Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has announced his intention to appeal to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg over violations against the Orthodox community and its foundations, unjustly expropriated of lands and buildings by Ankara's Direction for Religious Foundations.
Speaking to faithful in St Georges' Parish, close to the Byzantine walls of Istanbul, the Patriarch affirmed that the decision to go to the Strasbourg court was made by the Synod.
The Russian Orthodox Church believes that the European community should take urgent measures to combat Christian phobia in today's Europe. "We should become aware that Christian phobia was generated by Christian civilization, or whatever we call European civilization now. Christian phobia is nothing else but malignant cancer which threatens European civilization with fatal effects," Russian Church representative at the European Council Hegumen Filaret (Bulekov) said at the Dialogue of Civilizations World Public Forum in Prague.
April's UN conference on racism was "an outrageous instance of avoidance of dialogue by leading political forces," the Russian Orthodox Church envoy to the Council of Europe said. "The problem is that it happens right, left and center that international institutions that have the duty of organizing intercultural dialogues and achieving results are not capable of this," Hegumen Filaret (Bulekov) told the Dialogue of Civilizations forum in Prague.
The Orthodox on the way to Lyon
‘Called to One Hope in Christ'
1. Upon the invitation of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and under the moderatorship of His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate), 27 hierarchs, priests, deacons, university professors and lay persons (male and female), representing nearly all of the Orthodox Churches members of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), gathered in Ierapetra, Crete, Greece, from 27 to 30 April 2009, within the framework of preparations for the 13th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, which will be held in Lyon, France, from 15 to 21 July 2009, under the theme, "Called to One Hope in Christ". The Consultation was honored by the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Irineos of Crete at the official opening prayer at Saint George Cathedral in Ierapetra and the inaugural session, as well as by His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronas (Chania).
On the morning of 5th May 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, officiated at the Services of Orthros and the Divine Liturgy at the chapel in the Episcopate of Zambia. He was then interviewed by the local newspapers and among other things expressed his joy for the progress and development of the country, as he had noticed a great difference between the Zambia of today and that of 15 years ago, when he had visited as a member of the entourage of the late Patriarch Parthenios. Answering questions of a social nature, he stressed that only through education and the application of the Gospel, the Word of God, can the social problems of the country be solved.