Wednesday 1 September 2004
August 27, 2004
Russia: Historic Kazan Icon Stands At Center Of Religious Issues
Pope John Paul II with the Kazan icon A little Christian icon stands this week at the center of a long-running debate between the Catholic pope in Rome and the Russian Orthodox patriarch in Moscow. It is an 18th-century copy of a legendary 16th-century icon known as Mother of God of Kazan (Lady of Kazan), a depiction of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus Christ. Pope John Paul II has sought for years to deliver the icon personally to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksii II, as part of a long-sought visit to Russia. But the Patriarchate has repeatedly refused to sanction the visit. RFE/RL reports that the 30-centimeter-high icon, which is due to return to Russia tomorrow, is a small symbol of a large controversy between these two branches of Christianity.
May 19, 2004
Swiss Blamed For 2002 Bashkir Airlines Crash
19 May 2004 -- A report released today by Germany's federal air accidents board concluded that a Swiss-based air traffic controller was to blame for a mid-air collision of two planes in 2002 that killed 71 people, mostly schoolchildren from the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan.