A Conference by the International Foundation for the unity of Orthodox Christian Nations

The international Conference in Banja Luka (Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina) in February, 26-29, 2008 was organized by the International Foundation for the unity of Orthodox Christian Nations in cooperation with the Serbian Orthodox Church, and with support from the state authorities of the Republic of Srpska. It welcomed participants from the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, as well as political, public and religious figures from 22 countries of the world. The participants carefully considered the live issues of the place and the role of the traditional religious values in modern society, realizing their rich positive potential for peace-making, and discussed the actual state and prospects of development in this context of interreligious dialogue.

First Orthodox liturgy conducted at North Pole

Северни полNorth Pole (Camp Barneo), April 6, Interfax - The first Orthodox Church service has been conducted at the North Pole, 90 degrees north of Greenwich.

The service was performed by Archbishop Ignaty of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka, two priests and a deacon of the Kamchatka diocese in a tent, put up on an ice floe specially for the occasion for a few hours, an Interfax-Religion correspondent reported. The tent, large enough to accommodate 15 worshipers, was sanctified by Archbishop Ignaty in honor of the Twelve Apostles, "as a sign, that the teachings of Jesus Christ have reached the Earth's extreme boundaries."

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev challenges WCC

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev

When the World Council of Churches (WCC) opened its international central committee meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, in February, delegates heard a passionate plea for orthodoxy from a Russian Orthodox bishop.

According to The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, the Russian Orthodox bishop of Vienna and Austria, stepped up to a microphone and boldly challenged the assembled delegates.

An Assyrian Orthodox priest fatally shot in Iraq

BAGHDAD, April 5 -- An Assyrian Orthodox priest was fatally shot Saturday in an upscale neighborhood of the capital, the second such killing in Iraq in recent weeks.

Youssef Adel, 40, was gunned down as he was leaving his home in Karrada, considered one of Baghdad's safest neighborhoods, according to a police spokesman and a priest with knowledge of the incident.

Russia Sends Aid to Kosovo Serbs


The first planeload of Russian humanitarian aid has arrived in Belgrade for delivery to the Serb minority in Kosovo.

The relief flights were ordered by President Putin after a request by the Serbian government.

Distribution will be carried out by the Serbian Red Cross.

"A plane left this morning at 0900 (0500 GMT) for Belgrade, with 40 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including baby food. It is for the Serbian population of Kosovo," said Veronika Smolskaya, of Russia's emergency situations ministry.

"We are planning more flights for a total of 140 tonnes of aid," she added.

Mr Putin had ordered the deliveries in March, after the Serbian government requested food, medicine and medical equipment.

Source: BBC NEWS Europe