The sole Greek Orthodox church to survive a fire in the Aegean province of İzmir in 1922 has been restored, municipal officials announced Sunday. The İzmir Metropolitan Municipality released a statement saying that the restoration of the historical Ayavukla Church, which was launched in 2008, was nearly completed.
Last Saturday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and about thousand believers attended a solemn ceremony of consecrating an icon over the gates of the Moscow Kremlin Spasskaya Tower held by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. At 03:00 p.m. sharp with chimes striking, the President and the Patriarch walked out of the Kremlin Building No. 1 and proceeded through the Spasskaya Tower gate to the square. After a prayer service, Patriarch Kirill came up to a platform decorated with white flours that was then elevated to the level of the icon. The Primate sprinkled the icon with holy water and blessed the believers.
Artist Tatyana Petrova presented Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia an original copy of Andrey Rublyov's Holy Trinity icon made of rose petals. "I worked all summer. I toned blue roses slightly - other colors are natural," Petrova told an Interfax-Religion correspondent after conveying the icon to the Patriarch after the Sunday Liturgy at St. Andronik monastery where the famous icon painter is buried. This year his 650th birthday is celebrated.
A well-known Swiss theologian, hieromonk Gabriel (Bunge) became an Orthodox before the divine service at the church of the "Joy to All the Afflicted" Icon on Bolshaya Ordynka Street in Moscow. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations cordially greeted Fr. Gabriel who has lived a solitary life in the Swiss mountains for over thirty years, the DECR website reports.
World Council of Churches leader, the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, will meet with Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church in his first official visit to Russia. During his 27-29 June visit, Tveit, the WCC's general secretary, and Patriarch Kirill will meet on 28 June, following a service to be led by the Russian Patriarch in the Kremlin's Cathedral of the Dormition, the Moscow Patriarchate's external relations section told ENInews.
Today on June 17, 2010 in Belgrade a Inter-religious Council of the Ministry of Faith of the Republic of Serbia was established, and it consists of Prof. Dr. Bogoljub Sijakovic, Minister of Faith of the Republic of Serbia; Bishop Dr. Irinej Bulovic of Backa; Stanislav Hocevar, Archbishop of Belgrade of the Roman Catholic Church in Serbia; Reis-ul-ulema of the Islamic Community of Serbia Adem Zilkic and Rabbi Isaac Asiel, chief rabbi of the Jewish Community in Serbia. The Inter-religious Council is open for further appointments of members from among the dignitaries of the traditional churches and religious communities and prominent lay people.
Minister of Faith Bogoljub Sijakovic pointed out the tasks of the Inter-religious Council: affirmation of religious freedom and religious culture, publishing communiqués (epistles) on important social issues, organizing scientific meetings, panels, round tables and advice on current topics, participation in the preparation of normative solutions, reviewing and interpreting of the tendency of public life, considering the importance of religious freedom and religious culture in the European context.