Archbishop of Johannesburg and Pretoria celebrates at the Russian Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in South Africa17. January 2014 - 13:40
On January 15, 2014, the commemoration day of St. Seraphim of Sarov, Archbishop Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria (Orthodox Church of Alexandria) celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Johannesburg.
After the service the archpastor warmly greeted the parishioners, wishing them a happy feast and God’s help in the new year.
On behalf of the parish, the rector of the church, Father Daniel Lugovoy, presented His Eminence with an icon of Our Lady the Queen of All.
A radical Jabhat al-Nusra "opposition" group, which occupied the small Christian town of Ma'loula in Syria in the last months of 2013, desecrated absolutely all shrines of the town, reports al Hadas portal with the reference to materials of the al Akhbar Lebanese newspaper.
According to evidence of eyewitnesses who fled from Ma'loula during the latest warfare in the region, members of al Nusra tried to change the religious and architectural-historical look of the ancient Christian town entirely: completely destroying some churches, the militants brought down all bells from other ones. The fate of two other world-famous monuments of Ma'loula was no less tragic: extremists blew up the statue of Christ the Savior, which had stood at the entrance of St. Thecla Convent, as well as the statue of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, which had stood close to the Safir hotel, the latter of which served as the main shelter for Takfirists for many months.
On January 14, 2014, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and on the invitation of Archbishop Anthony, Metropolitan of Mexico, Central America, Venezuela and the Caribbean Islands (Patriarch of Antioch), Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, arrived in Mexico. At Benito Juarez international airport he was met by Archbishop Justinian, administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate’s parishes in the USA, Bishop Alexis of Mexico (Orthodox Church in America), Russian ambassador E. Malayan, clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church in Mexico and the USA and Russian diplomats in Mexico City.
His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East presided over the Divine Liturgy of the feast of Theophany, at the Holy Cross Church. His Beatitude was accompanied by the Patriarchal Vicar, His Grace Bishop Efraim (Malouli), and Their Graces, Bishops Moussa Khoury, Nicholas Baalbaki, along with several priests and deacons.
Almost three years after the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, which has claimed the lives of at least 130,000 of our fellow men and has caused an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has issued the following declaration :
“We appeal on every organization and agency, on all those in power on earth, to face up to their historical responsibilities to mankind, even at this ultimate moment, and to put an end to this inhuman and absurd ‘theatre of death’ which has been unfolding in Syria since 2011.