News

St. Petersburg Named Europe’s Best Tourist Destination

The 2017 World Travel Awards has named Russia’s St. Petersburg the best tourist destination in Europe for the second time since 2015. This year marked the 24th anniversary of the prestigious World Travel Awards, established in 1993 and considered to be one of the most reputable in international tourism, with The Wall Street Journal describing it as “The Oscars” for the industry.

Egypt aims to make Sinai a place of pilgrimage for Christians, Jews, Muslims

Egyptian authorities are intending to use the holy places of three world religions on the Sinai Peninsula to development pilgrimage and excursion-educational tourism, according to South Sinai province governor Khaled Foda, reports RIA-Novosti.

“Sinai is the cradle of three world religions; it embodies the spirit of peaceful coexistence of representatives of different faiths,” Foda said, speaking at an international conference on the development of religious tourism.

Pope in Bologna breaks bread with migrants, urges hope

Pope Francis pressed his campaign for Europe to open its doors to migrants Sunday, visiting a migrant center in northern Italy, breaking bread with refugees and insisting that politicians work for the most marginalized people and not special interests.

During a busy day in Bologna, Francis spent over an hour meeting with hundreds of migrants, greeting them one-by-one and patiently posing for selfies under drizzly skies. He hosted a luncheon of lasagna and turkey for asylum-seekers and prisoners in Bologna’s basilica, sitting down at a table in front of the altar.

He drew cheers when he ad-libbed that he knew the migrants were desperate to have identification documents, and again when he insisted that each one had a name and a story of the tragedies endured to arrive in Italy. He donned the same plastic ID bracelet that the migrants were wearing and led hundreds in silent prayer for those who died in the journey.

Ethiopian President Receives Catholicos Baselios Paulose II of the East

His Excellency Mulatu Teshome – President of Ethiopia received His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II (Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas and Primate of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church) and His Holiness Abune Mathias of Ethiopia. Catholicos Baselios Paulose II is currently on a visit to Ethiopia.

Meeting of SYGG-Syria with President Dr. Bashar Assad

Meeting of SYGG-Syria with President Dr. Bashar Assad
Meeting of SYGG-Syria with President Dr. Bashar Assad
Meeting of SYGG-Syria with President Dr. Bashar Assad
Meeting of SYGG-Syria with President Dr. Bashar Assad

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II meets His Excellency Dr. Bashar Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, with the participants of the Suryoyo Youth General Gathering – Syria, at the Damascus Hall in Damascus.

Churches of Ma'loula looted by militants being restored in Syria

The Ma’loula church complex, looted by Islamic militants, is being restored at an accelerated speed. One of the churches is expected to be ready for parishioners in the near future, RIA-Novosti reports.

“The most difficult was restoring the cave of St. Thekla. It suffered greatly, as did the Church of St. Elias. The specialists faced the difficult task of preserving the historical artifacts. However, some of the architectural monuments had to be built anew, because they were lost,” engineer Elias Hilal told reporters.

Churches in Europe working group of Russian-German forum ‘St. Petersburg Dialogue’ meets in Berlin

September 13, 2017 – The Churches in Europe group of the Russian-German forum of civil societies ‘St. Petersburg Dialogue’ held a working meeting in Berlin.

The meeting opened with a minute of silence in tribute for the memory of Archbishop Feofan for Berlin and Germany who passed away on September 11, 2017; the German participants presented their condolences.