OCP News Service – 24/12/2020
Moscow-Russia: Fr Dr Jossi Jacob (Chief of the Center for Orthodox Studies) and Donn George Varghese (Head of International Affairs) of the Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE Society spoke at the Conference ‘In Defense of Christians in Africa’, an initiative of the Russian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate, and the Russian Association for the Defense of Religious Freedom (RARS). The conference convened online on the 22nd of December 2020.
Visit the pressmia.ru portal for the full coverage of the Conference.
Also, visit the Instagram Page of Met. Hilarion
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, spoke at the inaugural session of the conference. His Eminence stated that the support of suffering brothers and sisters in Africa is perceived by the Russian Orthodox Church as its historical mission. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia devotes primary attention to the issue of protecting persecuted Christians. S.A. Melnikov, the chairman of the RARS supported the proposal of Metropolitan Hilarion and put forward the idea of developing a “UN convention on the protection of the rights of believers”. In a video message, His Holiness Tawadros II, Pope and Patriarch of the Coptic Church greeted the participants of the conference. The Primate of the Coptic Church stated that the persecution of Christians on the African continent was aggravated during the pandemic.
Read the report in Russian from the portal of the Moscow Patriarchate
Fr Dr Jossi spoke on the dynamics of the ethnicities in Ethiopia and its role in religious persecution. He also stressed the importance of supporting the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as well as protecting the rights of Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia. Fr Dr Jossi Jacob (Principal of STOTS, Nagpur) took part in the conference upon a personal invitation from George Alexander (Secretary of the Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE). Donn George Varghese presented an overview expert assessment of the situation of Christians on the African continent. The Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE, Pan-Orthodox Christian Society has been recognised as a Partner and Participant of the conference.
The conference was attended by Albir Krganov Rifkatovich, the head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia and Mufti of Moscow, Peter Prouw, Chairman of the Commission for Churches in International Affairs of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Deacon Adebayo Kehinde from the Protestant Church of Nigeria, Françoise Niyosaba, representative of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda, Priest Igor Kovalevsky, representative of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow and S.V. Ryakhovsky, the head bishop of the Russian United Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals).
Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), secretary of the DECR for inter-Christian relations, and S.A. Melnikov moderated the session.
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