Attempt to create Abkhaz "metropolia" will cause deadlock

The creation of a new "metropolia" in Abkhazia announced late last week will only make it more difficult to resolve the Abkhaz church issue, the Moscow Patriarchate has said.

"The church canon laws do not involve the making of decisions to create new metropolitanates, let alone autocephalous churches, at "clerical-laic" congresses. And the nomination by the "laic congress" of bishop candidates is explicitly prohibited by the canon law," Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, deputy head of the Synodal Department of External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

The Russian Orthodox Church surprised by the statement of Milo Djukanovic

Statement of the father Nikolai Balashov, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church to Tanjug.  

The Orthodox Churches of the whole world do not doubt that this so-called montenegrin orthodox church is the non-canonical schismatic organization , so these statements of the leader from Podgorica surprised, said Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church Nikolai Balashov.

Syrian Christians Fear Regime Change Could Hasten Extinction

As the Arab Spring protests reach Damascus, Syrian Christians look warily at a future without a time-tested autocrat to protect them from religious intolerance.

In Egypt, sectarian violence, an intermittent problem in the past, flared anew since the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak in February. Twelve people were killed, hundreds injured and a church was torched last week in clashes between Copts and Muslims in Cairo. Christians and secular-leaning Muslims placed blame on Salafis, who advocate a return to the practices of Islam's earliest years.

Cornerstone of the Orthodox church on Island consecrated

His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Yegorievsk consecrated on May 12, 2011 in Reykjavik the cornerstone of a future church of the Russian Orthodox Church. To the delight of all Orthodox christians, and among them also the members of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in the presence of the President of Iceland Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and the delegation of the Russian Duma, led by vice president of the Parliament Mrs. Ljuba Konstantinova Slisk,   the ten-year-long dream has come true - the beginning of the construction of the Orthodox church dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.  

DECR chairman makes statement on attacks against Coptic churches in Giza

On May 7-8 in Giza, two Coptic churches were set on fire by radical Muslims. Twelve people were killed and about 200 were injured. In this connection, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's department for external church relations, made the following statement:

It is with deep sorrow that we in the Russian Orthodox Church took the report about the death of Egyptian Christians and setting fire to churches as a result of mass disorders on May 7 and 8, 2011, in Giza. We pray for the repose of the victims of this terrible tragedy and express condolences to their families and friends.