The worst wildfires in
history have caused 181 confirmed deaths and left hundreds of people homeless.
More than 900 houses were destroyed and some 7,000 people have requested
assistance from humanitarian agencies. International Orthodox Christian Charities
(IOCC) is issuing an emergency appeal and has released initial funds to assess
the situation and assist the Orthodox churches in Australia
to mobilize a response.
Saturday, February 14 marks the 1140 anniversary of the death of Saint Cyril in Rome in 869. The two brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius were born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavs and influenced the cultural development of all Slavic people.
The Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA), the acknowledged voice of the Syriac/Aramean people, reports that the three court proceedings held today on Wednesday, February 11 2009, in Midyat, Turkey, have once again been postponed.
The three trials held today involved the following:
The newly elected Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill met a delegation of the People's Republic of China led by Ye Xiaowen, head of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, who is well-known for his anti-Vatican attacks.
The meeting took place on 2 February but was reported only yesterday on the Orthodoxy in China website. Kirill thanked Ye for the visit which took place "on the day of my enthronement", he said. As a matter of fact, it occurred a day earlier.
In the night between 11th and 12th February 2009, unknown persons broke in and desecrated the Orthodox church in the Kolunic settlement near Bosanski Petrovac, which has caused great concern among the innumerous returning Serbs in that area of the Muslim-Croat entity, the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, report the media in the Republic of Srpska. At the same time, the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy there has communicated that unknown vandals have tried breaking in the St. Sava Cathedral in Drvar. The eparchy points out that in the last couple of years the attacks are continuing against everything Serb in that area, and especially the Orthodox temples, without culprits ever being found. During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina the Bosniaks have destroyed of damaged all 12 churches in the region of Bosanski Petrovac, and only three have been renewed after the conflict. Before the war, there were 12,500 Serbs living there, and now 4,250 have returned from refugee dwelling. They live in very difficult conditions, as they are deprived of the right to work, and the school students are forbidden from the use of the Serbian language and Cyrillic alphabet.
Source: Eparchy of Bihac and Petrovac