Voices from Russia

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Yustinian Ovchinnov to Leave the Apple for Kalmykiya… Hieromonk Ioann Roshchin to Replace Him in the City

00 Fr John Roschin. NYC. 25.07.14


JOURNAL Number 66 of the MP Holy Synod, 25 July 2014


  1. Archbishop Yustinian Ovchinnikov of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, transferred to be Archbishop of Elista and all Kalmykiya.
  2. We express gratitude to Archbishop Yustinian for all of his archpastoral labours.
  3. Hieromonk Ioann Roshchin, cleric of St Nicholas Cathedral in New York NY USA will be the new Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, and shall be consecrated Bishop of Naro-Fominsk (vicar of the Diocese of Moscow).
  4. Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev will choose the place and time of consecrating Hieromonk Ioann Roshchin to the episcopate, elevating him to the rank of Archimandrite for the time being.


Biographical Details for Hieromonk Ioann Roshchin

A graduate of the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary, in 1996-97, worked as an employee of the MP Publishing Council. In 1997, he joined the staff of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS). In December 1998, he was a member of the MP delegation at the Eighth Assembly of the WCC (Harare ZIMBABWE) and he became a member of the WCC Central Committee. In 2000-02, he studied at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America (Washington DC USA). From 2003 to 2009, as a member of the OVTsS Secretariat on Church and Society, was in charge of inter-religious communication, including interaction with the Interreligious Council of Russia and the SNG Interreligious Council, and international interfaith organizations, was a member of the Commission of the Conference of European Churches “Islam in Europe”, participated in the preparation and conduct of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Meetings of the joint Russian-Iranian commission “Islam-Christianity”.

On 27 July 2009, the MP Holy Synod appointed him Deputy Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society (OVTsO). In 2009, with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, he was a member of the Council for the Study of Religious Materials to identify extremist materials in the RF Ministry of Justice. He was the official MP representative in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, a member of the Commission on organising state support and the development of original Cossack culture, a member of the Public Council under the Federal Drug Control Service, and a member of the Public Council under Rosreestr. From 2010 to 2013, he was the Executive Secretary of the SNG Interreligious Council. In October 2012, the Holy Synod appointed him representative of the World Russian People’s Council (VRNS) at the UN and assigned him to St Nicholas Cathedral in New York NY USA. On 11 March 2014, with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, the Superior of the Trinity-St Sergei Lavra, Archbishop Feognost Guzikov of Sergiev Posad, tonsured him a monk with the name “Ioann” in honour of St John Maksimovich of Shanghai and San Francisco. A MP Holy Synod decision on 25 July 2014 (Journal Number 66) selected him as Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, and Vicar of the Diocese of Moscow with the title “Naro-Fominsk”.

25 July 2014

Russian Orthodox Church in the USA


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Christian Leaders Urge Churches to Mobilise Behind Syria Peace Plan

00 Give Peace a Chance. atomic fireball. 21.09.13


On Thursday, the World Council of Churches (WCC) urged its Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican member churches to lobby their congregations and national governments to support a political solution to the war in Syria. The Genève-based WCC made the appeal after a meeting with international envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who both asked Christian leaders to help mobilise public opinion for peace. The appeal by the WCC, representing about a quarter of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, follows similar calls by the Roman Catholic Church, which makes up over half of global Christianity. A WCC communiqué released after a meeting near Genève on Wednesday said, “Churches must continue to raise their voice in their congregations and with their governments. We must strengthen the public outcry so that those in power will protect the common interest of humanity”. WCC General Secretary Rev Olaf Fyske Tveit told Reuters that there was “consensus in the whole Christian family” for a negotiated peace in Syria, and Brahimi and Annan convinced church leaders it could happen “if there’s enough political support”.

21 September 2013


As quoted in AsiaOne


Friday, 26 April 2013

World Marks 98th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

00 Tatev Monastery. ARMENIA. Russia and Armenia Friends


On 24 April, Armenians worldwide, along with many countries, commemorated the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians went to Tsitsernakaberd Memorial in Yerevan to remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Turkey denies the fact of Armenian Genocide. Uruguay (1965), the Republic of Cyprus (1982), Argentina (1993), Russia (1995), Canada (1996), Greece (1996), Lebanon (1997), Belgium (1998), Italy (2000), the Vatican (2000), France (2001), Switzerland (2003), Slovakia (2004), the Netherlands (2004), Poland (2005), Germany (2005), Venezuela (2005), Lithuania (2005), Chile (2007), and Sweden (2010) recognise and condemn the Armenian Genocide. The Council of Europe and the World Council of Churches also recognise and condemn the Armenian Genocide.

The atrocities committed against the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire during World War I are what we now call the Armenian Genocide. The Young Turk government perpetrated these massacres throughout all of the regions of the Empire. The first international reaction to the violence came in a joint statement by France, Russia, and Great Britain in May 1915, where they defined the Turkish atrocities directed against the Armenian people as “a new crime against humanity and civilisation”, with an agreement that that the Ottoman government must be punished for committing such crimes.

Why did the Armenian Genocide happen?

When World War I erupted, the Young Turk government, hoping to save the remains of the weakened Ottoman Empire, adopted a policy of Pan-Turkism, that is, the establishment of a Turkish empire comprising all Turkic-speaking peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia extending to China, with the additional intention of Turkifying all ethnic minorities of the empire. The Armenians were the main obstacle standing in the way of the realisation of this policy. Although the government took the decision to deport all Armenians from Western Armenia (Eastern Turkey) in late 1911, the Young Turks used World War I as a suitable opportunity for its implementation.

How many people died in the Armenian Genocide?

There were an estimated two million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire on the eve of World War I. Approximately one-and-a-half million Armenians perished between 1915 and 1923. Another half-million found shelter abroad.

The mechanism of implementation

Genocide is the organised killing of a people for the express purpose of putting an end to their collective existence. Because of its scope, genocide requires central planning and internal machinery to implement it. This makes genocide the quintessential state crime, as only a government has the resources to carry out such a scheme of destruction. On 24 April 1915, the first phase of the Armenian massacres began with the arrest and murder of hundreds of intellectuals, mainly from Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire (now, Istanbul in present-day Turkey). Subsequently, Armenians worldwide commemorate 24 April as a day to memorialise all the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

The second phase of the “final solution” was the conscription of some 60,000 Armenian men into the Ottoman Army. Then, Turkish soldiers disarmed them and killed them. The third phase of the genocide was massacres, deportations, and death marches of women, children, and the elderly into the Syrian Desert. During those marches, Turkish soldiers, gendarmes, and Kurdish mobs killed hundreds of thousands. Others died of famine, epidemic diseases, and exposure to the elements. Turkish soldiers raped thousands of women and children. Tens of thousands were forcibly-converted to Islam. Finally, the fourth phase of the Armenian genocide was the total and utter denial by the Turkish government of the mass killings and elimination of the Armenian nation. Despite the continuing international recognition of the Armenian genocide, Turkey’s consistently fought the acceptance of the Armenian Genocide by any means, including false scholarship, propaganda campaigns, lobbying, etc.

24 April 2013


Orthodox Christianity and the World



Monday, 14 May 2012

SPC Holy Synod Protests Sentence Against Bishop in Macedonia


Yesterday, 11 May, after years of persecution, harassment, arrests, and imprisonment, His Beatitude Jovan Vraniškovski, Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, renowned throughout all of Orthodoxy and recognised canonical prelate of the ancient Autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid, received a sentence of 2½ years in prison under false charges of alleged fraud and embezzlement. This was the result of a politically-motivated and staged Stalinist pseudo-trial, an event obviously demanded by the schismatic organisation calling itself the “Macedonian Orthodox Church”. The only reason for his sentence was his unwavering commitment to the unity of Christ’s Church. He insisted on being in communion with the SPC, thereby being in union with universal Orthodoxy worldwide; he waged a persistent spiritual battle against the schismatic mentality and opposed anti-Ecclesiastical ethno-phyletism.

In contemporary Europe, if not in the whole civilised world, this case was unique; the authorities formally ordered the performance of an act of vicious violence and atrocity upon the Orthodox Church and Her lawful senior representatives. In the process, they flagrantly violated both their own laws and international norms and conventions. Fortunately, several diplomats, along with Orthodox figures, as well as members of organisations and institutions dedicated to the protection of human rights and religious freedom, attended the “trial”, and, thus, we can make an accurate report and present a clear picture of the sad and ugly scene staged in the Veles courtroom to the public.

The Holy Synod of the SPC, the canonical Mother Church of the Autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid, condemns with the deepest moral indignation the unrivalled violence and persecution conducted under the guise of legal order; we always keep the Autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid in our prayers and in all evangelical love, especially with their Shepherd, who gladly accepted and endures suffering for our forefathers’ faith as well as for the unity of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church. In summation, the Holy Synod of the SPC calls upon:

  • all sister Orthodox Churches throughout the oikumene
  • all other Christian Churches in the world
  • the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, and other Christian organisations
  • the spiritual leaders of major world religions
  • the governments and relevant public authorities of legally-recognised states
  • international institutions
  • institutions and organisations devoted to human rights and religious freedom
  • all people of good will

to provide spiritual, moral, legal, and any other possible support to the prisoner of conscience Archbishop Jovan, and to contribute to his release from prison as soon as possible.

12 May 2012

Official Website of the Autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid


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