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September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
9 November 2012
Greg Kandra

A man kisses the hands of Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarch Maxim during a memorial ceremony at St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia Nov. 8. Patriarch Maxim, who led Bulgaria’s Orthodox Christians for 41 years, died on 6 November at the age of 98. A highlight in Orthodox-Catholic relations came when he received Blessed John Paul II during the pope’s 2002 trip to Bulgaria.
(photo: CNS/Stoyan Nenov, Reuters)

Bulgarians bid farewell to Patriarch Maxim (Associated Press) Thousands of people have joined funeral proceedings in Sofia for Patriarch Maxim, who was at the helm of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for more than four decades. The 98-year-old patriarch died Tuesday of heart failure at a Sofia hospital. The government has declared Friday a day of mourning...

Refugees in Syria may reach half a million next year (Fides) The number of Syrian refugees who have found refuge in Jordan has reached the threshold of 250 thousand. And if the conflict between Assad’s government loyalists and rebels remains unresolved, it may reach half a million by April 2013...

Kidnappings in Syria now number more than 1,700 (Fides) Austin Tice, American reporter kidnapped in Syria on 13 August and collaborator of the “Washington Post” and “McClatchy Newspapers” group, is one of the most famous victims, but the scourge of kidnapping in the Syrian conflict has currently caused at least 1,753 victims, nearly all civilians. Kidnappings are used by armed groups present in the galaxy of the Syrian opposition or by infiltrated groups, to obtain ransom, revenge, or exchange of prisoners...

Patriarch Kirill makes first official visit to Holy Land (AFP) Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday will make his first visit to the Holy Land since becoming head of the powerful church in 2009, in a trip which underlines his global influence as a religious leader. Kirill’s first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories will be held “under the sign of peace,” spokesman of the Russian Orthodox Church, Father Alexander Volkov, told AFP. The visit will see Kirill meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan in a new sign of his importance as a global religious figure. His trip “is the most important (religious) visit (to Israel) since that of the Pope Benedict XVI” in 2009, Israel’s foreign ministry said...

Tags: Syria Russian Orthodox Bulgarian Orthodox