About 380 young people, ages 18-30 years old, gathered on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at the Cultural Center of the “Resurrection of Christ” Cathedral, in Tirana. The representatives of youth groups from different cities of the country came together for the further development and strengthening of the Orthodox Youth Association of Albania, which has been created in accordance with the Statutes of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. The Association’s goals are the active participation of youth in the life of the Church, the cultivation of friendships, and a deeper knowledge of the Orthodox faith, Christian witness and service.
On Tuesday the 10th/23rd of December 2014, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism organized an event which had as guests representatives of Judaism and Christianity. The event was held in celebration of the Hanukah (the rededication of the Temple of Solomon), Christmas and the New Year 2015, at the Mercaz Shimson in Beit Shmuel, West Jerusalem, opposite David’s Gate and the hill of the Holy Sion.
At the event, the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Mr Uzi Landau, and his associates, hosted lunch for the representatives of Christian Churches in Jerusalem, namely the Greek Patriarch, the representative of the Latin Patriarch, the Custodian of the Holy Land, the Ethiopian Patriarch and the Representative of the Lutheran Church. Also in attendance was Mr Cesar Margiye, Head of the Office of Christian Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, representatives of the Police and the Israeli Civil Administration, Ambassadors of states, etc.
On Wednesday, the 11th/24th of December 2014, the king of Jordan visited the historical city of Karak (ancient Kyriakoupolis) in South Jordan, to meet with subjects of his kingdom, Muslims and Christians alike, on the occasion of Christmas.
It cost €75 mln to buy a land lot for building Russian spiritual and cultural center on Branly Embankment in Paris, the Kommersant daily reports on Monday.
By God's Mercy Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church:
Grace, mercy, and peace from the Savior Christ, born in Bethlehem
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
"Christ is descending from the heavens;
let us meet Him!"
God has appeared on earth and, at the same time, we have seen the perfect mantogether with the inconceivable value of the human person. Today especially, we experience the condition of humanity after the fall, as we daily affirm with the Psalmist that "all have gone stray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good – no, not one!" (Psalm 13.3; Rom. 3.12-13)