His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople on May 2, 2011 joined the excursion of the Orthodox youth in Turkey, accompanying young secondary pupils and students until the lake Sapanza in the area of ancient Nicomedia. After the stroll and joint lunch, young received besides gifts also Patriarchal blessing and a moral that faith in resurrected Lord should be a foundation of life of each Christian, as well as preserving God's creation should be concern of all people.
According to the research of Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, in last 111 years he religious landscape of sub-Saharan Africa has changed dramatically. As of 1900, both Muslims and Christians were relatively small minorities in the region. The vast majority of people practiced traditional African religions, while adherents of Christianity and Islam combined made up less than a quarter of the population.
Venerable St. Mary of Egypt was born in 344 somewhere in Egypt and at the age of twelve ran away to the city of Alexandria where she lived an extremely dissolute life. According to her words, she was driven only"by an insatiable and an irrepressible passion". After seventeen years of this lifestyle, she travelled to Jerusalem by boat for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. She undertook the journey not for the religious reasons, but stating that she hoped to find in the pilgrim crowds at Jerusalem even more partners in her lust. She paid for her passage by offering her body to other pilgrims, and she continued her habitual lifestyle for a short time in Jerusalem.
Confession is a God-given commandment, and it is one of the Sacraments of our Church. Confession is not a formal, habitual ("to be on the safe side", or, "in view of upcoming feast-days"), forced and unprepared act, springing from an isolated duty or obligation and for psychological relief only. Confession should always be combined with repentance. A Holy Mountain Elder used to say: "Many confess, but few repent!" (Elder Aemilianos of the Simonopetra Monastery, Mt. Athos)