Georgian patriarch prompts population boom

Georgia has stemmed a long-term population decline thanks to an unpredecented offer by the head of its Orthodox Church to be godfather to thousands of children, the civil registry agency said Friday. The agency linked a sharp increase in births and marriages to improved living standards and the offer by the patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church to become godfather to every third child born to aGeorgia family.

Pope asks Catholics to fast during Lent

Pope Benedict XVI is calling for Catholics to fast during Lent as a way of opening their hearts to God and seeing how the poor live. Lent is observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and many Protestant denominations as a period of penitence and fasting.

Secularization Among Challenges of Orthodox Christianity in America, says Scholar

Orthodox Christians in America must affirm their identity if they are to have a strong future amid a secularizing reality in the United States, a Greek Orthodox scholar said. Orthodox Christians have "a message and a way of life" that they must present as "an alternative to the morally and spiritually down-spiraling contemporary American lifestyle," said Rev. Stanley Harakas, Archbishop Iakovos Professor of Orthodox Theology Emeritus at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

Strasbourgers become acquainted with basics of Orthodoxy

The Moscow Patriarchate Representation at the European Council will conduct cultural events to represent traditions of the Orthodox Church to the western audience. The first of them - seminar on Basics of Orthodoxy - was conducted in the Moscow Patriarchate All Saints Church in Strasbourg. About sixty people attended it, Russian Church representative at the European Council and the church rector Hegumen Filaret (Bulekov) told Interfax-Religion on Friday.

"Arcanum Angelorum" ("Mystery of the Angels") Exhibit by American Artist Guillermo Esparza

An exhibit of sacred art - "Arcanum Angelorum"("Mystery of the Angels") - with works by Guillermo Esparza, award-winning, internationally recognized American iconographer, painter, and sculptor, will be displayed in St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. The opening reception is on Thursday, February 26 from 6 to 9 pm and the show will run through July 31, 2009. The exhibit will commemorate the Bicentennial Celebration of the Cathedral located in the historic SoHo neighborhood in New York City and the restoration of the tabernacle of the church by the artist-in-residence, Guillermo Esparza. The exhibition will feature recent paintings of angels in oil, icons in egg tempera and gold, drawings, as well as sculptures and mural designs. The exhibit will take place in the undercroft of the Old Cathedral in the Holy Name Chapel, opposite 263 Mulberry Street.