Orthodox Church's bishop in Alaska died

A man who presided as the Orthodox Church's bishop in Alaska from 1973 to 1995 has died. Archbishop Gregory Afonsky was 82.

Gregory helped establish St. Herman Pastoral School, which first opened its doors in Kenai and later moved to Kodiak. The school was later named a seminary by national church leaders.

Gregory was named archbishop in 1995.

A memorial was held Wednesday in Sitka.

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Anniversary of the Allied Bomb Attacks Against Belgrade

Дечанска

Today marks the 64th anniversary of the beginning of the allied bombings of Belgrade in April 1944.

Officially, during the bombings which took place on the Orthodox Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, 1100 Belgrade residents and 18 Germans were killed, while 1400 residents of the capital were wounded. However, the number of the victims is much higher, since the official figures only include those who were buried in mass graves.

On the first day of the attack, more than one and a half thousand tons of bombs were dropped over Belgrade, with more than 400 bomber planes involved.

The Obstetric Hospital in Krunska St., a children's day school, Slavija Sq., Nemanjina and Decanska St., the Bajloni Market, Pasino Brdo, Zeleni Venac, the Main Railway Station, the National Theater, Senjak, Milesevska St,, Knez Mihajlova St,, Queen Natalija St, Milosa Velikog St, and Sarajevska St. got hit.

It is estimated that, from April 16 up until September 1944, more than 4500 residents of the capital died in the allied bomb attacks against Belgrade.

Belgrade has come under bomb attacks seven times during the period from Easter 1941 to the end of WWII.

Source: RTS

Events in commemoration of Russian royal family to be held in Russia in July

Moscow, April 16, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church instructed Archbishop Vikenty of Yekaterinburg to draft a program of events in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the deaths of last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family.

Religious services in commemoration of the royal martyrs will be held in all Russian churches on July 16-17, the Holy Synod also decided at a session in Moscow on Tuesday. The members of the religious and public program Yekaterinburg Initiative urged the Russian leadership last month to rename all communities on the Russian map related to the people who had to do with the killing of the royal family.

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Serbian Orthodox Bishop visits Wodonga and Geelong

WodongaOn Sunday, 13 April 2008, His Grace Bishop Irinej, Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Australia and New Zealand, for the first time since being enthroned in late 2006 in Sydney, visited his faithful in Wodonga. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Serbian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul on High Street. Assisting the bishop were the Very Rev. Lazar Caran of St. Sava Monastery in Elaine, the Very Rev. Dragolyub Pantelich of Ballarat, and the Very Rev. Protodeacon Sasha Colich of Sydney.

WodongaThe church yard was crowded well before the beginning of services and a white runner strewn with fragrant herbs was set out before the bishop. Traditional gifts of bread and salt were offered to welcome the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia. Lovingly greeted by excited children donned in national folkloric costumes, they lined up to receive his blessing. Many received Holy Communion on that day from the hand of their archpastor.

Russian Church officially condemns Kosovo independence

Синод Руске Цркве

Moscow, April 15, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has issued a document officially condemning Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence.

Minutes of a meeting of the Holy Synod in Moscow on Tuesday, quoted the Church's governing body as expressing "solidarity with Serbia, a country that shares our faith, due to the separation from it of one of its historic parts, a part that has played a role in the history of the spiritual, cultural and ethnic life of the Serb people."

The Synod backed the position of "the Serbian Orthodox Church in the issue of separation of Kosovo and Metohia from Serbia."

It also advocated "all forms of support for the will of the brotherly Serbian people, who want the territorial integrity of their state to be preserved."

In February 2008, the head of the Russian Church, Patriarch Alexy II, expressed fear that Kosovo's unilaterally proclaimed independence would fuel separatist movements in other parts of the world and set off "very tragic events."

Kosovo's declaration of independence "is an anti-historical event, which upsets the world balance, something that may lead to very tragic events in a whole number of spots on the globe where separatist sentiments are being stoked," Alexy said.

Oldest Orthodox church in Balkans (Serbian Orthodox Church) defaced

St. Peter Church

A 9th century Serb Orthodox Church in Novi Pazar was last night sprayed with offensive graffiti in 6th April 2008. The priests at the St. Peter church reported this to the police and then informed the media.

St Peter Church The church walls were sprayed with vulgar and unreligious messages, the priests said, and asked the police to urgently apprehend the perpetrator or perpetrators, which remain unknown.

Meantime the Riaset, the seat of the Islamic Community of Serbia, led by Adem Zilkić, condemned this incident in the strongest terms, it was reported. The Riaset added that a desecration of any religious structure "sows the seeds of unrest", and that, "according to the Koran", it is "worse sin than murder".

The Riaset also stressed it has good relations with the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC), and condemned the incident that took place in the multi-ethnic Sandžak, saying that "those who did it do not mean well to their people"."Bosniaks and Serbs have for years shared this common space by living in peace and tolerance, successfully resisting all temptations so far," the Islamic organization said.

St Peter Church The St. Peter church in Novi Pazar (Serbia) was built in the 9th century, and is the oldest Orthodox church in the Balkans. At that place Stefan Nemanja, the biggest Serbian emperor, was resigned from the throne and went away in Mount Athos. His son St. Sava Serbian, as the youngest child, and him were founders of the Serbian monastery Chilandar (Mount Athos). His successors , in the Medeival era, were founders of many monasteries and churches in Kosovo and Metochia, BYRMacedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Bulgaria.