An international conference ‘Syria: A Way to Peace’ took place on June 3, 22013, in Geneva, on the margins of the 23d session of the UN Council of Human Right.
It was attended by Bishop Isaac of Alameya, representative of Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Navanethem Pillay, Archpriest Mikhail Gundyaev, Russian Orthodox Church representative at the World Council of Churches and international organizations in Geneva, and other public and religious figures and diplomats. Among the organizers of the conference was the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, which was represented at the forum by Ms. Ye. Agapova, IOPS deputy chair. Among the participants was Ms. N. Narochinskaya, leader of the Historical Perspective Foundation and member of the IOPS board.
The conference heard a message brought from the Supreme Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, who could not attend for security reasons. In his message, he informed the meeting about brutal executions of civilians carried out by the militants, the destruction of churches and mosques they perpetrated. The mufti called upon the UN Council of Human rights to show an unbiased and objective approach to the developments in Syria.
An International Reflection-Action Conference on ‘The Baptism of Russia in the Destinies of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine: The Choice of a Civilizational Path’ took place on June 6-7, 2013, at the Belarus National Academy of Sciences. It was held at the initiative and with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. The principal aim of the two-day forum, which has launched a series of events to celebrate the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia, was an attempt to reflect on the significance of that event in the historical life of the fraternal nations of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and its decisive impact on their religious and cultural development. Special attention was given to the positive changes which have taken place in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church since 1988 which marked the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia.
Turkey has reacted angrily to the Vatican following a statement from Pope Francis describing the mass killings of Armenians during World War I as “the first genocide of the twentieth century” during a meeting with a delegation led by Nerses Bedros XIX, Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics on June 3.
From the old Xilourgou hermitage His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and his party went to the St. Andrew Hermitage, where they were welcomed by the head of the hermitage, Archimandrite Ephrem, the brethren and the teachers and pupils of the Athoniada school functioning within the schete.
Return of property confiscated in the past by the communist authorities to churches will begin in the Czech Republic, reports Sedmitza.ru. The law on this issue was passed by the Czech Parliament, but left-wing parties have appealed to the Constitutional Court asking to cancel it, because in their opinion, it was not fair.