Putin hails Armenian church as one of the world’s oldest spiritual centers

New Nakhichevan and Russian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church has served as a real spiritual center for thousands of people since 1717, Russian president Vladimir Putin said at an event marking the 300th anniversary of the foundation of the Diocese in Moscow on Wednesday, November 15.

Albania begins charging for entrance to Orthodox holy sites

Pilgrims and visitors must now purchase tickets for the privilege of entrance into several Orthodox monasteries and churches throughout Albania, according to a recent governmental decision, reports aktines.blogspot.ru.

Clergy have already called the decision another in a long line of restrictive measures directed against the Orthodox Church in Albania.

The Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven

The angels of God were celebrated by men from earliest times but this celebration was often turned into the divinization of angels (IV Kings 23:5 [II Kgs KJV]). The heretics wove all sorts of fables concerning the angels. Some of them looked upon angels as gods; others, although they did not consider them gods, called them the creators of the whole visible world. The local Council of Laodicea (four or five years before the First Ecumenical Council) rejected the worship of angels as gods and established the proper veneration of angels in its Thirty-fifth Canon.

In the fourth century, during the time of Sylvester, Pope of Rome, and Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, the present Feast of Archangel Michael and all the other heavenly powers was instituted for celebration in the month of November. Why precisely in November? Because November is the ninth month after March, and March is considered to be the month in which the world was created. Also, as the ninth month after March, November was chosen for the nine orders of angels who were created first. St. Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of the Apostle Paul (who was taken up into the third heaven), described these nine orders of angels in his book, On the Celestial Hierarchies, as follows: six-winged Seraphim, many-eyed Cherubim, God-bearing Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. The leader of all the angelic hosts is the Archangel Michael. 

Muslims want national holiday after Ukrainian Rada establishes second Christmas

After the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada decided yesterday to make December 25 an official holiday, representatives of other religions have also begun to call for their holidays to garner official, national recognition, reports Channel 24.

The vast majority of Ukrainians celebrate the Nativity of Christ according to the Old Calendar, which falls on the civil date of January 7, although there are about 800,000 Ukrainians who celebrate on December 25 according to the New Calendar. Ukrainian parliament officially established December 25 as a national holiday yesterday, with 238 out of 331 votes in favor.

Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos

Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos
Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos
Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos
Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos

Tens of thousands of residents of the Greek capital were blessed to be able to venerate the Cincture of the Most Holy Theotokos which had been delivered to the suburb of Neo Ionia on November 3 by a delegation from Vatopedi Monastery, headed by Abbot Ephraim. The holy relic remained until yesterday for veneration in the Church of the Holy Unmercenaries.