Orthodox Christian (Religion)

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  • The Pope Came for Bartholomew

    12/19/2014 6:25:11 AM PST · by marshmallow
    Hellenic News of America ^ | 12/18/14 | Cansu Camlibel, Hurriyet Daily News
    STANBUL — John Chryssavgis is an author and theologian born in Australia. He received his degree in Theology from the University of Athens. He also received a diploma in Byzantine music from the Greek Conservatory of Music during those years. He completed his doctoral studies in Patristics at the University of Oxford. He has lived in the United States for 20 years now, has worked in several universities and written a number of books. But he is also an active clergyman of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He received the title of Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Throne from Patriarch...
  • The Past and Present of The Russian Orthodox Church Contain Some Valuable Lessons for Roman.....

    12/16/2014 1:57:38 PM PST · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    Abyssus Abyssum Invocat / Deep Calls to Deep ^ | 12/15/14 | Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev
    Atheism and Orthodoxy in Modern RussiaBy Metropolitan Hilarion AlfeyevMay 2001In this talk I propose to outline the history of atheism in Russia during the last hundred years. I will start by considering the kind of atheism present in Russia before the Revolution. Then I will say something about the development of atheism during the Soviet period. And finally I will conclude with some observations concerning the nature of Russian post-Soviet atheism.

I should like to begin with the following questions. How did it happen that the country known as ‘Holy Russia’, with such a long history of Orthodox Christianity, was in...
  • How December 25 Became Christmas

    12/15/2014 9:22:24 AM PST · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 45 replies
    Biblical Archaeology Society ^ | 8/12/2104 | Andrew McGowan
    On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus' birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods - these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 become associated with Jesus' birthday? The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus' nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when the hear the news of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:8)...
  • IOPS [Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society] to present White Book on slain Mideast Christians at UN

    12/15/2014 6:17:38 AM PST · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    Interfax ^ | 12/15/14
    Moscow, December 15, Interfax - The Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society (IOPS) has announced the creation of a White Book on crimes against Christians in the Middle East, which will be presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council in February 2015. "We are working to compile the so-called White Book, containing a sorrowful list of names of the slain and tortured Christians, instances of churches and shrines being destroyed, and eyewitness accounts. We would like to present this book at the UN HRC at its next session in late February - early March," IOPS Vice President Yelena Agapova told a...
  • Leading Orthodox Theologian Hopes for 'Quick Progress' Toward Full Christian Unity

    12/11/2014 6:31:51 AM PST · by marshmallow · 50 replies
    One of the leading theologians of the Orthodox world has said that he sees prosecpts for “quick progress” toward full Christian unity under Pope Francis. Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamon, the co-chairman of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, told the Vatican Insider that Pope Francis has brought new excitement to ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox world. “The way in which he is carrying out his ministry removes the many apprehensions and fears of the past.” Metropolitan Ioannis pointed particularly to the Pope’s statement, during his recent visit to Constantinople, that the Catholic Church “does not intend to impose any...
  • Magical Thinking in the Orthodox Church

    12/09/2014 4:05:28 PM PST · by bad company · 29 replies
    In any sustained discussion regarding the progress of liberal theology in the Orthodox Church, one sooner or later encounters magical thinking. Magical thinking is defined by Wikipedia (that modern oracle) as “the attribution of causal relationships between actions and events which cannot be justified by reason and observation”. In my experience, it often begins like this: someone (often a convert from a liberal Christian denomination, like the Episcopalians) warns that North American Orthodoxy is exhibiting the same signs of creeping liberalism as did their former liberal denomination, and suggests that this should be a source of concern for those who...
  • The Speech of His Eminence Joseph at His Enthronement [shortened per FR posting limits]

    12/09/2014 2:22:15 PM PST · by lightman · 2 replies
    Anttiochian Christian Orthodox Archdiocese ^ | 9 December A.D. 2014 | His Eminence Joseph
    Today we commemorate our great father among the saints, Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra, the patron of this holy Cathedral. Howgreatly loved he is throughout the Christian world! He is even honored in popular culture, a fact well known to you all. Let us focus for a moment on the Troparion for St. Nicholas: Thy works of justice did reveal Thee to Thy community as a canon of faith, the likeness of humility and the teacher of abstinence. O, Thou Father and great Bishop Nicholas. Wherefore by humility thou didst achieve exaltation, and by Thy meekness wealth, Intercede therefore, intercede...
  • The Speech of His Beatitude Patriarch John X at the Enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph

    12/09/2014 1:54:25 PM PST · by lightman · 2 replies
    Antiochian Christian Orthodox Archdioces ^ | 9 Decembar AD 2014 | His Beatitude Patriarch John X
    Your Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, Brother hierarchs and beloved clergy, Your Excellencies, and beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, I address you with the peace of Christ. I address you with the word of the Word who lived among us. "My peace I leave to you, my peace I give to you" (John 14:27). The enthronement of a bishop in the church is the enthronement of peace and love in her midst. Now, the Church expresses her full essence within a community governed with love. O Sayedna, Joseph, in the name of all your brothers in the Antiochian Orthodox Church, I...
  • Al-Azhar Urges Christians Not to Flee Mideast Radicals

    12/09/2014 6:15:19 AM PST · by marshmallow · 7 replies
    Arab News ^ | 12/5/14 | AFP
    CAIRO: Al-Azhar, Islam’s most prestigious center of learning, on Thursday urged Christians in the Arab world to stand firm in the face of jihadi violence and not flee into exile. The call, made at a Cairo conference organized by Al-Azhar, came just days after Pope Francis pressed the world’s Muslim leaders to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam by groups such as the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda, and called for an end to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. “We condemn the forced exile of Christians and other religious or ethnic groups,” the conference...
  • Dialogue Over Pope-Patriarch Meeting Thwarted by Greek Catholics' Actions in Ukraine - spokesperson

    12/03/2014 5:08:24 AM PST · by marshmallow · 9 replies
    Interfax ^ | 12/3/14
    Moscow, December 3, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate is still not ruling out a possibility of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia meeting with Pope Francis, but pointed to the factors that impeded dialogue on this matter. "The subject of a meeting between the Patriarch of Moscow and the Pope is on the agenda of the two Churches, and the Holy Patriarch highly values the balanced and genuinely Christian position of Pope Francis on many problems faced by present-day society," Patriarchate spokesman Deacon Alexander Volkov told Interfax-Religion. This makes both Churches "strategic partners" in the attestation to the Christian...
  • Francis Rolls Out ‘Social Gospel’ Case for Catholic/Orthodox Unity

    12/01/2014 7:20:44 PM PST · by marshmallow · 19 replies
    Crux ^ | 11/30/14 | John L. Allen Jr
    ISTANBUL, Turkey — Sometimes what a pope doesn’t say can be just as important as what he does, and such was the case in Turkey on Sunday as Pope Francis laid out his vision for unity between Catholics and Orthodox Christianity. Francis offered several motives for pursuing closer ties, yet conspicuously absent was the imperative most often cited by more conservative Catholics and Orthodox: Making a common stand against secularism, especially permissive sexual morality. In effect, the pope’s case rested not on the wars of culture, but on the social gospel. The official reason for the pontiff’s Nov. 28-30 trip...
  • In Turkey, Pope Francis got a look at Christianity on the margins

    12/01/2014 2:03:21 PM PST · by NYer · 3 replies
    cns ^ | November 30, 2014 | Francis X. Rocca
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Ankara and Istanbul were gray and cold, at least compared to Rome, during Pope Francis' Nov. 28-30 visit to Turkey. And the general reception, outside of the pope's official meetings, was hardly warmer. There were none of the enthusiastic crowds that usually greet him on his trips, no masses waving signs of welcome along his motorcade route or behind police barriers at the stops. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople kisses Pope Francis as they embrace during an ecumenical prayer service in the patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul Nov. 29. (CNS/Paul Haring) Pope Francis, who...
  • Before Being Killed, Children Told ISIS: ‘No, We Love Jesus’

    12/01/2014 6:02:34 AM PST · by marshmallow · 36 replies
    Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” has seen violence and persecution against Christians unprecedented in recent decades. In the video embedded below, he recounts the story of Iraqi Christian children who were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or be killed. Their response? “No, We Love Yeshua (Jesus).”Find out more about Andrew White’s ministry, The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which provides humanitarian assistance to many of the Christians under attack by ISIS. Be sure to watch his interview below, and spread the word about the horrific persecution going...
  • Pope Francis: I seek communion with Orthodox Churches

    11/30/2014 3:00:37 PM PST · by NYer · 32 replies
    Vatican Radio ^ | November 30, 2014
    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I embraces Pope Francis at a celebration of the Divine Liturgy in Istanbul - REUTERS (Vatican Radio)  In an address upon conclusion of the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Orthodox Church of St. George in Istanbul, Pope Francis said “the one thing that the Catholic Church desires and that I seek as Bishop of Rome…is communion with the Orthodox Churches.” Below, please find the complete text of the Holy Father’s address:             When I was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, I often took part in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy of...
  • Turks Want to See a Mosque in Athens Before Reopening a Seminary in Istanbul

    11/30/2014 9:27:34 AM PST · by marshmallow · 9 replies
    Aleteia ^ | 11/29/14
    Vatican's chief ecumenical officer speaks about implications of this weekend's papal visitPope Francis and Ecumencial Patriarch Bartholomew will sign a joint declaration Sunday, confirming the growing relationship between the long-separated Churches of Rome and Constantinople. The Pope's visit comes just six months after he and Bartholomew met in Jerusalem and singed a Joint Declaration about their commitment to the search for Christian unity. Accompanying Pope Francis on the journey to Turkey is the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, who said in a Vatican Radio interview this week that first of all ithe papal...
  • Patriarch Bartholomew: Christian Martyrdom Makes Unity Urgent [Full Text]

    11/30/2014 6:14:08 AM PST · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    Vatican Radio ^ | 11/30/14
    Calling Pope Francis his “beloved brother in Christ,” the head of the Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Sunday recalled their gathering last May at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem on the fiftieth anniversary of the historic ecumenical meeting of their predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras. Welcoming the Pope after a celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul, Patriarch Bartholomew said “the path toward unity is more urgent than ever for those who invoke the name of the great Peacemaker.” Citing the “diverse divisions, conflicts and animosities,...
  • Pope's Homily at Istanbul's Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

    11/30/2014 6:06:15 AM PST · by marshmallow · 35 replies
    The National Catholic Register ^ | 11/29/14 | Edward Pentin
    Pope Francis this afternoon celebrated Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul. Present at the Eucharistic celebration was the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, along with several Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs from the region. During his homily, Francis said: "Only the Holy Spirit is able to kindle diversity, multiplicity and, at the same time, bring about unity. When we try to create diversity, but are closed within our own particular and exclusive ways of seeing things, we create division. He added: "When we try to create unity through our own human designs, we end up with uniformity...
  • Pope Francis’s Address to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Full

    11/30/2014 5:59:52 AM PST · by marshmallow
    Pope asks Patriarch to 'bless me and the Church of Rome'The full text of the Pope’s address to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, at a prayer service in Istanbul, courtesy of Vatican Radio: Your Holiness, my dear Brother, Each evening brings a mixed feeling of gratitude for the day which is ending and of hope-filled trust as night falls. This evening my heart is full of gratitude to God who allows me to be here in prayer with Your Holiness and with this sister Church after an eventful day during my Apostolic Visit. At the same time my...
  • Rupert Murdoch Defends Moses Movie Casting: “Since When Are Egyptians Not White?”

    11/29/2014 10:56:58 AM PST · by CharlesOConnell · 81 replies
    Showbiz411 ^ | November 28, 2014 | Roger Friedman
    Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter tonight to defend 20th Century Fox's new movie "Exodus" that casts Christian Bale as Moses, and a variety of white actors as Egyptians. There’s been scuffle on Twitter ever since Murdoch made his observations. And a lot of this stems from a quote director Ridley Scott gave Variety about why he didn’t use Egyptian or Arab actors for the film. He said: "I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such," Scott says. "I'm just...
  • Orthodox Leader to Turkey: Re-Open Our Seminary

    11/29/2014 6:15:40 AM PST · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Crux ^ | 11/27/14 | Inés San Martín
    ISTANBUL, Turkey — While there are plenty of reasons why Pope Francis is going to Turkey this weekend, the official motive is clear: To meet Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, and to move Catholicism and Orthodoxy closer to unity. The small Orthodox community Francis will find may not exactly be on life support, but it faces severe pressure related to being a minority in a country that’s 98 percent Muslim, and where Christians are often seen as a foreign presence. In 2009, the normally measured Bartholomew said he felt “crucified” by a state that wants to see his Church simply die...
  • The Plight of Christians in Turkey, Ahead of Pope Francis' Visit

    11/28/2014 5:36:53 AM PST · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Catholic News Agency ^ | 11/26/14 | Sébastien de Courtois
    Istanbul, Turkey, Nov 26, 2014 / 04:43 pm (Aid to the Church in Need).- Since the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003, and especially since the eruption of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkey has become the destination—or passage way—for hundreds of thousands of refugees, many of them Christians. Many, too, are young, single people, prepared to take great risks. In early November, a boat carrying illegal migrants from Turkey to Bulgaria capsized just after coming through the Straits of the Bosporus. The bulk of refugees end up in Istanbul, the vast metropolis capable of absorbing so many...
  • Cardinal Koch on Ecumenical Dialogue in Turkey, Russia, With Evangelicals

    11/28/2014 5:22:59 AM PST · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    Notes Hopes That Francis' Apostolic Trip to Turkey Can Deepen Relations, Prepare Next StepsSwiss Cardinal Kurt Koch has suggested ecumenical dialogue is reaching new heights under the pontificate of Jesuit Pope Francis. In a wide-ranging interview with ZENIT at the Vatican last week, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity discusses Pope Francis' trip to Turkey and what it means for ecumenical dialogue and how this Pope’s reaching out to Evangelicals has created a “new situation” for the Church. Moreover, the prelate speaks on where the Church’s relationship with the Patriarchate of Moscow currently stands, the Pope’s...
  • Christian Unity Cannot Be Built on Lies (Russian Orthodox Church on Catholicism)

    11/24/2014 2:12:23 PM PST · by NYer · 16 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | November 17, 2014 | Adam A. J. DeVille
    The Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev not only misrepresents Catholic practice and history, he also misrepresents Orthodox practice and history Pope Francis meets with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of ecumenical relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, during a private meeting at the Vatican Nov. 12, 2013. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano vi a Reuters) Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the “foreign affairs minister” of the Russian Orthodox Church, is, as George Weigel observed recently in First Things, a talented man, “charming and witty.” However, the gifted Hilarion, Weigel rightly noted, “does not always speak the truth.” Hilarion is rather like the Energizer Bunny:...
  • Putin, Patriarch Unveil Monument to Alexander I Outside Kremlin

    11/21/2014 6:29:19 AM PST · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Interfax ^ | 11/21/14
    Moscow, November 21, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia attended a ceremony inaugurating a monument to Emperor Alexander I at the Alexander Garden near the Moscow Kremlin walls on Thursday. The ceremony was also attended by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, representatives from the Russian Orthodox Church and public figures, according to a statement posted on the Kremlin website. Unveiling the monument, Putin praised the emperor's role in forming the system of European and international security at the time. This event is timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary...
  • The Incarnational Drama of the Our Father [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

    11/17/2014 8:37:07 PM PST · by Salvation · 16 replies
    CE.com ^ | November17, 2014 | Stephen Beale
    The Incarnational Drama of the Our Father Stephen BealeThere once was an Eastern Church spiritual adviser who suggested beginning the Our Father backwards.We should begin with the last petition so that we end with Our Father, he said. Such is the pathway to Easter: from temptation in the desert to forgiveness and manna in the desert to our arrival in the promised land—so goes the thinking in an anecdote Pope Benedict XVI recounts in Jesus of Nazareth.There is some sense to this: we often approach God in prayer in times of temptation, to seek deliverance, to ask for a...
  • Iraq Christians Guard Village Taken from IS Group

    11/13/2014 7:59:21 PM PST · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | 11/13/14 | Bram Janssen
    BAKUFA, Iraq (AP) — The flag of an Iraqi Christian minority party is hoisted high over the village of Bakufa in northern Iraq, less than a month after Islamic State militants were pushed out and the extremists' black banner was taken down. The predominantly Christian Assyrian hamlet of 95 houses that once had about 500 people, located some 390 kilometers (243 miles) north of Baghdad, was overrun by the Islamic State group during its shocking blitz this summer, along with 22 other villages nearby. In a counter-offensive, the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters swept in from the north, battling the Islamic...
  • The Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox: May the Churches Unify the Dates for the Easter Celebration

    11/10/2014 6:15:48 AM PST · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    Agenzia Fides ^ | 11/10/14
    Vienna (Agenzia Fides) - A new appeal to all Christian Churches so that they celebrate the solemnity of Easter on the same date has been launched by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch, Tawadros II. According to what Agenzia Fides learns, the Primate of the Christian Church, which is numerically higher among those present in Arab Countries, relaunched the issue yesterday, Sunday, November 9, during his speech in Vienna to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Pro-East Foundation. The body was in fact founded in 1964 by Austrian Cardinal Franz Koenig as a tool to facilitate full communion between the Catholic and...
  • Will The Pope Challenge Turkey on anti-Christian Bias?

    11/03/2014 6:22:21 AM PST · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Crux ^ | 10/30/14 | John L. Allen Jr.
    Recently the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis will travel to Turkey Nov. 28-30, the official purpose for which is largely ecumenical. He’ll visit Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople on the feast of St. Andrew, considered their patron in much the same way Catholics regard St. Peter as the first pope. The trip is also a way for Francis to express concern for violence in the region unleashed by the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate, and to expand his outreach to the Islamic world. But what’s not yet clear is how much of a push Francis will make on another front: An increasingly...
  • Statue of St. John Paul II at Notre Dame [Paris] is 'Gift of the Russian People'

    11/01/2014 6:07:17 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    A bronze statue of St. John Paul II has been placed in the gardens of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, as “gift of the Russian people.” Sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, the president of the Russian Art Academy, said that the statue, which stands nearly 12 feet tall, shows the character of the Polish Pontiff as a man who “reflects the tragedy and contradictory character of the 20th century,” and a spiritual leader “who personified universal conscience.” Russian sculptor Tsereteli to open a monument to John Paul II at Notre-Dame de Paris (Interfax)
  • King Abdullah II to Armenian President: Christians Helped to Build the Arab Civilization

    10/31/2014 7:20:05 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 13 replies
    Agenzia Fides ^ | 10/24/14
    Amman (Agenzia Fides) - Christians gave their own contribution to the building of Arab civilization. This is also why the forced displacement of the indigenous Christian communities in the Middle East is a serious problem, which must be curbed in any way possible. This is what King Abdullah II of Jordan said in his talks with the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, who on Wednesday 29 October, at the head of a large and distinguished delegation, began his official visit in the Kingdom of Jordan, the first regarding an Armenian Head of State. As Jordanian media reports consulted by Agenzia...
  • History made, as Anglicans, Oriental Orthodox agree on Christ's incarnation

    10/28/2014 7:57:50 PM PDT · by hiho hiho · 6 replies
    Anglican Communion News Service ^ | October 27, 2014 | ACNS staff
    Senior theologians in Anglican Communion and Oriental Orthodox Churches recently made history by signing an agreement on their mutual understanding of Christ's incarnation. This was not just a minor point of theology, rather it was a subject that divided the Church following the Council of Chalcedon* in 451 AD, leaving the Oriental Orthodox Churches separated from the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Church of Rome. The work to reconcile these branches of the Christian family on the question of how the two natures, human and divine, were united in one human being: Jesus Christ began in earnest in the 1990s....
  • The Special Treatment Homosexuals Demand

    10/27/2014 7:35:52 PM PDT · by ReformationFan · 25 replies
    The New American ^ | 10-26-14 | Selwyn Duke
    There is one particular thing that illustrates better than anything else the unreasonableness — and some would say gall — of homosexuality activists. It’s not demanding that bakers, shirt printers, and wedding planners be party to events and expression deeply contrary to their principles, as offensive as that is. What I speak of is something even more fundamental, something again brought to light by the recent Vatican synod on the family. As many know, the synod made news with an unwisely released and widely misrepresented mid-term report containing language that the secular media interpreted as signaling church capitulation on the...
  • Amazing Story: The Beard That Lost This Cardinal The Papacy

    10/25/2014 10:52:19 AM PDT · by millegan · 5 replies
    ChurchPOP ^ | 2014 | ChurchPOP
    If only he had shaved that morning. Basilios Bessarion grew up in an Eastern Orthodox community in present-day Turkey in the early 15th century. He become a monk, then an abbot, and was eventually appointed to be a metropolitan bishop by the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaeologus, with whom he attended the ecumenical Council of Florence with hopes to reunite eastern and western Christianity. Though Bessarion was originally against reunion with Rome, he quickly changed his mind and became the most important Eastern Orthodox advocate for reunion at the council. Pope Eugene IV was so impressed by him that he...
  • Activists Set Up a Cross in Place of Dismantled Monument to Lenin

    10/06/2014 6:15:17 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    Interfax ^ | 10/6/14
    Kharkov, October 6, Interfax - Activists of the Gromadska varta Kharkiv organization set up a four-meter wooden cross on the pedestal of the dismantled monument to Lenin at the Svoboda Square in Kharkov. The cross stands together with the Ukrainian flag that was elevated above the pedestal right after the monument had been dismantled. The pedestal is surrounded with construction stages. "We think that the cross is a symbol of freedom, symbol of unity. We want to stop discords in Ukraine with the power of the life-giving cross," activist Nelya Yarovenko said. According to her, the cross was set up...
  • Prayers for Eastern Christians Become Easier Sell for Evangelicals

    10/05/2014 5:57:43 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 41 replies
    Associated Baptist Press ^ | 9/30/14 | Jeff Brumley and Ken Camp
    Globalization, the Internet and terrorism have awakened many American Christians to the history and contributions of Eastern forms of the faith, experts say.It’s hardly unusual to hear evangelicals and other Protestants praying for persecuted Eastern Christians these days, especially those fleeing terrorists forces in Syria and Iraq. But that wasn’t always the case. and if there had been such prayers in years past, they likely would have been for the salvation of Orthodox and other Eastern Christians. Many Protestants, and evangelicals in particular, “have grown up with biases against Catholics and Orthodox that have been based upon an assumption that...
  • Has Your Bible Become A Quran?

    10/01/2014 9:18:18 PM PDT · by bad company · 101 replies
    Those who engage in debates on a regular basis know that the argument itself can easily shape the points involved. This is another way of saying that some debates should be avoided entirely since merely getting involved in them can be the road to ruin. There are a number of Christian scholars (particularly among the Orthodox) who think that the classical debates between Christians and Muslims during the Middle Ages had just such disastrous results for Christian thinking. Now when engaging in religious debates it is all too easy to agree to things that might make for later problems. It...
  • Ukraine Protestants Target of Russian Orthodox 'Jihad'?

    10/01/2014 3:04:12 AM PDT · by huldah1776 · 10 replies
    CBN News Online ^ | September 30, 2014 | George Thomas
    SLAVYANSK, Ukraine - Peter Dudnik is convinced that the masked gunmen swallowing up large swaths of eastern Ukraine are a serious threat to evangelical Christians. Dudnik is a senior leader of Good News Church in Slavyansk, Ukraine. In an exclusive interview, Dudnik told CBN News the pro-Russian rebels "didn't treat Christians well because they consider the Orthodox Church far superior than any other church." "They also believe that Protestant Christians are American spies and since America is the enemy, evangelical Christians are also the enemy," he explained. ***Snip*** Not only did the Orthodox priests take over his church for services,...
  • Why “oikonomia” isn’t a solution for divorced and civilly remarried

    09/26/2014 2:40:12 PM PDT · by NYer · 7 replies
    WDTPRS ^ | September 26, 2014 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    Click to PRE-ORDER Italian writers have finally gotten to the section by Archbp. Cyril Vasil, SJ, in The Book, that is, the “Five Cardinals” book in defense of the Catholic teaching on marriage.Available now in the UK: HEREArchbishop Vasil is Secretary of the Congregation for Oriental Churches. Sandro Magister has an entry today in which he focuses on Archbp. Vasil’s essay “Separation, Divorce, Dissolution of the Bond, and Remarriage: Theological and Practical Approaches of the Orthodox Churches. There is an extensive excerpt too.Magister’s introductory comments: The example of the Orthodox Churches that allow second marriages is an argument enlisted by...
  • Russia Positions Herself as a “Light to the World” During Pro-Family Conference

    09/23/2014 8:04:46 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 55 replies
    Aleteia ^ | 9/23/14 | Josh Craddock
    Moscow Gathering Plays Out Against Backdrop of International Sanctions For those who came of age during the Cold War, the idea that Christian Westerners would be invited as special guests inside the Kremlin seems unthinkable. But this was the scene at the International Forum on Large Families and the Future of Humanity, held in Moscow September 10-11. More than 1,000 pro-life, pro-family participants traveled from around the world to attend the Forum, which was headlined by high-profile Russian Ministers and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I. The event received enthusiastic support from the Russian government, which allowed the conference to be...
  • ISIS Destroys Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor

    09/22/2014 6:39:55 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 14 replies
    DER ZOR, Syria (A.W.)—The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) destroyed the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor, news agencies in the Middle East reported. The reports surfaced as Armenia was celebrating the 23rd anniversary of its independence on Sept. 21. Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian issued a statement condemning the destruction of the church, which housed the remains of victims of the Armenian Genocide, calling it a “horrible barbarity.” Nalbandian called upon the international community to cut the Islamic State’s sources of supply, support, and financing, and eradicate what it referred to as a disease that “threatened civilized...
  • Did St. Jerome's Vulgate (containing the Masoretic Text) provide correct quotes for the NT?

    09/22/2014 8:25:59 AM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 75 replies
    9/22/2014 | Laissez-Faire Capitalist
    Jerome's Vulgate was the first translation of the Old Testament into Latin --- directly from the Masoretic Text. Given that, was Jerome's Version, the Vulgate, inspired by God if Jesus did not quote from the Masoretic Text? If Jesus Christ did not quote from the Masoretic Text, what authoritative power(s) could the original Vulgate have contained, and what authentic inspiration did Jerome possess at that time of his translation? At the time its translation the Vulgate was considered to be authoritative, but how correct were any at this time to declare the Vulgate to be authoritative and/or inspired? If it...
  • The hard truth about marriage, mercy and Eastern “oikonomia”

    09/16/2014 2:20:35 PM PDT · by NYer · 6 replies
    WDTPRS ^ | September 11, 2014 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    Click to PRE-ORDER I have been posting about the soon-to-be-released book by five cardinala and four scholars called Remaining In The Truth Of Christ. This book is a defense of the Catholic doctrine marriage. It is an important book, some of it may be hard for all readers to read, but it is worth the effort.It is still available for 25% off as a pre-order. HEREThus, I was please to find an EXCELLENT comment in the other entry, so good that I reproduce it here as a separate post.I want to thank PaterAugustinus for his honest evaluation of Orthodox oikonomia....
  • Brother of [al-Baghdadi] Top ISIS Leader Repents, Converts to Christianity

    09/16/2014 9:40:15 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 24 replies
    World News Daily Report via AINA ^ | 2014-09-16 05:57 GMT
    Mohammed Bakr al-Baghdadi, the brother of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is the Caliph of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, has converted to christianity, reports Al-Jazeera this morning. The move has brought the man an unprecedented backlash from the Salafist Sunni community that has ordered a fatwa, or death-sentence, on the man as soon as the news was spread in media around the muslim world. "He is no more my brother then the miscreant American pigs we slay everyday" told the self-proclaimed Caliph to a large crowd of his followers. "Let Allah not forget this treacherous swine when he pleads on his...
  • Russian Orthodox Church Cancels Lutheran Dialogue Over Gay Rights

    09/15/2014 7:04:25 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 24 replies
    Pravmir ^ | 9/12/14
    The Russian Orthodox Church has cancelled an official doctrinal dialogue with the Finnish Lutheran Church over the Lutheran stance on homosexuality. The Orthodox side wanted to pre-approve a communique before the meeting, but talks broke down over the Finns’ refusal to condemn homosexuality.Finnish and Russian attitudes to gay rights are poles apart, and that’s helping to derail doctrinal dialogues between the two countries’ largest religions. Archbishop Kari Mäkinen says that he was forced to cancel planned ecumenical dialogues when he met the Russia Patriarch Kiril in Moscow. The Russian Orthodox Church wanted to agree a statement in advance, as the...
  • From Exodus to Exodus, Iraqi Christians Seek New Home

    09/14/2014 9:11:46 PM PDT · by GonzoII · 3 replies
    AFP via Assyrian International News Agency ^ | 2014-09-14 22:01 GMT | Kamal Taha
    (AFP) -- Threats by jihadists have sent a fresh wave of Christians fleeing their Iraqi homeland, bustling from exodus to exodus in search of a safe haven to rebuild their lives Raja Marzina, who has taken refuge in Jordan with her husband and their five children, never imagined she would one day have to leave Iraq for good. "But we had no choice; we had to flee to save our lives and our religion," she said. Like dozens of others who fled the orgy of violence unleashed by Islamic State (IS) jihadists this summer, Marzina goes to the Syriac Catholics...
  • 27 Christians in Saudi Arabia Arrested for Using House As a Church

    09/14/2014 9:18:19 PM PDT · by GonzoII · 22 replies
    Saudi authorities have swooped on a house in the eastern province city of Khafji, on the border with Kuwait, and arrested 27 people for using the premises as church last week. Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) also confiscated copies of the Bible and various musical instruments from the people during the raid. The swoop was prompted by a tip from a citizen, reported the English-language newspaper Saudi Gazette. Those arrested on September 5 were of various Asian nationalities, including women and children, the newspaper reported. "A citizen reported suspicious activities in...
  • A Cross in One Hand, a Gun in the Other

    09/14/2014 7:44:21 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 12 replies
    QAA, Lebanon (AP) -- Every day around sunset, dozens of residents of this small Lebanese Christian village on the border carry their automatic rifles and deploy on surrounding hills, taking up positions and laying ambushes in case Muslim extremists from neighboring Syria attack. "We all know that if they come, they will slit our throats for no reason," said one villager as he drove through the streets of Qaa, an assault rifle resting next to him. Like many Christian villagers, he spoke to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity, fearing for his safety.
  • Lebanese Christians Arm Themselves Against Possible Islamic State Invasion

    09/08/2014 6:32:35 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 7 replies
    (JNS.org) Christian militias have started to arm themselves for the first time in decades as Lebanese military leaders urge unity in the face of the jihadist threat. “ISIS is a cancerous tumor that surfaced at first in parts of Iraq and Syria and it’s still contained to a certain point and this can be removed only if we join our efforts via an international Arab alliance,” Lebanese Forces commander Samir Geagea said Sept. 6, the Daily Star reported. In the face of the threat posed by Islamic State, Christians from groups such as the Free Patriotic Movement political party are...
  • Maronite Abp: Islamic State atrocities are a wakeup call to action

    09/03/2014 8:08:17 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 2 replies
    Vatican Radio ^ | 02/09/2014 | Tracey McClure’s interview with Archbishop Sayah
    (Vatican Radio) The atrocities committed by Islamic State (in Arabic: “Daesh”) militants in Iraq should be a wakeup call to the international community to take action. That’s according to Lebanese Patriarchal Vicar for the Maronite Church, Archbishop Paul Sayah who warns that if IS and other extremist Islamic groups are not stopped, they will threaten the security of other states within and without the Middle East. Tens of thousands of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities have fled to Northern Iraq to escape the death threats and brutality of the militants. “I think everybody should wake up, otherwise, I think this...
  • Christian man tortured and killed by Islamic State militants for refusing to convert to Islam

    09/02/2014 8:49:53 PM PDT · by GonzoII · 14 replies
    ANIT ^ | 09/02/2014
    Baghdad (AsiaNews) - Islamic State fighters spills more Christian blood in Iraq as they continue to persecute unarmed civilians, including children. Sources within the Chaldean Patriarchate told AsiaNews that yesterday Sunni fundamentalists tortured and killed a Christian man in Bartala, a small predominantly Syriac town in the Niniveh Plains that has been occupied by Jihadists for the past few weeks. He was part of a small group who did not flee when the place was overrun. According to reports from a witness, the martyr - as the Patriarchate calls him - was a man of 43, Salem Matti Kourki. He...