Christians in Egypt celebrate Christmas amid fears

Egypt's Christians on Saturday celebrated their first Christmas since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, amid tight security and a display of national unity to allay fears of the growing power of Islamists.

The Coptic Orthodox celebration follows an escalation in violence against the minority, an estimated 10 percent of Egypt's 85 million people, over the past year.

Many Christians blamed a series of street clashes, assaults on churches, and other attacks on radical Islamists who have become increasingly bold after Mubarak's downfall.

Around 90,000 people attended Christmas services in Moscow

Around 90,000 of the faithful attended Christmas services in the churches of Russia’s capital city on the night of January 7, reported a representative of the Moscow Police to RIA Novosti.

Around 90,000 people participated in the nighttime services. They attended 282 Moscow churches, the representative said.

An Orthodox Prayer Book for iPhone and Android

A new application the Orthodox Prayer Book for iPhone and Android has been launched. The aplication is available at AppStore and Android Market (keywords: Orthodox Prayer book) and is free. Both versions are currently available for download and use:

The new application was created by a team of programmers with the support of the portal www.pravoslavie.ru.

Conference on cooperation between the Church and compatriots in Asia concludes its work

On 11 December 2011, the round table discussion on Compatriots and the Russian Orthodox Church: Experience of Cooperation in Asia concluded its work in the capital of China.

That same morning hegumen Philaret (Bulekov), vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, officiated at the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Dormition in Beijing. Concelebrating were clergymen participating in the conference: archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for far abroad countries; archpriest Nikolai Katsuban, dean of the Russian Orthodox Church Representation in Tokyo; archpriest Alexy Kiselevich, dean of the Orthodox Community in Shanghai; archpriest Dionisy Pozdnyaev, rector of the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Hong Kong; hieromonk Joasaph (Tandibilang), rector of St. Vladimir’s Church in Jakarta; Rev. Sergei Voronin, rector of the Church of the Dormition in Beijing; and hierodeacon Roman (Kiselev), DECR staff member.

Appeal for the Decani Monastery Relief Fund: Food shortages in northern Kosovo

Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes, President of The Decani Monastery Relief Fund Inc., has circulated a press release requesting help for the people of Northern Kosovo: