In India BJP government is about to grant permission to the Russian Orthodox Church, which celebrates Christmas on January 7, to provide religious services in the country. The move comes at a time when India is witnessing heated discussions on whether Christmas celebrations on December 25 is a case of “disproportionate Western cultural influence’’, reports The New Indian Express.
The Russian Orthodox Church has sought permission from the government to build a church in the capital to conduct services.Sunday Standard reports:
Metropolitan Hilarion granted degree of doctor honoris causa by Ss Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo24. December 2014 - 7:34
On December 19, 2014, during his visit to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, made with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations and rector of Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute for Post-Graduate Studies, visited Veliko Tarnovo University.
Today, 16 December 2014, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, blessed three missionary spaces. Members of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, patriarchal and eparchial counsellors, as well as employees of the three new missionary spaces were present.
On Sunday, December 14th, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy in the church of Saint John the Forerunner in Moscow. On this day consecration of the Altar Table, as well as consecration of two Bishops were officiated
During the Liturgy Patriarch Kirill consecrated Archimandrite Leonid (Tolmasev) Bishop of Urzum. Russian Patriarch celebrated together with Metropolitan Varsanufy of St. Petersburg, Metropolitan Mark of Vyat, Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev-Posad, Bishop Sabbas of Voskresensk, Bishop Paisiy of Yarnas, Bishop Irenaeus of Backa, Bishop David of Krushevac, Bishop Anthony of Moravica, Bishop Ieronimus of Yegar (the Serbian Patriarchate), and many priests of the Russian Church.
On 12 December 2014, His Beatitude Theodoros, Patriarch of Alexandria, visited the Exarchate of the Holy Sepulcher in Cyprus. He was accompanied by the Most Reverend Makarios, Metropolitan of Kenya, and the Exarch of the Patriarchate of Alexandria to Cyprus, f. Athenodoros. His Beatitude was welcomed by the Most Reverend Timotheos, Metropolitan of Bostra at the entrance to the Exarchate, and together they attended mass. On the conclusion of the divine Liturgy, a supplication was made for the Patriarch.
On December 10, during his final day in the New York area, His Beatitude, John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, visited the United Nations and held meetings with a variety of officials. (Watch press conference here.) His first meeting was with the Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ian Eliasson. During that meeting, as well as the other meetings, His Beatitude stressed that the only solution to the crisis in Syria is one of negotiations and peace, not of bombs and war, saying “The Syrian people ask for peace and welfare for themselves and for everyone on earth.” He continued by saying that “as a Christian leader, I can also speak on behalf of the Islamic leaders in Syria in that we all reject extremism. In Greater Syria we have been co-existing for hundred of years.” He also relayed in his various meetings that with regard to humanitarian relief the Orthodox Church is helping everyone, regardless of sect or religion.