The 23rd International Educational Christmas Readings under the theme ‘Prince Vladimir. Rus’s Civilizational Choice’ were opened in a solemn ceremony at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow. The ceremony and the plenary session were led by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has published a new report on its website. The report, “Orthodox Monastic Communities in the United States,” is the result of a survey of the 70-plus Orthodox monasteries in the country. According to the Assembly’s site:
The Arkhangelsk Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church has opened the “Virtual museum of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Arkhangelsk land.” The project of the website dedicated to the period of persecution of Christians for their faith in the 1920s-1950s in the north of Russia, won the “Orthodox Initiative 2013-2014” grants competition, reports the Arkhangelsk Diocese’s press service.
The www.arhispovedniki.ru website contains video collections and libraries related to the repressions, archival court cases, card files of those persecuted for their faith, the map of “sorrowful” places, the New Martyrs museum’s exhibits, and the “Ones who endured to the end” exhibition with methodological materials for guides.
On 22 January 2015, the round-table conference on ‘The Heritage of Holy Rus’ and Challenges of the Modern World’ took place at the State Duma of the Russian Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
According to the latest survey carried out by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, 41% of Russian residents at least once in their lives have visited holy sites, such as churches with saints’ relics, wonder-working icons as well as holy wells and other places, reports TASS.
According to the respondents, going on pilgrimages, they are prompted, first of all, by faith and a desire to become closer to God (51% of those asked). Others were impelled by grief, the need of help (8%) or urge to pray for forgiveness of their sins (7%). Some people in visiting holy places find an opportunity to broaden their horizons (16% of the respondents).