Christian world

Iran to restore 3 Armenian churches

Iran is ready to launch works for restoration of 3 Armenian churches in the Tghmut river basin.

The Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Atrpatakan, Supreme Archimandrite Grigor Chiftchyan addressed the Aras economic zone department for protection of cultural and religious monuments with a request to observe the norms of Armenian church construction, Blagovest-Info reported.

Iran has 7 free economic zones, with the Republic’s government planning to use them for development of economy and tourism. Extensive grounds owned by Armenian Church, as well as 3 churches – St. Gregory the Illuminator, St. Sargis and St. George are situated in Aras.

Jordan's king urges unity to protect Jerusalem holy sites

His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday stressed Jordan’s determination to protect the Christian presence in the region and Palestinian lands, especially in Jerusalem.The King made the remarks as he received leaders and representatives of Orthodox churches from several world countries at Al Husseiniya Palace in Amman.

HRH Prince Ghazi, the King’s Personal Envoy and Religious and Cultural Affairs Adviser, deputised for His Majesty at a prayer for peace held by the church leaders at the Baptism Site in the Jordan Valley later in the evening. 

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew And Pope Francis Issue Joint Declaration

 His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Holiness Pope Francis crossed a fifty-year milestone today, continuing the legacy of their predecessors Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. In 1964, those leaders broke a silence of centuries and paved the way toward greater dialogue.

Meeting this afternoon at the Apostolic Delegation in the Old City of Jerusalem, the global heads of the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches signed a Joint Declaration affirming their commitment to seek unity between their respective ecclesial bodies. Moreover, they expressed their profound concern for the situation of Christians in the Middle East and for their fundamental right to remain full citizens of their homelands:

Iraq’s Vanishing Christians

As the mass exodus of Iraq’s Christians continues, so does the call for ending the plight of those who have remained. Like Iraq’s ancient Jewish community before them, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities may soon cease to exist.

The disappearance of Iraq’s religious minorities has been a troubling trend since the US-led invasion in 2003, and it has threatened to end the cultural diversity of Iraq. As the violence in the country spikes and religious intolerance grows, many Christians, Yazidis, Mandaeans and other minority community members are leaving the country.

Last week, the head of the Iraqi Catholic Church sent a chilling warning that Iraq’s 2,000-year-old Christian community is on the brink of extinction as new waves of Christians take the journey of exodus.

Pope Twadharos II on an Apostolic Visit to United Arab Emirates

Pope Tawadros II is on an apostolic visit to UAE for five days which beagn on May 9th Friday. This is the first ever visit of the Pontiff to UAE since his consecration as the Coptic Pope of Alexandria and All Africa.

Pope will serve Liturgy and sermons at St Antony’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Abu Dhabi, which is home to one of the largest Coptic communities in the Emirates. Pope will also meet senior President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa and other high level UAE officials, along with his visit to Dubai and Sharjah Emirates.

Ancient icons miraculously survive in burned Syrian Church

In the Syrian Old Homs, "Eleven Christian churches are either completely destroyed or heavily damaged," related a local priest named George Abu Zahem to the Lebanese The Daily Star newspaper.

He has described the situation in the al-Hamidiyah Christian quarter as disastrous. According to the priest, the churches were robbed and desecrated by militants.

"A true miracle happened at Holy Martyr Elian's Orthodox Church in Homs (6th century). The gunmen set it on fire. However, the fire did not touch the ancient icons on the walls—they just slightly darkened," the priest said.

The thick walls have saved the Cathedral of Holy Theotokos, the "calling card" of Old Homs, where is the city's main relic—a small portion of the Girdle of the Mother of God.