When Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and his Islamic-rooted party came under fierce fire this summer from secularists, who came close to persuading the country's supreme court to bar both from politics, he called the campaign an attack against religious freedom and a threat to Turkey's efforts to join the European Union.
Yet in nearly six years in power, Erdogan has shown no inclination to extend even a modicum of religious freedom to the most revered Christian institution in Turkey - the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the spiritual center of 300 million Orthodox Christians throughout the world. As a result, Turkey's persecution of the Patriarchate looms as a major obstacle to its European aspirations, and rightly so.
The Bulgarian Black Sea capital Varna is hosting the week of the Christian Orthodox Book", which opens on Monday and will continue through September 14. The event's main focus is "the church, the religious enlightenment and the Christian education." At the week's official opening the Bishop of Varna Kiril presented his new book "The exploit of the Boyar Colonel Nikolay Kireev and Bulgaria's Liberation."
SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] - On Thursday, September 4, 2008, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America issued the following statement.
"On September 4, 2008, the Holy Synod of Bishops of The Orthodox Church in America elected Archimandrite Jonah (Paffhausen) to be Bishop of Fort Worth, and Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of the South.
A new Russian Orthodox church of St. Alexander of Neva was built in the district of Meguro in Tokyo. "The church has a new iconostasis and is being prepared for the consecration which is to take place on September 12 on the patronal festival," the secretariat for inter-Orthodox relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations told Interfax-Religion.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, is scheduled for lumbar spine surgery on September 9, 2008, at Shady Side Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA. After his surgery, Metropolitan Herman will have a short hospital stay and will continue his recovery at home. The clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America are asked to pray that His Beatitude's surgery is successful and for a quick recovery.
Source: OCA Communications
Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia congratulated Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia on the 45th anniversary of his bishopric ministry.
"On behalf of the Holy Synod and the entire plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church please accept heartfelt congratulations on the forty-fifth anniversary of your bishopric consecration," Alexy II's message cited by the Moscow Patriarchate official website reads.