A significant historic event has happened for the Orthodoxy in Africa. The biggest mass baptism ever has occurred in Johannesburg, South Africa. 42 newly baptized members of the local African population.
Day after the celebration of St. Nicholas of Myra, The Wonder-worker, the biggest mass baptism ever has been performed of the members of a local population in South Africa. It was presided by His Eminence Metropolitan Serafim of Johannesburg and Pretoria with the concelebration of dozen priests and deacons of the Metropolitanate of Johannesburg.
Over 200 people, from various jurisdictions, gathered together on Sunday, November 16 Minneapolis for the annual IOCC Benefit Dinner. His Grace Bishop IRINEJ of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand was the featured speaker and shared his personal experiences about working with IOCC. Also addressing the audience was IOCC Board Vice-chair Dr. Frank Cerra. A special musical presentation was made by music professor and composer Chris Granias and vocalist Emily Rakes. Granias composed a hymn titled "The IOCC Anthem" which was performed by Ms. Rakes.
By the time of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, there were nearly 600 newspapers and magazines throughout Russia devoted to Orthodox subjects. They were all shut down by the Soviet regime by 1918. Today, in a country that was officially atheist less than two decades ago, there are again hundreds of newspapers, magazines and newsletters covering the world's largest Orthodox church. There are also as many as 3,500 Russian Orthodox Web sites. Some priests are blogging.
By the Mercy of God
Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church
Grace, peace and mercy from the Savior Christ, born in Bethlehem
Beloved brethren and children in the Lord,
The great and sacred day of Christmas has dawned, the metropolis and mother of all feasts, inviting each of us to spiritual uplifting and encounter with the Ancient of Days, who became an infant for us.
Georgian catholic patriarch Ilia the second once more spoke about the meeting with Russian president on joint meeting of academy of scientists. Patriarch stated that they reached good agreement on meeting with Dmitry Medvedev. "There were pretty good, positive agreements, but it needs continuation, cautious and diplomatic approach. I think that our government will continue it", - Ilia the second stated. Patriarch declared that big delegation will visit Georgia from Russia on December 24 headed by former culture minister, incumbent Medvedev's advisor Mikheil Shvidkov. Russian delegation will take part in scientific conference.
"We will never permit tricks or the vagaries of history to wipe us out from this land": the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has commented on the report of the Turkish foreign ministry, which denigrates the "minority" presence of the Greek Orthodox community in Turkey, and refuses to recognize the "ecumenical" character of the ancient patriarchate.
Presiding over the reopening of the church dedicated to Saints Constantine and Helena in the Bozakoy neighborhood in Istanbul, Bartholomew I highlighted for the faithful present that "we are not finished, or hopeless." And recalling the great battle of Greek king Leonides against Xerxes of Persia, he added: "we will never abandon our Thermopylae."