Orthodox Christianity

11 Stories

Thousands Watch Judas Effigy Burn in Easter Tradition

A town on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula has observed Orthodox Easter by burning an effigy of Judas

(Newser) - A town on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula has observed Orthodox Easter by burning an effigy of Judas. A fleet of about 20 small boats circled around a raft bearing a wire model of the apostle who betrayed Jesus Christ, then set the figure alight. On land in the town on... More »

Shirtless Putin Takes Icy Dip in Russian Lake

Russian president immerses himself in ice water to celebrate Christian holiday of Epiphany

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin is baring his chest in public again . The Russian president took a dip in icy lake waters to celebrate Epiphany, a major holiday in Orthodox Christianity marking the baptism of Jesus. Russian television stations showed the 65-year-old Putin approaching a hole cut in the ice on Lake Seliger... More »

Pope Prays at West Bank Barrier

Israeli, Palestinian presidents accept invitation to Vatican

(Newser) - The pope's Holy Land visit has been full of surprises. In an unplanned move today, Pope Francis stopped to pray at the concrete wall dividing Bethlehem and Jerusalem—a wall which, to Palestinans, symbolizes oppression by Israel, Reuters notes. Graffiti where he prayed read, "Free Palestine." The... More »

Pope Will Head to Holy Land

Francis announces his 1st trip abroad for new year

(Newser) - Pope Francis has announced that he will travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan May 24-26. The visit marks the pope's first trip to the Holy Land and is so far his only foreign travel planned for 2014. Francis told people gathered in the rain for his weekly... More »

Gunmen Seize 2 Syria Bishops

Prominent Christian clerics abducted in rebel-held region

(Newser) - Unknown gunmen abducted two prominent Syrian bishops as they traveled through rebel-held territory from the Turkish border, according to both state media and the opposition leadership. Christians make up around 10% of Syria's population and the kidnapped pair—the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim... 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 »

Egypt's Coptic Christians Fear What Comes Next

They worry about Islamist groups cracking down

(Newser) - For Egypt's Coptic Christians, the current uprising presents a dilemma: While they share general sentiments about Mubarak's long, undemocratic stay in power, they worry that the transition to democracy could empower Islamist movements that take a dim view of religious minorities. The chaos and lack of police protection has caused... More »

Anglican Deal May Lead to Married Priests

Vatican's gesture cracks door to ending celibacy

(Newser) - The Vatican's attempts to heal the centuries-old rift with the Anglican Church may have a consequence nobody intended: an end to celibacy for priests. By offering a new Anglican rite under the umbrella of Catholicism, Pope Benedict XVI has invited married Anglican clergy into the fold—and cracked open... More »

Georgian Church Leader Sparks a Baby Boom

(Newser) - A little divine intervention has apparently helped a city in the nation of Georgia give its population a boost. Two years ago, faced with a stagnant birth rate, the head of Georgia’s Orthodox Church pledged to personally baptize any child born to parents with more than two other kids.... More »

950 Years Later, 2 Churches May Reunify

Catholic, Orthodox leaders draw up road map to end schism

(Newser) - Nearly a millennium after they split, the Catholic and Orthodox churches have published a joint document outlining first steps towards reunification. The Ravenna Document imagines a reunified church with the Pope at its head and proposes a new council composed of Catholic and Orthodox bishops that could formally end the... More »

Pope Pounds Protestants

(Newser) - In a remarkable nod to the 16th century, Pope Benedict XVI’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which he once led, said of Protestant denominations, 'it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of 'Church' could possibly be attributed to them." The document restates Benedict's position... More »

11 Stories