The Coptic Orthodox Church has issued a statement refuting reports that the Coptic Pope has met Saudi Arabian officials over the creation of the first church in the country.
There are an estimated 1.5 million Christians in the strictly Muslim country but they are not allowed to worship publicly.
The MidEast Christian News agency reported that a meeting had taken place between Pope Tawadros II and Saudi Ambassador Ahmed Kattan about the possibility of setting up a church.
“The World Council of Churches (WCC) is deeply concerned by the current dangerous developments in Ukraine,” the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC said on Monday, 3 March.
“The situation puts many innocent lives in grave jeopardy. And like a bitter wind from the Cold War, it risks further undermining the international community’s capacity to act now or in the future on the many urgent issues that will require a collective and principled response,” he said.
“Out of concern for the lives and security of all people who are or might in the future be affected by the continuing failure to resolve this situation peacefully, I call urgently on all parties to refrain from violence, to commit to dialogue and diplomacy, and to avoid escalation by rash words or actions. The consequences of failing to do so will inevitably be much greater human suffering in Ukraine, and a deep rift in the social and political fabric of the region and in the wider international community,” Tveit said.
Inter-Orthodox Vespers on Sunday of Orthodoxy
This year, on the evening of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Churches in Australia, are organizing an Inter-Orthodox Vespers Service, during which all Orthodox Christians in Sydney and District are given the opportunity to pray together and jointly declare their Orthodox Faith with a Procession of ICONS around the Church.
On January 29th, St. Tikhon Orthodox University opened its doors to a delegation of the John Templeton Foundation, in order to discuss future cooperation between the two institutions.
The John Templeton Foundation was established in Philadelphia in 1987, by John Templeton, to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The Foundation encourages “civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights”. From 1972, the Templeton Prize honors a living person “who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life`s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works”.
We, representatives of the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christian communities of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Estonia, have gathered together to express our common opinion on the issues of vital concern for people in our countries.
These days, our prayers and sincere concern are for the people of Ukraine undergoing hard ordeals. All our communities are praying for those who were killed or injured during the political and social confrontation, as well as for the establishment of lasting peace and mutual understanding among all citizens of the fraternal Ukraine, regardless of their nationality or religion.
We call upon all those on whom the future of Ukraine depends to adhere to the principles of freedom of conscience and religion, as well as to the principle of non-interference of state and political forces in the internal life of religious organizations. Well do we remember to what tragic consequences it had led in the history of our countries. Revolutionary methods or any calls to violence, discrimination and seizure of churches cannot promote the unity of Christians or contribute to the establishment of truly partner relationships between religious organizations and the state for the sake of prosperity of the whole society.
Archimandrite David [Mahaffey] was elected by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to fill the vacant Episcopal See of Sitka and Alaska on Oct. 16, 2013.
The election took place during the fall session of the Holy Synod at the OCA Chancery.
Delegates to the Assembly of the Diocese of Alaska, on Sept. 15, 2012, had nominated Father David, who has been serving as the diocese’s Administrator and Chancellor, to fill the vacant See. His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, Locum Tenens of Episcopal See of Sitka and Alaska, presented his name to the Holy Synod for canonical election.
Born in Altoona, Penn., in 1952, Father David was received into the Orthodox Christian faith in 1975, two years after his marriage to the late Karen Meterko. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, Penn., in 1997. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Scranton with bachelor’s degrees in theology and philosophy. Two years later, he received his master of arts degree in theology from the same school.