On March 12, 2002, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved to hold Orthodox Youth Day on the feast of the Meeting of the Lord throughout the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate. In conjunction with this, His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow & All Russia, has released his annual epistle, the text of which is available below. With the blessing of His Holiness, all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church are asked to read the Patriarchal epistle upon completion of the Divine Liturgy on February 15 of this year.
Pope Francis on Monday denounced the murder of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIL militants in Libya. The Islamist terrorist organization released a video of the killings on Sunday.
Speaking in Spanish to an ecumenical delegation from the Church of Scotland, the Holy Father noted those killed only said “Jesus help me.”
“They were murdered just for the fact they were Christians,” Pope Francis said.
“The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that cries out,” said the Pope. “If they are Catholic, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it is not important: They are Christians. The blood is the same: It is the blood which confesses Christ.''
Pope Francis has appointed 19 new cardinals at a ceremony in Rome - the first such appointments of his papacy.
Cardinals are the most senior Roman Catholic clergymen below the pontiff. Correspondents say the inclusion of prelates from places such as Haiti and Burkina Faso reflects the Argentine Pope's commitment to the poor.
The Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor which for many centuries was the haven for Christians of north-eastern Syria today has lost its Christian name—now its occupants-islamists call it “Wilayat ul-Hayr”, reports the Calam1 portal.
Thus, islamists, members of “The Islamic State” terrorist organization have decided to abolish the very name of the city which since the 8th century has had the word “deir”, that is, “monastery”, as part of its name that refers to Christianity and the Christian heritage of Syria.
The Christians of Iraq have formed volunteer corps in order to free the Nineveh Valley – most of residents of which traditionally have been Christians — from ISIS. After the region had been seized by Islamists in summer 2014, over 100,000 Christians had to leave it, reports Telegraf.by.
A two-day international conference opened Sunday in Erbil on the future of Christians and Yezidis in war-torn Iraq, as thousands of families from the religious minorities continue to leave the country for Europe to escape systematic persecution.
Thirty-two countries are taking part in the conference -- titled “The Future of the Yezidis and Christians in Iraq; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing.” The conference will address the current condition of the religious minorities, many of whom have been internally displaced following ISIS attacks last year.