Russian Orthodox figures ask Saudi King’s permission to build a Christian church in Arabia

Representatives of Orthodox public organizations addressed the King of Saudi Arabia an open letter with a request to build an Orthodox Church in his country. The address, conveyed to Interfax-Religion, was initiated after the Saudi Kingdom announced its plans to build a mosque in Moscow.

"You often say that Islam is a religion of justice. However, if Saudi Arabia builds mosques in dozens of Christian countries, isn't it just to build a church for Christians living in Your Kingdom!" the letter says.

Russian Church against defining holodomor as genocide, but urges to denounce Bolshevik actions that caused it

The Moscow Patriarchate believes actions of Bolsheviks that caused mass famine of the 1930s should be decisively assessed, but urges to renounce attempts to consider the tragedy genocide. "The theme of mass holodomor of the 1930s gives grounds for thinking both in Ukraine and in Russia. Kiev should understand that this tragedy didn't affect only Ukrainian people, and Moscow should decisively condemn Bolshevik actions that resulted in mass famine," Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told Interfax-Religion on Thursday.

Annual IOCC Benefit Dinner

ioccOver 200 people, from various jurisdictions, gathered together on Sunday November 16, 2008 in Minneapolis for the annual IOCC Benefit Dinner. His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand was the featured speaker and shared his personal experiences about working with IOCC in various locales around the world in offering people a "hand up" from their often dire circumstances. His Grace is on a speaking tour of the United States on behalf of IOCC and his diocese has provided half of the $100,000 matching grant for IOCC's work in Kosovo and Metohija. Before his ordination, the Bishop was an IOCC staff member, and while a priest served on the IOCC Board.

His Grace Bishop Irinej Rallies Orthodox Faithful on Behalf of Kosovo and Metohija

IOCCInternational Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which since 1993 has provided more than $75 million in emergency relief and development programs to the former Yugoslavia, is currently hosting a special speaking tour featuring his Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand. Bishop Irinej is rallying American Orthodox faithful on behalf of families living in the isolated enclaves of Kosovo and Metohija. "I'm letting people know the daily reality for children in Kosovo is to go to school under armed escort," said the Serbian bishop who is originally from Ohio and was once an IOCC employee. "We must be that ray of hope for those children even in the simplest provision of school books and school kits," he said.

No preparations for Alexy II meeting with Pontiff - Moscow Patriarchate

Preparations for a possible meeting between Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II and Pope of Rome Benedict XVI have not begun, told head of the Secretariat for Christian Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Priest Igor Vyzhanov.