Theophilos III blocked a recent attempt to confiscate church property

Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III blocked a recent attempt by Israel's Jerusalem municipality to confiscate 43 dunums of church property near Beit Safafa village, officials said Saturday.

A Palestinian lawyer representing the patriarch said he presented an appeal against a decision taken by an Israeli regional planning committee within the municipality to confiscate Greek Orthodox property in order to expand streets and build public facilities.

Russian Patriarch greeted by 3,000 Orthodox believers in Rivne

Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill of Moscow, was greeted by 3,000 Orthodox believers during a visit on Aug. 3 to Rivne, western Ukraine.

Albanian Orthodox Church criticises gay marriage bill

The Albanian Orthodox Church issued a statement Tuesday (August 18th) criticising the proposed draft law on gay marriages. The Synod of the Church said that marriage has always been between a man and a woman. "Whenever there were experiments against the eternal laws of God, they led to human and social catastrophes," the statement warned. Late last month, the government announced that it is considering the legalisation of gay marriage, based on a draft measure prepared by a Tirana NGO.

Patriarch Kirill contented with dynamics of church-state dialogue

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia approves of the character of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the state.

"I am satisfied with the Premier's visit (to Valaam - IF) as well as with cooperation between the Church and the state. On the one hand, the principle of state non-interference in church affairs works, constitutional frames are observed, but at the same time absolute majority of Russian people belong to the Orthodox Church," the Patriarch has told journalists in Valaam.

Russian Patriarch urges foreign religious organizations to respect Russian laws

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has reminded foreign religious organizations active in Russia how important it is to demonstrate respect for the legislation of the country. "It is extremely important that religious organizations coming to Russia abide by Russian laws and see that their activities will not create difficulties for public life, or provoke ethnic tensions," Patriarch Kirill said at a press briefing after talks with the head of the Turkish Religious Directorate Ali Bardakoglu in Ankara.