Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill I has addressed thousands of young people on the dangers of alcoholism and an unchecked market economy as he takes the church to people used to the Kremlin as the biggest institution.
Amnesty International's annual report for 2009, which will be launched on Thursday 28 May from London, will highlight, among other global concerns, continuing investigations into human rights abuses in the Russian Federation.
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, who served as the Moscow Patriarchate's representative to European organizations in Brussels, has been appointed as head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Department of External Church Relations.
The murder of two Jesuit priests from Moscow's Catholic community in their apartment in central Moscow, just a block from the Russian capital's police HQ, is making church officials concerned about recent killings of clerics.
The destruction of ethnic Georgian communities in South Ossetia, the deep wounds to local society and war damage to the capital city confronted a delegation from the World Council of Churches on the second half of a 3-7 September 2008 pastoral visit to Georgia and Russia.
A pastoral delegation sent by the World Council of Churches to Georgia and Russia in the wake of the bitter conflict there has not been able to get safe passage to visit South Ossetia from the Georgian side of the ceasefire line.
A pastoral delegation from the World Council of Churches is visiting Russia and Georgia today. Participants will listen to churches in both countries, encourage efforts for peace and visit displaced people and church aid programmes.
Despite the official end of Russian military operations in Georgia, campaigners say Russia has been dropping cluster bombs on civilians in the Georgian republic - killing, wounding and spreading dangerous unexploded bomblets.