There is an attempt afoot to revive the religious tourism in Egypt. The pilot tour of the new route, "On the trail of the Holy Family" is scheduled for June this year.
The excursion is being worked out under the auspices of rectors of Christian churches and abbots of monasteries, reports the website of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society.
The itinerary includes visits to the sites in Cairo, the Al-Minya governorate and further to the south, where, according to the tradition, the Virgin Mary with Joseph and the Infant Jesus took refuge from the pursuit. The tour finishes in Asyut, at the Monastery of St. Mary the Virgin. For safety reasons, a trip to the North Sinai governorate (where sites associated with the Holy Family's sojourn have survived as well), was excluded from the itinerary.
The current Turkish prime-minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is considering the possibility of Muslim prayer at Hagia Sophia Church in Istanbul (Constantinople), reports Romphea. Erdogan is planning to participate in a namaz at the historic Hagia Sophia Church in Constantinople, reports the Radikal Turkish daily newspaper. The Muslim prayer will probably be performed during the annual celebrations of the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, just before the August elections, when Erdogan wants to retake his office of prime-minister.
Fifteen years after NATO bombings and many ensuing conflicts in Kosovo, poverty and isolation continue to be a challenge for the thousands of families returning to their homes in the region's non-majority communities.
IOCC has maintained a humanitarian presence in the region since 1998, and is continuing its work through ongoing initiatives to help these vulnerable families improve their farming techniques, raise their household incomes, and improve the learning environment for their children.
The Arab American National Museum is currently featuring an exhibit entitled, Sacred Scenes: Icons of the Orthodox Church, reports the Dearborn Press and Guide. The exhibit features the work of relgious icon artist Vlasios Tsotsonis.
Visitors will see several original, large-scale pieces by the artist, both paintings and mosaics/marquetry, as well as a series of works on clear acrylic depicting Angels of Peace. Most of the acrylic pieces on display comprised an important presentation of Greek culture at the 2004 Olympic Games held in Athens, while others were created for use in chapels and at home.
A book promotion was held for All Roads Lead To Jackson by Milina Jovanovic at the Office for cooperation with the diaspora in the region, a publication of the Western American Diocese, Sebastian Press.
A two hour lecture of the true historical life of Serbs was delivered in the overfilled hall of the Office for cooperation with the diaspora, about Serbs who have spent already two centuries in California and have left behind strong traces, as they continue to do today. The author, a sociologist by profession, spent ten years researching, used many parameters in her methods of shaping her research in a study which in English has turned into “All Roads Lead To Jackson.”
Syrian armed forces have reportedly managed to retake full control of the Christian town of Ma’loula as the army continues to gain more ground in its fight against Takfiri militants.
“The army has taken full control of Ma’loula and restored security and stability,” AFP quoted a Syrian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying on Monday, adding, “Terrorism has been defeated in Qalamoun,” which is situated in the countryside of the capital, Damascus.