Christian world

Reception in Honor of the Diplomatic Body in Syria

On the occasion of the new year 2017, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II invited their Excellencies the Ambassadors, Charge d’Affaires and Diplomatic Representatives to a Formal Reception at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma.

The reception was attended by their Excellencies: Mario Cardinal Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, and the ambassadors or heads of missions of the following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Norway, Palestine, Spain, Sudan and Sweden.

Abandoned churches near site of Christ’s Baptism may open again

“Ghost” churches near the Jordan River, where St. John the Forerunner baptized the Lord Jesus Christ, could be reopened to pilgrims as part of an effort to remove booby-traps and land mines, reports Reuters.

Thousands of mines litter the river banks which once served as a war zone between Israel and Jordan. Following its 1967 capture of the West Bank, Israel booby-trapped some of the area’s seven now-abandoned Orthodox and Catholic churches as protection against Jordanian incursions.

Hungary to allocate funds for reconstruction of four Orthodox churches

Timed to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to Hungary, the government will adopt a resolution to allocate funds for the reconstruction of four Orthodox churches, stated Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Siyarto.

An important topic of the visit will be cooperation in the field of culture, reports RIA-Novosti. “We’re looking forward to Feb. 2 to adopt a government resolution on the reconstruction of four Orthodox churches in Hungary and the allocation of funding for it,” said Siyarto in an interview with the newspaper “Kommersant.”

Gay pride parade nixed in Arctic Circle

LGBT activists gave a notification of intention to hold two rallies and a march in the Russian town of Salekhard, the closest town to the Arctic Circe, 1200 miles northeast of Moscow. In its turn, town administration gave its refusal, reports Interfax-Religion.

Trump to Take Oath of Office on Lincoln’s Bible at Inauguration Ceremony

US President-elect Donald Trump will use the Bible from President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration as well as his own bible when he takes the presidential oath of office on January 20, Trump’s transition team said in a press release on Tuesday.

Copy of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” found in Vologda cathedral

A copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s infamous “Last Supper,” dated to the mid-nineteenth century and painted according to Orthodox canons, has been found in Vologda’s Resurrection Cathedral, 290 miles northeast of Moscow. Certain variances from the original do catch the eye, for instance the different color of Judas robe, reports tvkultura.ru.