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Holy Protection or Holy Intercession is sometimes thought to be a particularly Russian holiday for good reason: nowhere in the Christian world is this day celebrated on such a grand scale as in Russia. The historical background is well-known: as the tradition goes, in 910 A.D. during the siege of Constantinople by Saracens, Our Lady spread her pall (omophorium) over the “Second Rome” and saved it from the foe. The holiday came to Rus in 1164 and the first church built in its honor was the Holy Intercession on Nerli Church. “Like Holy Protection, like the winter,” “Fall time until Holy Protection and winter...

13.10.2011
Rubric: Articles
Subject: Religion

In 1963, the young poet Joseph Brodsky wrote his first poem dedicated to Christmas. His final poem dedicated to this subject was Flight into Egypt, written in December 1995. The poet died the following January in New York.Brodsky strove to write a poem about Christmas each year, and as a result the Nativity cycle of poems spanning his entire life was created. The poet can be by no means considered a church-going person. He was never baptized. But sometimes in conversations he would state that he found Calvinism most appealing, “because according to Calvinist doctrine man answers to himself for everything.” He was also attracted...

06.01.2011
Rubric: Articles
Subject: Religion

The release of The Grand Design has caused quite a ruckus. Its authors – the British physicist Stephen Hawking and his American colleague Leonard Mlodinow – tell the story of the origin of the universe.  This is not their first joint effort – they earlier collaborated on A Brief History of Time. Stephen Hawking is a living legend. This scientist, who is confined to a wheelchair and has lost his ability to speak, has made a number of amazing discoveries and he himself represents a victory of “the mind over the body”. Hawking is a master of the popular science genre and his books are a sure bet to become best...

20.09.2010
Rubric: Commentary
Subject: Religion

The recent celebration of World Press Freedom Day reminds us once again about how often this freedom is violated. And this is true not only in countries where tyranny reigns, but in countries that have signed the European Convention on Human Rights but that nonetheless do not pay much attention to Article 10 on an individual’s right to express his opinion. This issue is accompanied by another problem, when the freedom to express oneself comes into confrontation with another freedom – freedom of religion, and the right of an confession to demand due respect. Sometimes these demands are accompanied by threats, threats which are...

07.05.2010
Rubric: Articles
Subject: Religion

The Indonesian Orthodox Church (GOI – Gereja Ortodoks Indonesia) unites more than 2,000 believers and consists of 13 parishes on the islands of Java, Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Timor and New Guinea. The church is headed by Archimandrite Daniel, who is canonically subordinate to the Bishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.According to some reports, in the 7th and 8th centuries, the first missionaries from Antioch – (Syrian) Christians – began preaching in Sumatra, although after the last remaining representatives of these clergymen died, local residents found themselves in...

23.12.2009
Rubric: Articles
Subject: Religion

The recently concluded visit by Patriarch Kirill to Ukraine was interesting to look at from afar, primarily as it was a striking example of the church policy that the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia intends to carry out. Everything else – the masses of believers flowing in to meet with the patriarch, the opposition’s pickets, and the statements by opponents of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine – is unlikely to become a sort of revelation. Something like this visit was expected. Perhaps the greatest concern were the possible actions of local extremists, particularly in western Ukraine, but in general, everything was...

24.08.2009
Rubric: Articles
Subject: Religion

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