FIRST, THE NEWS:

RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH RISKS SCHISM OVER CONFLICT IN UKRAINE
from
The Moscow Times

Select to read the full article. (02 Sep) On the last day of summer [31 Aug. by Russian tradition - ed.], a Russian Orthodox priest imposed against his parishioners who had fought in Ukraine's "fratricidal war" a 20-year ban on receiving communion. Those deemed to have only promoted the conflict raging in Ukraine's east, either verbally or in writing, will be hit with an 11-year ban, Father Grigory Mikhnov-Voitenko told his congregation in the small northern town of Staraya Russa.

Father Grigory is somewhat of an anomaly in the Russian Orthodox Church, which has remained surprisingly tight-lipped through the months of bloodshed in eastern Ukraine. The silence is surprising, given the church's recent track record of vocal support for the Kremlin, which itself has endorsed the pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine, who - for their part - are mostly radical conservatives claiming to be fighting in the name of God.

Ukraine has three separate Orthodox churches, only one of which - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-MP - is subordinate to Moscow. And the Moscow Patriarchate must remain on the fence if it wants to retain its already slippery grasp on that church, religious experts said Tuesday. "If the Moscow Patriarch is too pro-Moscow, then Moscow is all he'll be left with," quipped Maxim Goryunov, a prominent philosopher and acquaintance of Mikhnov-Voitenko. [read more...]


UZBEKISTAN: RAIDS, RELIGIOUS LITERATURE SEIZURES, PASSPORT CONFISCATIONS AND EXPULSIONS
by Mushfig Bayram,
Forum 18 News Service

(01 Sep) As a Baptist family in Navoi gathered with relatives and friends for a Sunday morning meeting for worship, 11 Anti-Terrorism Police officers and other officials raided the Alpayev family home, church members complained to Forum 18 News Service. They searched the home without a warrant and went on to search the home of another church member present, Nikolai Serin, seizing all the religious literature they could find.

Police and other authorities keep telling him and other Baptists - including during the 17 August raid - that he cannot keep his Christian books and even his Bible in his home, Serin complained to Forum 18. "Isn't this a gross violation?" Artur Alpayev's mother (born in Uzbekistan and visiting from Israel) and a couple from Russia (the wife also born in Uzbekistan) were subsequently expelled from Uzbekistan.

Fines are expected. Sadriddin, who introduced himself as Assistant Head of the Navoi Anti-Terrorism Police, claimed to Forum 18 that he is "new in the Police Department, and I do not know the details." Raids, literature seizures and fines have continued across Uzbekistan. [read more...]


PATRIARCH KIRILL AGAIN CALLS ON UN, COUNCIL OF EUROPE, OSCE TO HELP STOP FIGHTING IN UKRAINE
from
Interfax-Religion

(25 Aug) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia expects a response from the international organizations that he earlier addressed with regard to the continuing violence in Ukraine. "How many churches must be destroyed and how many people must be killed? I am expecting a response from the UN, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE, whose top officials I have called on to stop the bloodshed [in Ukraine], in which Orthodox Christians are being killed," the patriarch said on Sunday following a liturgy he served in the Nikolo-Peshnoshsky Monastery in the Moscow region.

According to earlier reports, a shell broke the roof of the St. John of Kronshtadt Church in the city of Kirovskoye and the roof fell on the people praying on Saturday. Three people were killed instantly and the priest, his wife and four parishioners were hospitalized with injuries. "I don't believe that a shell could have been dropped on a church accidentally, I don't believe an Orthodox Christian could have done that. But I know how angry people who do not belong to our church are. And it is possible that by targeting that church they targeted all of us, all Holy Rus, all historical Rus, which has been targeted many times throughout our history," the patriarch said. [read more...]


CRIMEA: FSB SURVEILLANCE OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
by Felix Corley,
Forum 18 News Service

(03 Sep) Representatives of a range of religious communities have told Forum 18 that they are under surveillance by the FSB security service. Greek Catholic priest Fr. Bogdan Kostetsky has been summoned several times. Among the questions were some about his attitude to Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, who led the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church until his death in 1944. The duty officer at the Yevpatoriya FSB told Forum 18 he had never heard that Fr. Kostetsky had been summoned.

Russian officials have given contradictory information to local religious communities over their legal status since Russia controversially annexed Crimea in March and imposed Russian law. The annexation has not been recognised by Ukraine or the international community. The Crimean Department of the Russian Justice Ministry refused to tell Forum 18 from Simferopol on 26 August whether religious communities' previous registration under Ukrainian law remains valid. The Russian authorities are requiring all religious communities which want legal status to register under Russian law, with a deadline of 1 January 2015. [read more...]


PATRIARCH FILARET TO PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW: MOSCOW CYNICALLY LIES ABOUT THE EVENTS IN EASTERN UKRAINE
from
Religious Information Service of Ukraine

(01 Sep) Patriarch Filaret of the UOC-KP sent a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in which he disavowed the accusations of the Patriarch of Moscow that a religious war was allegedly waged in Donbas and the faithful of the UGCC and the Kyiv Patriarchate destroyed the "canonical" Orthodoxy. The head of the Kyiv Patriarchate also urged Constantinople to make proper assessment of the lies about Ukraine spread by head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill.

"For the first time since the reign of Nazi Fuhrer Hitler we are faced with the massive propaganda against Ukraine which is extraordinary in its cynicism and falsehood. By almost all of its means Russia is trying to convince the world in the righteousness of its actions," says the document. "The letter by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, in which he interprets the events in the Donbas as civil war and religious conflict, should be regarded namely as part and fruit of this propaganda," he added. [read more...]


LEADERS OF UKRAINE, RUSSIA SAY CEASEFIRE HOLDING, MORE STEPS NEEDED
from
Newsweek

(07 Sep) The presidents of Russia and Ukraine said on Saturday that a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists was holding up fairly well and they discussed urgent humanitarian aid for the shattered region. Residents and combatants in eastern Ukraine welcomed the respite in a five-month conflict that has killed at least 2,600 people but said they did not expect it to last. They also each accused the enemy of using the truce to rebuild their forces.

"The two heads of state stated that overall the ceasefire was being implemented ... (and) discussed steps to achieve a permanent ceasefire," Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko said in a statement after his telephone call with Russia's Vladimir Putin. The presidents also expressed support for the full involvement of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a rights watchdog, in monitoring the ceasefire. [read more...]


OTHER NEWS HEADLINES:

UKRAINIAN CHURCH LEADER: WEST MUST HELP STOP RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE
from
Catholic News Service

UZBEKISTAN: WHY CAN'T SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN ATTEND WORSHIP MEETINGS?
from
Forum 18 News Service

CHURCH BURNS DOWN IN DONETSK AS SHELL HITS IT
from
Interfax-Religion

UKRAINE CRISIS HAS A SILVER LINING - RUSSIAN CONFUSION AND UKRAINE CHAOS
from
Mission Network News

PRIMATE OF UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH MEETS WITH AMBASSADORS OF UNITED STATES AND REPUBLIC OF ITALY
from
Religious Information Service of Ukraine

UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC PRIEST ABDUCTED IN CRIMEA
from
Russia Religion News

RUSSIA'S DIPLOMATIC MISSION IN SPAIN AND MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE'S PARISH IN MADRID RAISE AID FOR REFUGEES FROM UKRAINE
from
Russian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate

SHINE THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL DURING THESE DARK DAYS IN UKRAINE
from
Russian Ministries

RUSSIA'S SILENT THREAT. THE PILLARS OF KREMLIN INFLUENCE IN ROMANIAN DOMESTIC LIFE
from
HotNews.ro

See HOSKEN-NEWS Daily for more of the latest news!


NOW, OUR VIEWS:

Please take a moment when you're finished reading to leave your comments below. Thanks!

As our first news article RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH RISKS SCHISM OVER CONFLICT IN UKRAINE states, the Moscow Patriarchate has only a "slippery grasp" on the UOC-MP, and "If the Moscow Patriarch is too pro-Moscow, then Moscow is all he'll be left with," says one commentator. Many in the UOC-MP, including its new metropolitan, support the new government in Kiev's drive for political independence from Moscow. So if the Moscow Patriarch pushes too hard for the Kremlin's position, he could easily lose control of the UOC-MP. Pray for peace and a harmonious settlement between Christian Churches in Ukraine and Russia!

Our last news article LEADERS OF UKRAINE, RUSSIA SAY CEASEFIRE HOLDING, MORE STEPS NEEDED reports on what we hope is an end to the violence there. It appears, however, that the current ceasefire in Ukraine will result in another "frozen conflict" in which Russia will play the role of arbitrator. Of the 28 former Soviet Bloc countries - Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan - there are now "frozen conflicts" in Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, Kosovo, Georgia and Azerbaijan, in which Russia plays a significant role, making these countries semi-dependent on Russia to allow these open wounds to heal.


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Let's keep the comments coming! When you've finished reading, leave your COMMENTS in our Hosken-News Blog below. Thanks!


For a daily reminder to pray for the items below, go to My Daily Prayer Guide and click on the "H-N pr." link!


Prayer and Praise:

Sun. - Thank the Lord for Fr. Grigory's strong stand against supporting the murderous "fratricidal war" in Ukraine.
Mon. - Pray for the Alpayev family in Uzbekistan, whose house church was raided, literature and passports siezed.
Tue. - Join with Patriarch Kirill and other Christians to pray for an end to the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Wed. - Ask God to stop the FSB surveillance of and interference in religious communities taking place in Crimea.
Thu. - Pray that the mutual accusations between the Moscow Patriarchate and Kiev Patriarchate will be resolved.
Fri. - Praise God for the current ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, and pray for a fair and permanent peace there.
Sat. - Ask the Lord that Western Christians will wake up from the "instant gratification and sanctification" delusion.

Select to see full-size!   Please remember to pray for Christians in the former Soviet bloc countries, and for...

  Your fellow-servants,

  Bob & Cheryl

p.s. With today's open-ended tolerance, many people are so open-minded their brains could fall out.