Marmara Foundation conference

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos addressed the annual conference of the Marmara Foundation in Istanbul on Sunday, calling on all believers in God to interpret their faith in a way that promotes "divine volition".

"All who believe in the living God are called on to interpret their faith in a way that promotes the divine desire and to enjoy all the fruits of the earth fairly, without dealing blows to each other and without abusing the planet's resources," the Patriarch said.

Georgian Orthodox Church calls for nonuse of force against Abkhazia, South Ossetia

Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II has called for a resolution of the problems between Georgia, Abkhaz and South Ossetia solely through a peaceful dialogue."The Georgian Orthodox Church has always tried and will continue to try to restore confidence between Georgians, Abkhazians and South Ossetians, so that their co-habitation in a single legal and territorial space is possible," Ilia II said in an address delivered at the St. Trinity Cathedral.

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of the Holy Week, in which Christians prepare for Easter. On this day the church commemorates the time that Jesus Christ lay in the tomb and that he descended into hell.

Austria reminds Ankara of the need for full religious freedom

The Austrian foreign minister, Ursula Plassnik, used the opportunity of a visit to Turkey to pay homage to ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I, and to express her support for him: the patriarch, she maintained, contributes tirelessly, both personally and through his office, to the promotion of interreligious dialogue, to the reinforcement of better understanding among human beings, and in his effort to build a world where everyone can live without fear, practice his religion freely, or live without any religious creed. "I think this is how the conception of religious freedom should be interpreted, as it must be guaranteed in the social life of the EU. Religious freedom is one of the presuppositions for the whole of Europe's values and ideals. It is part of the negotiations for countries asking to enter [the European Union]".

Russia: Fire extinguished at tsar family burial site

The fire has been extinguished in the Ganina Yama area in Yekaterinburg, where the remains of the family of Russia's last tsar Nicholas II were found. The area caught fire on Wednesday morning. The churches located on the territory of the near-by monastery were not damaged. Firefighters are currently clearing the debris, a spokesman for the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's department for the Sverdlovsk region told Interfax.