British statesman Winston Churchill once referred to Uganda as "the Pearl of Africa's Crown," with its equatorial snow-capped mountains, breathtaking waterfalls originating from the headwaters of the Nile at Lake Victoria, and over 3,400 species of birds and magnificent mountain gorillas. Today, Uganda secures Churchill's epithet by offering tourists white water rafting through turbulent rivers and exotic treks around shimmering lakes, creating an almost mythic lost kingdom for visitors.
But 3rd-year St. Vladimir's seminarian Troy Hamilton saw another, more circumspect view of the country when he visited the northern region around the small town of Gulu over his winter semester break, January 1-12, 2009. Snubbing the superlative camping spots and spectacular national parks, he saw people. People recovering from a civil war that had decimated villages and forced their resettlement in United Nations refugee camps where they lingered for decades. People without ambition. People reluctant to rebuild their hometowns after their kinfolk and children had been beaten, raped, maimed, forced to march to exhaustion, or sold into virtual slavery as concubines and soldiers by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
Although being at the first glance a purely Muslim republic with strong national traits and traditions, Tatarstan has many venerated shrines of the Russian Orthodox Church. The capital of Tatarstan itself observes the strict rule that regulates the number of churches and mosques within the city limits.
The region boasts unique Russian churches and monasteries that are stunningly picturesque, yet in the middle of nowhere, with the mighty Volga on one side and virgin wood covering steep slopes on the other.
A church in the east end of Glasgow is to be consecrated as the first place of worship for the Romanian Orthodox Church in Scotland. Shettleston Old Parish Church will host a special inauguration ceremony at 3pm this Sunday as it becomes the home for Romanian Orthodox followers in the city.
Serbian Tennis Star NovakDjokovic spent Christmas Eve with the faithful of the St. Nicholas SerbianOrthodox Church in Wolloongabba, Brisbane.
Our youngest among the faithful were especially thrilled with his presence andtook advantage of this unique opportunity to ask for his autograph. Mr. ZeljkoGrbic, president of this Church-School Congregation gifted Nole with a 2009Serbian Orthodox Planner, which is published by the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.
Olivier Clément, who has died aged 87, was a French-born Russian Orthodox theologian whose stature was recognised not only by members of other Churches but also by Jews and Muslims. Offering personal proof that it was possible to become Orthodox without going East, he foresaw a Christian future which did not require the Western Church to become Eastern, or vice versa. He worked tirelessly for a mutual respect, which would make possible a recovery of the fullness of truth which would make the Churches one.