- Jul 9, 2020
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church chaired a meeting of top priests Friday to decide how to respond to the move by Orthodox Christianity’s leading body to send two envoys to Ukraine.
Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuck, head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, wants reconciliation with Russia, but warns that “doesn’t mean to be reconciled with lies, or fake news.”
Leaders of the major Christian sects in Jerusalem say they are closing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for several hours to protest an Israeli plan to tax their properties.
At a press conference for the In Defense of Christians 2017 Summit held in Washington, D.C., Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch John X Yazigi argued that Christians in the Middle East were determined to stay there. He said, “The Church is the beacon of truth in this agitated world and we will continue to witness to that truth even if we are hanged on the Cross.”
Lebanon’s proximity to conflict zones and its hospitality have made it a haven for those fleeing violence. Southern Lebanon shares a border with Israel. Eastern and northern Lebanon borders Syria; from Damascus, Syria to the border with Lebanon is only 15 miles. Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch, said throughout history, “many of our challenges came from outside Lebanon.”
Pope Francis told the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem that better cooperation is needed “in supporting Christian families and young people, so that they will not be forced to leave” the Holy Land. “By working together in this delicate area, the faithful of different confessions will also be able to grow in mutual knowledge and fraternal relations,” the pope said.