On 12 November 2011, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church concluded the first day of his visit to the Patriarchate of Antioch with a visit to the Church of St. Ignatius the God-Bearer in Damascus – the Representation of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Patriarch of the Great City of Antioch and All the East.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is expected to visit Syria and Lebanon from November 12-15, Moscow Patriarchate spokesman Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky told Interfax-Religion on Friday.
"The program of the Russian Patriarch's visits is being detailed now. By tradition, after election patriarchs visit all local Orthodox Churches," he said.
Today, 9 November 2011, a new shrine for the holy relics of Saint Great Martyr Mina at Saint Mina –Vergu church was consecrated by the Patriarch of Romania in the historical chapel of the Patriarchal Residence.
Bulgaria's Christian Orthodox Church honors Saturday the All Souls' Day before the Day of St. Archangel Michael, or the so-called Archangel All Souls' Day. All Souls' Day is also known as the Feast of All Souls, Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed.
The Eastern Orthodox Church dedicates several days throughout the year to the dead, mostly on Saturdays, because of Jesus' resting in the tomb on Saturday with the All Souls' Day before having a special significance. Archangel All Souls' Day is called Men's All Souls' Day as well. This is the day when the souls of all those who died as fighters for Bulgaria are honored, including those who served in the modern Bulgarian Army.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has reaffirmed his readiness to visit Japan in 2012.
"I plan to visit Japan next year if everything goes right and God gives me health," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said at a meeting with Japanese Ambassador to Russia Tikahito Harada in Moscow on Tuesday.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations has accused the West of failing to stand up for Egyptian Christians during recent violence against them and has slammed Western governments for putting economic interests before human life.
"Despite the unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians in Egypt early in October, not a single Western country has put any pressure on the provisional military authorities of that country or threatened economic sanctions," a statement from the Synodal Department for External Church Relations quoted Metropolitan Hilarion as saying during a ceremony at the university of Lugano, Switzerland, in which he had the degree of doctor honoris causa conferred on him.