News

Restriction of religious teaching in public schools in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

An independent United Nations human rights expert expressed disbelief today at the backlash targeted against a recent court decision to restrict religious teaching in public schools in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Wrapping up a five-day visit to the country, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, issued a statement noting that the Constitution "provides that religious communities and groups are separate from the State and equal before the law.

Meeting of the Israel-Vatican Bilateral Commission held in Jerusalem

The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the State of Israel and the Holy See has held a Plenary meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel today, Thursday, 30 April 2009, for the purpose of advancing the negotiations pursuant to Article 10 §2 of the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel (30 Dec.1993).

The Delegation of the State of Israel was led by Mr. Daniel Ayalon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and was composed, in addition, of the following Members:

UN conference in Geneva recognized the problem of Christianophobia

Participants in the Geneva UN conference against racism and xenophobia condemned discrimination of Christians. The Forum's final document voiced concerns with "incidents of racial or religious intolerance and violence, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and anti-Arabism," the Moscow Patriarchate official web site has reported. The Russian Church has recently urged the participants in the conference to introduce an idea of Christianophobia into international laws.

Dialogue of Civilizations Forum to discuss problems of Europe in Prague monastery

The International Conference Dialogue in Prague: Europe in the 21st Century is to be held on May 13-15 in the Břevnov cloister, Prague. The participants in the conference will focus on such subjects as the world economic crisis and potential influence of the state on contemporary development, international cooperation and interreligious dialogue in the changing model of social development in Europe, the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations, which convenes the conference, told Interfax.

Pan-orthodox calendar first of its kind

A work-in-progress Bay Area Pan-Orthodox events calendar is now available online. The calendar intends to provide announcements of all publicized events across all parishes and jurisdictions in the greater Bay Area (Active membership in SCOBA is the criteria for inclusion). Roll-out is intended to take place in three phases. Phase one is now complete. All diocesan and metropolitan events for 2009 have been posted, including conferences and retreats. Antiochian, Greek, ROCOR, and OCA calendars are currently collected in this central location.

Russian bishop: Europe is exposed to threat of weak Christianity rather than strong Islam

Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Bishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk urges European countries to be more active in promoting Christian value system instead of talking about islamisation. "Today there's a lot of talking about islamisation of Europe, about demographic conquest of Europe. Big Muslim families shouldn't irritate us, it's natural to have a lot of children. We should better think why Christians prefer to have so few children?" the Bishop said at a Moscow meeting with Italian Ambassador in the Russian Federation Vittorio Claudio Surdo on Tuesday.