New Secretary General of World Council of Churches

Lutheran pastor from Norway, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was elected 7th general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Tveit has been in the past seven years the general secretary of the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations. Otherwise, he was a parish priest in Haram and an army chaiplan.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I wants Euro-body with Catholics, Protestants

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I, a spiritual leader who represents Eastern Orthodox Christianity, has called for the creation of a churches' umbrella body in Europe to include Roman Catholics alongside Anglicans, Orthodox and Protestants.

"It is only by engaging in dialogue and by closely cooperating that the churches will prove capable of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the world in a convincing and effective way," the Orthodox leader said in a 19 July address in Lyon, France to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Conference of European Churches.

Protests about new film about history of Acropolis

Greece's new Acropolis museum will drop some scenes of a short film by director Costa Gavras after protests from the Greek Orthodox Church, the museum's director said Sunday.

The row over the film, which informs visitors about the history of the 5th century BC Parthenon temple and depicts early Christians ruining the monument, erupted just weeks after the opening of the new Acropolis museum in June.

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The importance of the work of orthodox clergymen in the Russian army

On August 3, the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill during his visit to Sevastopol stressed the importance of the work of orthodox clergymen in the Russian army. Kirill stated that the modern soldier must be "strong in spirit" and emphasized the importance of spiritual support for servicemen, noting that, "for warriors to be capable of that [sacrificing their lives], we must support them with our prayers, while clergymen should be working with the armed forces," he explained (Interfax, August 3).

Turkish PM promises reform to religious minorities

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan promised democratic reforms on Saturday in a rare meeting with Turkey's religious minority leaders highlighting the issue of minority rights, a key stumbling block in its EU membership bid.

Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and leaders of the small Armenian, Jewish, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic communities had lunch with Erdogan and senior ministers on Buyukada island near Istanbul, a patriarchate official told Reuters on condition his name not be used.