The Coptic Orthodox Church has issued a statement refuting reports that the Coptic Pope has met Saudi Arabian officials over the creation of the first church in the country.
There are an estimated 1.5 million Christians in the strictly Muslim country but they are not allowed to worship publicly.
The MidEast Christian News agency reported that a meeting had taken place between Pope Tawadros II and Saudi Ambassador Ahmed Kattan about the possibility of setting up a church.
In Vienna the Catholic Neulerchenfeld parish will be transferred to the Serbian Orthodox Church, reports the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. The reason for the transfer is the catastrophic reduction in the number of parishioners.
The Armenian National Institute (ANI), Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA) and Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) jointly, and in cooperation with the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan, and the Republic of Armenia National Archives, announced the release of a major exhibit consisting of 20 panels with over 150 historic photographs documenting the role of the Armenian Church during the Armenian Genocide.
Turkey’s Ministry of EU Affairs has welcomed the return of a piece of land to the historic Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation, in Turkey’s southeast region.
The Ministry called it an “important achievement towards strengthening the fabric of fraternity and realizing the goal of advanced democracy in our country”.
The issue over the ownership of the nearly 250-decare (1000 square meters) of land in Mardin province has been a source of dispute over the last decade between Turkey’s government and the Assyrian foundation. Two years ago, the Turkish Supreme Court upheld a decision giving the rights of the land to the state.
But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced in September last year that the land would be returned to the foundation – its historic owner – as part of the government’s “democratization package”. The move was approved a week later by the state agency for foundations.
A controversial bill which draws the first legal distinction between Israel’s Muslim and Christian Arabs was approved in its second and third readings in the Knesset on Monday, recognizing Christian Arabs as a separate minority in Israel for the first time.
The legislation, sponsored by Likud MK Yariv Levin, will add an Israeli Christian Arab representative to the panel of the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity, in the Employment Commission.