemn bier processions

Nafpaktos, Greece AP The procession of “Epitaphios,” symbolising the bier that carried the body of Jesus to His grave, took place across Greece on Friday, which was Good Friday in the Orthodox Christian calendar. The solemn processions, with the flower-adorned biers followed by the clergy and the faithful, are often spectacular, especially in places where […]

Russian Church shares blame for “crimes” in Ukraine, says Ecumenical Patriarch

FILE PHOTO: Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte and Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew meet at the Lithuanian government head office in Vilnius, Lithuania, March 21, 2023. Lithuanian Prime Minister's Office/Laima Penek/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Vilnius, Lithuania Reuters The spiritual head of the world’s Orthodox Christians said on Wednesday that Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church shared responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine but that he stood ready to help in Russia’s postwar “spiritual regeneration”. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s comments are a rebuke for Russian Patriarch Kirill, whose full-throated blessing for Moscow’s invasion […]

New York church destroyed during 9/11 attacks consecrated as national shrine

US NYC St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church1

United StatesRNS St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine was consecrated Monday in New York City. The original church, founded in 1916 on nearby Cedar Street in lower Manhattan, was destroyed in the aftermath of the attacks on 11th September.  “The rebuilding of Saint Nicholas as a Shrine for the Nation is also an […]

Ukraine’s Lviv symbolically votes to ban formerly Moscow-affiliated church

Turkey Istanbul Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epifaniy and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Kyiv, UkraineReuters The local council in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Thursday became the first to ban a branch of the Orthodox church that was until last month directly affiliated with Moscow. According to Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi, the unanimous council vote to prohibit the activity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – with […]

Turkey says it rejects EU condemnation over Hagia Sophia

Turkish and Maltese foreign ministers

Ankara, TurkeyAP Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday chided the European Union over its condemnation of a Turkish decision to convert Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque, saying the matter is an issue of national sovereignty. Last week, Turkey cancelled the sixth-century former cathedral-turned-mosque’s 86-year status as a museum and said it would […]

Ecumenical Patriarchate orders churches to halt services until end-March

Orthodox patriarchs

Istanbul, TurkeyReuters The spiritual head of Orthodox Christians worldwide has ordered churches to halt services and rites until the end of March in response to the spread of the coronavirus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate said. The patriarchate, which is the seat of the spiritual leader of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, announced the move in […]

World churches’ body renews calls for release of two archbishops kidnapped in Syria

Syrian archbishops

The World Council of Churches has renewed calls for the release of two archbishops who were abducted from a car near Syria’s border with Turkey in April, 2013. PICTURE: Courtesy WCC In a communique released this week, the WCC’s permanent committee on consensus and collaboration expressed its solidarity with the Orthodox churches in Syria and […]