Latest Patriarch Kirill News

Muslims offer their evening prayers outside the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, following Turkey's Council of State's decision, Friday, July 10, 2020. Turkey's highest administrative court issued a ruling Friday that paves the way for the government to convert Hagia Sophia - a former cathedral-turned-mosque that now serves as a museum - back into a Muslim house of worship. The Council of State threw its weight behind a petition brought by a religious group and annulled a 1934 cabinet decision that changed the 6th century building into a museum. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Turkey's president formally makes Hagia Sophia a mosque

Jul. 10, 2020 7:08 PM EDT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The president of Turkey on Friday formally converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had made the religious landmark a museum. The decision sparked deep...

FILE In this file photo taken on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Father Sergiy, a Russian monk who has defied the Russian Orthodox Church's leadership, right, speaks to journalists in Russian Ural's Sredneuralsk, Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday July 3, 2020, defrocked Father Sergiy, who has defied the coronavirus lockdown orders and has taken control over a monastery. (AP Photo/Vladimir Podoksyonov, FILE)

Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk

Jul. 7, 2020 7:45 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic. The court in the Ural Mountains region ordered Father Sergiy to pay 90,000 rubles ($1,250). The 65-year-old monk, who has attracted...

FILE — In this May 8, 2020, file photo a man looks into a tent as a health worker in protective gear collects a sample for COVID-19 testing in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, South Africa. South Africa’s reported coronavirus are surging. Its hospitals are now bracing for an onslaught of patients, setting up temporary wards and hoping advances in treatment will help the country’s health facilities from becoming overwhelmed. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

South Africa's hospitals bracing for surge of virus patients

Jul. 3, 2020 2:11 PM EDT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The nurse started crying when describing her work at a Johannesburg hospital: The ward for coronavirus patients is full, so new arrivals are sent to the general ward, where they wait days for test results. Already 20 of her colleagues have tested positive. “A lot, a lot, a lot of...

FILE In this file photo taken on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Father Sergiy, a Russian monk who has defied the Russian Orthodox Church's leadership, right, speaks to journalists in Russian Ural's Sredneuralsk, Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday July 3, 2020, defrocked Father Sergiy, who has defied the coronavirus lockdown orders and has taken control over a monastery. (AP Photo/Vladimir Podoksyonov, FILE)

Russian Orthodox Church defrocks coronavirus-denying monk

Jul. 3, 2020 12:41 PM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday defrocked a coronavirus-denying monk who has defied Kremlin lockdown orders and taken control of a monastery. A church panel in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg ruled to defrock 65-year-old Father Sergiy, who has attracted nationwide attention by...

Nurse Tanya Markos administers a coronavirus test on patient Ricardo Sojuel at a mobile COVID-19 testing unit, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Confirmed coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 states

Jul. 2, 2020 7:16 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Four U.S. states — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — reported a combined 25,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday as the infection curve rose in 40 of the 50 states heading into the July Fourth holiday weekend. With the number of daily confirmed...

Russian film and theater director Kirill Serebrennikov, wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus, leaves the Meshchansky court after hearings in Moscow, Russia, Friday, June 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Acclaimed Russian director convicted but not sent to prison

Jun. 26, 2020 12:13 PM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow judge convicted an acclaimed Russian theater director of embezzling state funds and imposed a three-year suspended sentence Friday in a case widely seen as politically motivated. Kirill Serebrennikov, 50, one of the most prominent theater and film directors in Russia, and his...

Russian theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov, centre, wearing a face mask with a portrait of Russian rock singer Viktor Tsoi, takes photos of the media prior to his hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 22, 2020. Russian prosecutors on Monday demanded a six-year prison term for an acclaimed theater director accused of embezzling state funds, in case widely seen as politically motivated.  (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Russian prosecutors seek prison term for theater director

Jun. 22, 2020 6:47 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian prosecutors on Monday demanded a six-year prison term for an acclaimed theater director accused of embezzling state funds, a case widely seen as politically motivated. Kirill Serebrennikov, 50, arguably Russia’s best-known theater and film director, and his associates were...

A food delivery worker wearing a protective face mask to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus rides on a street in Beijing, Sunday, June 21, 2020. According to state media reports, nearly one hundred thousand delivery workers have to accept the nucleic acid testing, a countermeasure to prevent the spread of the virus in the capital city. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The Latest: New Zealand reports 2 new coronavirus cases

Jun. 21, 2020 11:47 PM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand —- New Zealand has reported two new cases of the coronavirus as a trickle of infected people continue to arrive at the border. The country of 5 million people now has nine active cases after having none at all earlier this month. Health officials said Monday that all those cases...

FILE In this Saturday, June 20, 2020 file photo, residents wear faces mask to protect against coronavirus and wear San Fermin's red kerchief as people march the route of the running of the bulls while a singer performs a San Fermin's festival song, in Pamplona, northern Spain. Spain reopened its borders to European tourists Sunday, June 21, 2020 in a bid to kickstart its economy while Brazil and South Africa struggled with rising coronavirus infections. At a campaign rally, President Donald Trump said he told the U.S. government to reduce testing for the virus, apparently to avoid unflattering statistics ahead of the U.S. election in November. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos, File)

WHO reports largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases

Jun. 21, 2020 5:13 PM EDT

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours. The UN health agency said Brazil led the way with 54,771 cases tallied and the U.S. next at 36,617. Over 15,400 came in in...

Visitors wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus walk at a park in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, June 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Latest: Coronavirus resurgence continues in South Korea

Jun. 20, 2020 11:04 PM EDT

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea continues to struggle to contain a resurgence in the coronavirus that has seen some of the country’s hard-won pandemic gains erased since social distancing rules were eased in mid-April. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 48 new COVID-19...