The Nativity fast begins on November 14/27, and lasts forty days. The Nativity fast is not as strict as Great Lent or the Dormition fast, and can be compared to the Apostle’s fast. It was instituted by the Church so that we would worthily greet the feast of the Nativity of Christ after having cleansed our hearts by prayer and repentance.
The establishment of the Nativity fast, like many other long fasts, dates back to the early days of Christianity. Already in the fourth century, St. Ambrose of Milan, Philastrius, and Blessed Augustine recall the Nativity fast in their works. St. Leo the Great wrote about the antiquity of the Nativity fast in the fifth century.
International Scientific Conference – “The Cyrillo-Methodian Tradition, the Language and the Mission of the Church in the XXI Century”10. December 2013 - 11:42
At the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the University in Belgrade, on 6 December 2013 there was held an International Scientific Conference “The Cyrillo-Methodian Tradition, the Language and the Mission of the Church in the XXI Century”.
Before the beginning of the great scientific conference, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa celebrated the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy at the chapel of Saint John the Theologian. The dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology protopresbyter-stavrophor Professor Dr. Predrag Puzovic opened the conference and Bishop Irinej and protopresbyter-stavrophor Professor Dr. Vladimir Vukasinovic delivered addresses. Director of the Office for Cooperation with Traditional Churches and Religious Communities Dr. Mileta Radojevic also attended the opening ceremony.
Protodeacon Radomir Rakic, Serbian Orthodox Church
RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS FROM THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE
It is not in the spirit of Eastern Christianity to formulate relations between people primarily in view of certain rights and obligations. The Orthodox prefer to speak about relations that are “appropriate and corresponding”. These relations originate from a common experience of Christians as members of Christ’s Kingdom. They express our common understanding of the Kingdom of God, and in life they are implemented by the growth of the person according to the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) into the condition of deification (Greek Theosis) becoming more like God.
On 3 September 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; chairman of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission and rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute for Post-Graduate and Doctoral Studies delivered the first lecture in a special course “The History of Christian Thought” at the National Research Nuclear University MePhI.
The Holy Monastery of St John the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan River/Qasr-el-Yahud (PART I)
By Dr Theodosios Mitropoulos, architect
Topography of the area of the Monastery and of the baptismal site (In Arab: El – Maghtas), (images 1,2)
The history of this Holy Monastery begins in very ancient times, prior to the 4th c. AD. The present-day monastery, which was built in later times, has a rectangular ground plan measuring 37,74 m. x 36,93 m. and occupies an area of approximately 1.343 m2. The perimeter walls, specifically their uppermost portion, terminate at battlements, which lend the monument the form of a Medieval castle. This is in all likelihood why its Arabian name is Qasr el Yahud [The castle of the Jews] (see image 13).
14th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) started its work in Budapest on 3 July 2013. On this Assembly are present 470 participants of which 220 are delegates with the right to vote and who represent 120 registered Churches and religious communities: Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants and Old-Catholic. Roman Catholic Church is not an official member of CEC, but actively participate in the work of CEC through the Council of the Bishop’s Conference of Europe.