Coronavirus lockdown adding to misery of Moscow’s homeless | AFP

The “Rescue Hangar”, a project of the Orthodox Church’s social department, runs mostly on donations, normally serves around 100 people per day, also offering showers, haircuts and helping broke out-of-towners with tickets home. But during the lockdown, the number of people seeking a hot meal has gone up 500 on some days. And with only one government shelter in the city of 12 million, it has been up to charity groups to fill the demand from the growing homeless population during the lockdown.

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Pope Francis arrives in Bulgaria for Balkan visit, meets PM

Pope Francis arrives at the airport in Bulgaria, where he is greeted by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. The Pope will meet members of the tiny Catholic community, but the main Orthodox Church has rejected the idea of holding joint prayers with the pontiff. IMAGES of his arrival

Ukraine’s newly independent church holds first service

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko takes part in Ukraine’s newly created independent Orthodox Church’s first service in Kiev after a historic break with the Russian Orthodox Church that has enraged Moscow. The service came a day after the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew based in Istanbul handed over a formal decree that finalised recognition of Ukraine’s new Church. IMAGES

Putin braves icy water for traditional Epiphany dip

President Vladimir Putin waded into a frozen lake in a traditional celebration of Epiphany. The annual baptism is a long-running staple of the Orthodox Church, with believers across Russia taking the midwinter dip.

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Protest against handing over iconic Saint Isaac’s Cathedral to the Orthodox Church in St Petersburg

Around 2,000 people gathered at Saint Petersburg’s Field of Mars to denounce plans to hand over the city’s iconic St. Isaac’s cathedral to the Orthodox Church. One of St. Petersburg’s most popular attractions, it is feared that the handover will result in restricted access for tourists, lead to the neglect of exhibits on display, and deprive the city of extra revenue.
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