The head of a regional Gazprom subsidiary received an award from the Russian Orthodox Church for its help in restoring a regional church, the gas giant said Tuesday in a statement. Alexei Zavgorodnev, chief executive of Gazprom Transgaz Stavropol, was awarded the Order of the Blessed St. Daniel of Moscow.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sent Easter greetings to the nation as Russian Orthodox Church prepared to celebrate one of the holiest days in its calendar Sunday.
"The Easter festival holds a special place in the spiritual life of Russian society..." said Medvedev in a statement issued overnight by the Kremlin. He noted in particular the symbolism of the fact that this year Christians of all denominations - Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox - celebrated Easter on the same day. Their cooperation for peace and mutual understanding would contribute to the more harmonious interethnic and interconfessional relations, he added.
The National Geographic Magazine in its special issue on 'Water' featured a baptism at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The caption of the photo states: "To be baptized is to be born into a new life in Christ, according to the Greek Orthodox Church. Seven-month-old Stellios Theodore Gikas is dipped three times during a ceremony at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George in Istanbul, Turkey." Theodore is the son of Meltem and Paul Gikas. Paul is a graduate of Holy Cross Seminary and serves as an assistant to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
On March 17, 2010, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russian met with President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan at the presidential residence in Yerevan. The head of the state welcomed the Pirmate of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians at the entrance to the residence.
A committee of Orthodox clergy from the EU countries has started work at the European Union. The committee is widely expected to open up new prospects for enhancing European cultural values. According to the Russian Orthodox Church representative in the EU, Archpriest Anatoliy Ilyin, the dialogue between the political community and the church should also give Orthodoxy a say in political decision-making. The initiative to set up such a committee belongs to Metropolitan Ilarion, who heads the Foreign Relations Department in the Moscow Patriarchate, and Metropolitan Immanuil, who represents the Constantinople Patriarchate.