BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:45 A.M.) – The Lebanese Broadcasting Channel (LBC) reported that the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi called for the resignation of the Lebanese government and the holding of early parliamentary elections, against the backdrop of the Beirut Port explosion last Tuesday.
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Lebanon’s Christian Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai has called for an international investigation into Tuesday’s Beirut port explosion. -- 
 
The Ecumenical Patriarch was at the metochion of the Athonite St. Panteleimon’s monastery in Galatas, where,  according to the Julian calendar, they commemorated the saint. He said, “There is no danger of contracting the coronavirus in receiving Holy Communion.” He also recalled that the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not change the way Holy Communion is being offered to the faithful.
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For Turkey's Christians, the country's decision to reconvert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque represents yet another blow to their already marginalized community.

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He was born in Paris on February 25, 1925, to Russian parents who immigrated to France after the 1917 Russian Revolution.

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Le patriarche grec-orthodoxe d'Antioche, Youhanna X Yazigi, s'est rendu vendredi à Beyrouth, où il a rencontré le métropolite de la capitale, Mgr Élias Audi, et effectué une tournée à l'hôpital Saint-Georges des grecs-orthodoxes, en signe de solidarité après les explosions meurtrières du 4 août, qui ont dévasté la ville.  En compagnie du métropolite Élias Audi et d’un groupe de prêtres de l’archevêché, il a effectué une tournée à l'hôpital Saint-Georges des grecs-orthodoxes et au Collège de l’Annonciation. Les deux bâtiments ont fortement été abîmés par l’explosion de mardi.
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By Gina Christian • Posted August 6, 2020      Following Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanese Catholics in the Philadelphia area gathered Wednesday evening to pray for victims of what one priest called “an apocalypse.”

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The Greek orthodox Church will fully implement the social distancing and safety rules announced by the government to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos said on Tuesday.

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The Russian Orthodox Church said the Istanbul-based Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew did not challenge, but bowed to the decision of the Turkish authorities to reconvert the iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Russia´s news agency RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.
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By Vatican News
 
By Nathan Morley
 
Stop the funding of the Libyan coastguard and solve the complex situation of migrants in Libya. As for the increased migrant landings in Sicily, “the arrival of refugees in the summer season and in the midst of the Covid crisis could have been anticipated two months ago. Advance planning would have prevented erratic approaches." Interview with Father Camillo Ripamonti, from Centro Astalli Refugee Service

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ROME, 28th July, 2020 (WAM) -- The UAE Embassy in Rome hosted the launch of the "Child Jesus Charitable Society in Cairo," which was attended by the society’s founding members and many business leaders and medical, charitable and humanitarian personalities.  -  Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, Personal Secretary to the Pope and Member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, thanked the UAE for supporting charitable works around the world and promoting the values of fraternity and solidarity, which brought together Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, and His Eminence Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, in Abu Dhabi, during the former’s first historic visit to the Arab region.

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Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew on Tuesday thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the restoration of Sumela Monastery and its reopening to visit.  -  Turkey’s Communications Directorate said in a statement that Erdogan and Bartholomew talked over the phone.

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Estonian Archbishop Eduard Profittlich may be canonised as the predominantly Protestant country's first Catholic saint, the public broadcaster ERR has reported. --  Vatican's Congregation of the Saints has examined the documents about Profittlich's martyrdom and the canonisation may take place in two years, according to ERR.

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(Peter Anderson) Two days of negotiations between the experts of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the experts of the government of Montenegro ended today (July 21) without a resolution being reached on the very controversial law on religion.  After the end of the negotiations, the Montenegro government issued a press release with a statement from Prime Minister Duško Marković describing what occurred at the negotiations. http://www.gov.me/en/News/229599/PM-Markovic-Talks-between-legal-experts-of-Government-and-Serbian-Orthodox-Church-ended-without-results-we-asked-Serbian-Orthodo.html  (official English version).  The press release quotes the Prime Minister as follows:
  During the second round of expert talks, held yesterday and today, we accepted:
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The head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis is among the guests invited to attend Hagia Sophia’s reopening as a mosque, Turkish Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Sunday
 
Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria on Monday denied reports that he had contracted the coronavirus.
 
The President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, contacted Pope Francis today regarding the decision of the Turkish authorities to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Katerina Sakellaropoulou stressed that this decision deeply distressed those who believe that this leading symbol of Christianity belongs to humanity and the world cultural heritage and moves Turkey away from the values of secularism and the principles of tolerance and pluralism.

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The change of status concerning Istanbul’s historic Hagia Sophia has caused widespread concern, not least on the part of UNESCO, who designated the building a world heritage site and who have called for the universal value of world heritage to be preserved. In response to this development, the multireligious Board of the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) issued the following statement.

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The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church expresses its profound regret over the decision of the state leadership of Turkey to revoke the museum status of Hagia Sophia and to give it to the Muslim community for public worship.

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(The National Herald) As Brothers in Christ, and the leaders of our respective communities here in New York, we lament and decry the decision of the Turkish government to change the status quo of the world renown Hagia Sophia, and re-convert this monument of
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently had a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during which the issue of converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque by a decision of the Turkish president was discussed.

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At the same time, new information is coming to light about the changes that will take place in Hagia Sophia in order to turn it into a mosque.
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The latest string of violence in Ethiopia was painted as ethnic violence. Archbishop Abune Henok, whose diocese is in the West Arsi zone of Oromo regional state of Ethiopia, said Orthodox Christians were targeted, and that he does not agree with the assertion that the attack was an ethnic one.

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Les faitsLe gouvernement soudanais a annoncé samedi 11 juillet l’abolition de la peine de mort pour apostasie de l’islam. D’autres mesures ont été adoptées, parmi lesquelles l’interdiction de l’excision et la possibilité pour les chrétiens d’importer, de vendre et de consommer de l’alcool.

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BEIRUT - Lebanon's top Christian cleric stepped up criticism of the Iran-backed Shi'ite group Hezbollah and its allies without naming them on Sunday, saying Lebanese rejected being isolated from their allies and driven into decline.

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Turks have always been and will always be uncivilized and rude, Archbishop Chrysostomos said on Sunday, in a damning statement over the decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.  The powers that be and Europeans in particular, see only their economic interests and nothing else, he added.

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Turkish authorities have begun conducting inspections in Hagia Sophia as part of preparations so that the monument can be used for Muslim prayer, as reported by ANA-MPA, a day after the Turkish Council of State decided to pave the way for its conversion from a museum to a mosque.

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