Pope appeals for peace in the Caucasus

Pope Francis appeals to leaders in Armenia and Azerbaijan to find a negotiated solution to the crisis in the region.

Pope Francis has appealed to conflicting parties in the Caucasus nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan to “accomplish concrete deeds of goodwill and fraternity” for a peaceful solution.

An encyclical for all brothers and sisters

Pope Francis and members of the faithful participating in the General Audience of 23 October 2019

While waiting to know the contents of the document, there has been some discussion about the title and how to translate it inclusively. An encyclical, though, is per se a universal text, and Pope Francis truly wants to speak to the heart of each and every person. The Holy See Press Office announces that the text will be published on 4 October.

International Photo competition “Colours of Orthodoxy. Finland”

Competition is organized by the Orthodox Church of Finland, OrthPhoto.net and the Publishing Department of the Polish Orthodox Church. The contest is organized to present the diversity and beauty of Orthodoxy in Finland. Through this contest, which will culminate with an album and an exhibition, we would like to present for wider audience Christian life in Finland. We are looking for images in these categories: Churches (architecture, frescos, crosses, tombs, landscape), People (ordained and lay, portrait, etc.), Reportage (Church events, pilgrimages, feasts, etc.). Entering the competition is free of charge. Due to Coronavius pandemics we encourage participants to look through their archives. If you sent your application before 31st of May you will not lose your limits. All entries must be received by September 4th, 2020.

Only headscarf-wearing women are allowed to enter Hagia Sophia

The entrance to Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, which has been converted into a mosque, is only allowed for women who wear a headscarf and are properly dressed.  “From now on, women who do not wear a headscarf or are not properly dressed will not be allowed to enter Hagia Sophia,” odatv4.com reports. It adds that… headscarves and one-piece suits are distributed for free at the entrance of the church for female tourists who wish to enter.

Oldest Armenian Church in Bulgaria Marks 400th Anniversary

The Armenian Church of the Holy Virgin in Silistra marked Sunday its 400th anniversary. It is believed to be the older Armenian church in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian News Agency reports. Repair works at the church years ago led to the discovery of a stone plate with the year of the church’s construction. The church’s dome is unique with its frescoes which, according to researchers, are a rare feature for Armenian churches. Another untypical feature are the openings in the upper part of the southern and northern sides of the central space inside the building, which serve to improve acoustics. The walls are covered in religious oil paintings – not in frescos – many of which created by Silistra-based painter Bedig Bedrosyan.