Top News from Orthodox Media from December 2 to December 9

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Patriarch Kirill headed the jubilee meeting of Russia's Interreligious Council, attended by leaders of Russian Muslims, Buddhists, and chief rabbis. In his address, Patriarch Kirill emphasized the role of spiritual values in contemporary society, focusing on the issue of abortions.

The Supreme Court of Ukraine confirmed the appellate court's decision obliging the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to transfer the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Kremenets to the Kremenets-Pochaiv State Historical and Architectural Reserve. The Ternopil Diocese, which owns the cathedral, claims there is a targeted campaign against the UOC for its destruction.

Demonstrations in support of Metropolitan Longin, accused by Ukrainian authorities of "inciting interreligious discord," took place outside Ukrainian embassies in Bucharest and Chisinau. Participants demanded the release of the hierarch of the Ukrainian Church, known for caring for and educating hundreds of orphaned children at Banchensky Monastery. The trial of Metropolitan Longin was scheduled for December 4 but was postponed due to the non-appearance of the "victims."

Although the health of Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria is improving, he did not participate in the Holy Synod meeting. Patriarch Neophyte remains hospitalized, and a special prayer for his recovery was conducted throughout the churches of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

Archbishop Theodosius of Sebastia announced that the Jerusalem Church would not enter into Eucharistic communion with schismatics. He expressed solidarity with the Russian Church regarding the Ukrainian schism.

In the Kenyan city of Gesonso, 46 people were baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church by clerics of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa. Father Hermogenes Othara organized catechetical lectures for local residents.

The Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe consecrated the Transfiguration Church in Estepona, Andalusia, the first Orthodox church built in the region. Combining Orthodox architecture with modern design, the church's construction began in 2018 and was completed in 2020. The inaugural service took place in July 2023, accompanied by a bell tower and a modern cultural center.

An electronic registry of ancient Orthodox churches has been established in North Macedonia. Experts from the International Council for Monuments studied 707 churches and monasteries in all eight dioceses of the Macedonian Orthodox Church - Ohrid Archbishopric, providing detailed reports on their location, history, and current condition. The document includes risks faced by the buildings and offers specific advice for addressing issues.

A scientific delegation from the Serbian Patriarchate visited Russia. An agreement on cooperation between the Russian National Library and the Library of the Serbian Patriarchate was signed in St. Petersburg. The delegation also discussed prospects for collaboration between Russian spiritual schools and the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the University of Belgrade and the Library of the Serbian Patriarchate.

Egypt marked the 50th anniversary of one of the largest Coptic spiritual schools, the El-Muharraq Monastery Seminary in Asyut province. A delegation from Russia participated in the festivities, invited by Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Church. The delegation, including teachers, staff, and students from St. Petersburg's theological schools, aimed to develop inter-church cooperation in academics and make a pilgrimage to the ancient Christian shrines of the land.

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