The XI All-Church Assembly on Social Service concluded in Moscow, with over 1,000 participants from 233 dioceses of Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. The primary focus was on aid to refugees and those affected by armed conflicts, including hospitals. Discussions also covered assistance to the homeless, orphaned children, people with disabilities, and addressing demographic challenges, limiting abortions, and combating alcohol and drug dependency.
On November 20, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated his 77th birthday. He received congratulations from members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, heads of Local Churches, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, as well as officials, regional leaders, and public figures. Special prayers were held across Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Holy Land to mark the Patriarch's birthday.
The UN reported a surge in violence against believers in Ukraine. Of the 44 criminal cases monitored against clergy of the UOC, 26 cases raised concerns about procedural fairness. The findings were presented at a UN Security Council meeting on religious freedom in Ukraine. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) also highlighted persecutions of the UOC, urging Ukrainian authorities to reconsider a proposed law targeting the Church.
In Cherkasy, Ukraine, raiders seized the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos Monastery, assaulting a priest and several believers who tried to defend the monastery. Metropolitan Theodosius of Cherkasy initiated an international project to address violent crimes against the Ukrainian Church, pledging to involve global human rights organizations and bring attention to the raiders' actions.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate canonized two 20th-century Greek ascetics, Elders Gervasios (Paraskevopoulos) and Athanasios (Kamakiotis). Elder Gervasios, who lived from 1877 to 1964, cared for thousands of Greek refugees in Patras after the Greeks' expulsion from Asia Minor in 1922. Elder Athanasios, from 1891 to 1967, served in a small chapel near Athens, gaining renown for his service, and later lived in the monastery he built, Panagia Faneromeni.
The head of the Assyrian Church of the East was awarded the Russian Order of Friendship by President Vladimir Putin for his significant contribution to preserving and developing spiritual and cultural traditions and fostering peace and harmony among nations.