Peace is Always Possible
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the last Balkan war, an international conference is being held in Tirana, Albania to discuss the important theme of peace. This conference is being hosted by the Community of Sant'Egidio in coordination with the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania and the Episcopal Conference of Bishops of Albania.
ISIS has released 15 Assyrians who were captured in the town of Qaryatain, Syria after they paid the jizya (poll tax). The 15 were among the 250 Assyrians captured when Qaryatain fell to ISIS on August 6. After capturing Qaryatain, ISIS issued an ultimatum to the Christian population: pay the jizya, convert to Islam or leave.
Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II holds discussion the situation of Christians in the Middle East with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper7. September 2015 - 9:22
His Holiness Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Stephen Harper. His Holiness discussed with PM Harper the current situation of Christians in the Middle East.
His Holiness was accompanied by a delegation including their Eminences Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Vicar in Canada, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Secretary.
Since the day the worst outbreak of Ebola struck West Africa, the few airlines that flew there have greatly limited the number of their flights. Others felt it right to suspend air travel to West Africa because the cabin crew refused to put themselves at risk due to the outbreak, or due to decreased demand, or for fear of carrying the epidemic to the most developed countries!
On the first day of the Orthodox ecclesiastical year, 63 Orthodox and Evangelical leaders are gathered at Sofia Cultural Centre just outside Helsinki, Finland, to consider “The Gospel as Good News”. Gathered from around the world the participants were welcomed by His Eminence Metropolitan Ambrosius on behalf of the local Orthodox Community. Bishop Tapio Luoma, of the Diocese of Espoo (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland) then gave a warm welcome on behalf of the majority Lutheran community in Finland, whilst Rev. Timo Keskitalo brought greetings from the Evangelical Alliance of Finland and the local Lausanne movement.
On this first evening participants were challenged in their understandings of the Gospel and its centrality in mission and the whole life of discipleship by Fr. Michael Oleksa (centre of picture above) from Alaska. He ended his presentation by saying, “If there has been conflict, even hostility between “missions” anywhere, this situation undermines the success of any of them. Sin is division, a rupture of communion, a break in loving relationships. Salvation then is unity, a restoration of communion, a return to loving relationships.”
The consultation continues until Friday.
Source: Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative
Addis Ababa: His Grace Abune Phillip – Archbishop of Ilbabur and Gambela diocese of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church passed away on 31 August 2015. Th funeral was later held at the Hily Trinity Cathedral in the Capital City of Addis Ababa.