Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Orthodoxy in the news...

There have been several interesting references to Russian Orthodoxy in recent news.

The New York Times, along with a variety of other sources, has noted that several regions in Russia are including mandatory courses in the Orthodox Christian faith as the new school year begins. Although the courses will teach the subject from a "secular and cultural point of view, and not be religious instruction," this is a still a fascinating development in Russian life-after-communism.

As the NYT reported, the addition of religion to public school curriculums is further sign of the recovery of the Orthodox faith in a nation still evolving from Soviet times, when atheism was state policy.

Also of interest is this Interfax report that was recently included on Directions to Orthodoxy:

MOSCOW. Sept 11 (Interfax) - A remembrance service for victims of the September 11 terrorist attack in the United States was held at the Representation Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr of the Orthodox Church of the United States in Moscow on Monday.

"A complete resurrection of love must be our response to the evil of terrorism," Archimandrite Zacchaeus said.

Thousands of people have fallen victim to terrorists, who carried out their evil deeds "for the sake of ideology and false understanding of religious ideals," he said. Terrorists "keep sowing chaos in people's lives," he said.

A bell installed to the memory of the terrorist attack victims tolled five times after the remembrance service.

Ambassadors and representatives of the United States, Serbia, Greece, Israel, Hungary, Norway and Spain attended the service.

(The photo, posted on Directions to Orthodoxy, shows Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II, second right, speaking to priests and the faithful during the consecration of newly built Christ the Savior Cathedral in Russia's Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006. Presidetn Putin hailed the consecration Sunday of a newly built Russian Orthodox cathedral in Kaliningrad, the country's western outpost, as part of the dominant church's recovery following the Soviet collapse 15 years ago.) (AP Photo)