The European Action Service wishes all the Orthodox around the world: Merry Christmas!
The EEAS announcement is made via Twitter.
The EU continues its work focusing on the right of individuals, to ‘believe or not to believe, and, alone or in community with others, to freely manifest their beliefs”. The EU does not consider the merits of the different religions or beliefs, or the lack thereof, but ensures that the right to believe or not to believe is upheld. The EU is impartial and is not aligned with any specific religion or belief. The Freedom of religion is enshrined in Article 9 of The Human Rights Act.
The Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian Church and one of the oldest current religious institutions in the world. Eastern Orthodoxy spread from the Roman and Byzantine Empires influencing the developments of societies in Europe, Middle East and Africa. At present the Orthodox adherents represent 225-300 million worldwide community, although historically divided in different branches.
The Orthodox community continues to suffer losses of its adherent in the beginning of the 21 century, being victims of ravaging conflicts. In 11th of December 2016 25 adherents were killed in the main Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, in a bomb attack, many more injured.
(Source: EEAS Twitter, EC)
Illustration: Orthodox service in Ethiopia