On the evening of Friday the 15th/28th of March 2014, His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, led the service for the Fourth Stasis of the Salutations to Theotokos in the Holy Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour for the Rum Orthodox, Arab-speaking Community of Ramallah, of the Palestinian State.
Holy Friday Epitaphion Service to be celebrated for the first time in over 57 years in Turkish occupied Cyprus4. April 2014 - 13:42
After a haitus of 57 years, in the part of Cyprus that was occupied by Turks in 1971, the service of the Epitaphion (Burial Shroud) will be performed on Holy Friday at St. George's Church in the city of Famagusta. Moreover, with the permission of the Turkish authorities, now once a month Divine Liturgy will be served here on Sundays, reports Romfea.gr. The Epitaphion service will be celebrated by Metropolitan Vasilios of Constantia-Ammochostos. St. George's Church, which dates back to the 15th century, is situated within a wall of the city's medieval fortress. "This makes us very happy," said Metropolitan Vasilios in his interview with the Athens News Agency, as he spoke about the ongoing activities "to prepare church for the service, which will be celebrated after half century haitus." "More than that,” the metropolitan added, “arrangement of a cross procession with the Epitaphion along the streets of Famagusta within the ramparts is currently being agreed upon."
On 3 April 2014, a regular session of the Interreligious Council of Russia, chaired by archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Department for Church and Society Relations, took place at the Danilovskaya Hotel in Moscow. Taking part in the meeting were representatives of Russia’s traditional religions, as well as Mr. Anton Ignatenko, representative of the Moscow Government, and Mr. Ivan Korostelev, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A group of the Russian Orthodox made a pilgrimage to China from March 22 to 31. This was the first ever pilgrimage to the Orthodox holy sites and monuments in China.
The pilgrims visited the Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Beijing, the Church of the Intercession in Harbin, the Chapel of St. John the Baptist in the Orthodox part of the city cemetery, where they prayed for Orthodox Christians buried there, and several more churches.
On 31 March 2014, archpriest Nikolai Balashov, vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with H.E. Slavenko Terzić, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Serbia to the Russian Federation.
The participants in the meeting discussed various developments in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church and inter-Orthodox relations.
On 31 March 2014, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East received in his residence in Balamand, Lebanon, a delegation of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), led by its chairman Mr. Sergei Stepashin, the website of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Beirut reports.
His Beatitude Patriarch John cordially thanked the head of the IOPS for the humanitarian aid which the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society has been rendering to the suffering Syrian people.