Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte appointed clergy to work at the Russian church of St. Sophia - a patriarchal residence of the Russian Orthodox Church. Last week, three representatives of the Russian Church, including the head of the residence, Archimandrite Vassian (Zmeyev), were expelled from the country. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested this, and Bulgarian parliamentarians demanded a report from the State Agency of National Security, based on which the representatives of the Russian Church were expelled from the country.
Attempts to cause a schism are happening again in the Ethiopian Church. A group of bishops opposed the leadership of the Ethiopian Church and attempted to form their own "church jurisdiction." The dissenters performed a series of uncanonical "episcopal and priestly ordinations," and their supporters seized Ethiopian Church's temples. Patriarch Kirill sent a message of support to the Primate of the Ethiopian Church, Abune Mathew.
The Serbian Church mourns for the victims in Banjska, Kosovo. On September 24, clashes occurred between the Serbian population and the Kosovo police, resulting in the death of four people. The Holy Synod of the Serbian Church published a statement and noted that many in Kosovo and in Serbia itself "try to portray the Serbian Orthodox Church as a participant, even the instigator, of conflicts and tragic events."
In the Bosnian city of Mostar, a Serbian church was restored. Last year, the Trinity Cathedral was robbed - all the wires were cut in the church, and the Church organized a fundraising campaign that lasted for several months. On September 24, Serbian Patriarch Porfirije conducted a liturgy in the cathedral. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the consecration of this church.
Archbishop Seraphim (Tsudzie) of Sendai was elected as the new primate of the Japanese Orthodox Church. In accordance with the tomos of autonomy given to the Japanese Orthodox Church in 1970, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, by his decree on Thursday, approved the election and "invoked the blessing of God on the labors of the newly elected primate."
The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Church called on the faithful to avoid violence and lawlessness in defending their rights. Following the meeting on September 25, the Synod members published an address to the faithful. The document states that violations of their rights should be responded to in a Christian way. This week, it became known that there are not enough votes in the Verkhovna Rada to ban the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The bill to ban the UOC is under consideration in the Ukrainian parliament, but it has not yet been put to a vote.
A festival "Orthodox Africa" was held in Tanzania. The event was organized by the Russian House in Dar es Salaam. The festival program included a tour of the exhibition of Orthodox icons and a screening of the Russian art film "Tsar." The opening of the festival discussed examples of how peaceful coexistence of religions, tolerance, and state support shape the diversity of the religious fabric in the country.