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Cyprus

Church honours its founder Apostolos Varnavas

The Church of Cyprus on Saturday honoured its founder saint, Apostolos Varnavas, with a pilgrimage to the saint’s church in Salamina in the north, near Famagusta.

In Nicosia, Archbishop Chrysostomos carried out a prayer and announced the commencement of the building of a church dedicated to Apostolos Varnavas near the Archbishopric in Nicosia. The move was deemed necessary, the Archbishop said, as the Saint John cathedral can no longer serve the town. The cost of phase one of the new church complex, which will include underground parking and “the biggest square within the walls Nicosia”, is estimated at €4m.

Under the altar of the new church, he said, will be the tombs of former Archbishops, and next to the graves there will be a crypt where all “valuables of the Archbishopric will be kept”.

The archbishopric, he said, “has enough wealth, let some looters be informed”.

In Famagusta, ambassadors, and a representative of the Mufti of Turkish Cypriots Talip Atalay, joined dozens of Greek Cypriots in their annual pilgrimage to the church of Apostolos Varnavas.

The church of Apostolos Varnavas, along with those of Apostolos Andreas and Ayios Mamas were exempt from the recent restrictions imposed by the breakaway regime to reduce religious ceremonies from taking place in the north.

Atalay, the Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process (RTCYPP) said, sent his representative “to bring greetings of goodwill to the Christian faithful” and to Archbishop Chrysostomos.

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