Lukashenko hopes Russian Church to actively help in strengthening Slavic unity

Byelorussian President Alexander Lukashenko believes the Russian Orthodox Church will be more active in building unity between Byelorussia and Russia. "We much anticipate and believe that the Russian Orthodox Church should become a more active participant in the process of uniting our states, and perhaps even in uniting Slavic civilization based on Byelorussia, Ukraine and Russia," Lukashenko told journalists in Minsk speaking on the results of his Friday meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Russian parish in Venice fundraises for victims of Aquila earthquake

The Russian Orthodox parish of the Holy Myrrhbearing Women in Venice fundraises for victims of the recent earthquake in Aquila. "On the day of God's visitation, when Italians faced the trial, our Orthodox duty is respond to grief of people who lost their relatives, houses, are deprived of hot food and warm cloths," the address is quoted as saying by the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church relations press service on Tuesday.

Papal message for Easter

Easter is not based on a myth, a theory or a fairy tale, but rather on the very real historical event of Christ's death and resurrection, says Benedict XVI. The Pope said this today during the Easter message he delivered from St. Peter's balcony at midday before he imparted his blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world). He began with the question: "What is there after death?"

Papal message sent to Earthquake victims

As the city of L'Aquila gathered to mourn the loss of hundreds of its citizens, victims of a deadly earthquake, Benedict XVI sent a message of solidarity and hope. The Holy Father sent a letter today to the national funeral of the victims of the earthquake that hit the capital of the Abruzzo region of central Italy. Friday was declared a day of national mourning and a moment of silence was observed nationwide.

Christians in Kerala celebrate Palm Sunday

Christians across Kerala celebrated Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of the holy week before Easter, by attending church and offering special prayers. Churches distribute palms to commemorate Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in his path before his arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday.

Master iconographers to present workshops in St. Vladimir's Academy in NY

Two master iconographers, one painting in the Russo-Byzantine style and the other painting in the Byzantine (Greek-Cretan School) tradition, will offer exclusive workshops on the campus of St. Vladimir's from June 11-17, 2009. Fr. Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko, of the Ss. Alipij & Andrei Rublev Icon Studio in Winnipeg Canada, and Khouriya Erin Mary Kimmett of Norwood, Massachusetts, will open their summer workshops to 12 students each, and will accept students with experience ranging from none to decades-long practice, and expertise ranging from novice to master.