First Orthodox church to be built in Portugal

Authorities of the Portuguese city of Setubal have provided the Moscow Patriarchate with land to build the first Orthodox church in Portugal.

Setubal Mayor Maria das Dores Meira has given the documents for the land to the clergy, the office of the Russian Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) in Portugal said.

Representative of the DECR attends the OSCE conference in Warsaw

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held its annual conference on the human dimension implementation from September 23 to October 4, 2013, in Warsaw.  It was attended by representatives of the OSCE region including the EU, the Holy See, USA, Russia and the CIS countries.

Among the participants was Hierodeacon Roma (Kiselev), DECR secretariat for the far-abroad countries. On September 26, he addressed the sixth session of the forum on Freedom of Religion and Beliefs, speaking on the Russian Orthodox Church’s position on the situation in Syria, the persecution against Christians in the Middle East and Africa and Christianophobia.

Acting Military Commander of Israel's civil administration visits Patriarchate

On Wednesday the 12th/25th of September 2013, the Acting Military Commander of Israel’s Civil Administration, Mr Raed Mansour, accompanied by the former Military Commander of Bethlehem, Mr Iyad Sirhan and the Director of the Department of Christian Affairs of Israel’s Ministry of Religious Services, Mr Sesar Margie, visited His Beatitude Theophilos, Our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Metropolitan Hilarion meets with Catholic Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster

On September 24, 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, during his working visit to London, met with Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster (Roman Catholic Church). They talked about Orthodox-Catholic relations, the state of religion in the modern society and prospects for students’ exchange between theological schools.

Biblical-era town discovered along Sea of Galilee

A town dating back more than 2,000 years has been discovered on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee, in Israel's Ginosar valley.

The ancient town may be Dalmanutha (also spelled Dalmanoutha), described in the Gospel of Mark as the place Jesus sailed to after miraculously feeding 4,000 people by multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread, said Ken Dark, of the University of Reading in the U.K., whose team discovered the town during a field survey.