Russian Orthodox Church

17 Stories

Jewish Groups Call Probe of Czar's 1918 Killing 'Alarming'

Russian Orthodox Church says it's investigating whether it was a ritual murder

(Newser) - The head of a Russian Orthodox Church panel looking into the 1918 killing of Russia's last czar and his family said it is investigating whether it was a ritual murder—a statement that has angered Jewish groups. Father Tikhon Shevkunov, the Orthodox bishop heading the panel, said after Monday'... More »

Russian Bishop Accepts $106K SUV, Uses Jesus to Defend It

'Jesus Christ Himself wore expensive clothes gifted to him'

(Newser) - A Russian Orthodox bishop is tooling around in a new Land Cruiser he was given, and he's got kind of a unique defense against critics who say he shouldn't have accepted the $106,000 gift: Per a rep from Bishop Nektary's archdiocese in Oryol: "Jesus Christ... More »

Church Cigarette Stunt May Mean Jail for Russian Woman

She's charged with 'insulting the feelings of religious believers'

(Newser) - A young woman in western Russia picked the wrong time to be "insulting," as a controversial law approved by President Vladimir Putin in 2013 describes it. Or more likely, the 21-year-old is deliberately provoking authorities. Her crime? She posted a photo of herself lighting a cigarette with a... More »

Pope Plans to End 1K-Year-Old Russian Rift

Francis will meet with leader of Russian Orthodox Church

(Newser) - Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a historic step to heal the 1,000-year-old schism that divided Christianity between East and West, both churches announced Friday. The Feb. 12 meeting between Francis and Patriarch Kirill will be the first... More »

Woman Isolated for Decades in Siberia Emerges

70-year-old Agafia Lykova used a satellite phone to get help from the 'mainland'

(Newser) - In 2013, Smithsonian told a fascinating story : the tale of a family of six who lived deep in the Siberian wilderness for 40 years with zero contact from other humans—and no awareness of WWII—until geologists found them in 1978. Now, the last surviving member of that family has... More »

Sorry, Moscow, No 'Eye of Sauron' for You

'Demonic' glowing eye on top of skyscraper nixed after church protest

(Newser) - "Sadly, we are obliged to halt the Eye of Sauron" is both the best line from a press release you'll read all week and the worst. Russian creative art group Svecheniye has halted a "fan project" that would have placed a menacing, pulsing eye like the one... More »

Pope Francis' Guest Today: Vladimir Putin

Pontiff will try to sway Russian president on Syria

(Newser) - Can Pope Francis melt the heart of Vladimir Putin? We're about to find out, as the popular new pontiff makes his first real foray into global politics today, hosting the Russian president at the Vatican. In a closed-door meeting, Francis intends to press Putin on what Russia can do... More »

Russia Stalls on Pussy Riot Appeal

After band member fires lawyers

(Newser) - The hearing set for today in the Pussy Riot case has been postponed until Oct. 10, CNN reports. The Russian court moved the hearing following a band member's announcement in court today that a disagreement had prompted her to fire her lawyers. Yekaterina Samutsevich said she'd found a... More »

Russian Church: OK, Free Pussy Riot

If they repent for their 'punk prayer'

(Newser) - The Russian Orthodox Church is again getting in on the Pussy Riot controversy, today reversing course and urging clemency for the imprisoned punk rockers if they repent for their "punk prayer," reports the AP . The church issued a statement today—a day before the women are set to... More »

Here's One Reason Russia Is Balking on Syria

Influential Russian Orthodox Church worries about nation's Christians: NYT

(Newser) - So why is Russia digging in so hard against UN action in Syria? The New York Times ' Ellen Barry provides an interesting look at one often overlooked factor: the powerful Russian Orthodox Church. Church leaders oppose action against Bashar al-Assad because they want to protect the nation's Christians,... More »

Punk Band Faces 7 Years for Putin Protest

Women denied bail after 'blasphemous' church stunt

(Newser) - Three members of a feminist punk band are being harshly punished for mocking Vladimir Putin in a protest inside Russia's main Orthodox church. The trio were among five members of Pussy Riot who rushed to the pulpit during a service earlier this year, and chanted: "Mother Mary, drive... More »

Russia May Ditch Liberal Abortion Laws

Church, lawmakers team up to propose restrictions

(Newser) - Russia's Orthodox Church teamed with Conservative parliamentarians yesterday to push legislation that would radically restrict abortions in a nation struggling to cope with one of the world's lowest birthrates. The legislation would ban free abortions at government-run clinics and prohibit the sale of the morning-after pill without a... More »

Russia Warns Against Ice Baptisms

Video of child being forced into ice hole sparks outrage

(Newser) - Chucking unwilling children into holes in the Siberian ice isn't the great idea some Orthodox believers appear to think it is, Russian authorities warn. The trend for "ice baptisms"—usually carried out during the Russian Orthodox festival of Epiphany in January—has been in the spotlight since video... More »

Russia Ignores Tolstoy Centennial

Literary giant saddled with controversy 100 years on

(Newser) - On the 100th anniversary of his death, one of the world’s most celebrated authors hardly got a nod from his home country. Leo Tolstoy died Nov. 20, 1910, having been excommunicated a decade earlier by the Russian Orthodox Church. For decades, the Soviets saluted him (ignoring his Pacifism and... More »

Russian Tycoon: Find God or Find a New Job

Boss bans abortions, 'living in sin'

(Newser) - A Russian tycoon who believes his country's devastating wildfires are a message from an angry God has ordered his employees to stop displeasing the deity. Vasily Boyko-The Great—who legally changed his last name from Boyko—says all 6,500 workers at his agricultural holdings need to attend refresher courses... More »

Royal Burials May End Romanov Saga

Russian royalists hope DNA evidence will persuade church to honor Romanovs

(Newser) - The family of Russia's last czar may be reunited in a royal tomb nearly a century after being shot and killed by the Bolsheviks, the Los Angeles Times reports. DNA evidence has proven beyond any doubt that remains found in 2007 buried near Nicholas II and the rest of his... More »

Head of Russian Orthodox Church Dead

Patriarch Alexiy unified denomination, was suspected of KGB ties

(Newser) - The iconic leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, who healed an 80-year rift in the church and restored its prominence in Russian society, died today, the Times of London reports. No official cause of death was given for Patriarch Alexiy, but the Kremlin’s first post-Soviet Orthodox leader had been... More »

17 Stories