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Orthodox Christian (Religion)

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  • France to Facilitate Asylum for Iraq's Christians

    07/28/2014 1:42:30 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 9 replies
    The Daily Star (Lebanon) ^ | 7/28/14 | Reuters
    PARIS: France said Monday that it was ready to welcome Christians from northern Iraq who have been told by the Al-Qaeda offshoot group now ruling the region to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death. Islamic State insurgents seized large swaths of northern Iraq last month, prompting hundreds of Christian families in Mosul to flee a city that has hosted the faith since its earliest years. "We are providing aid to displaced people fleeing from the threats of Islamic State and who have sought refuge in Kurdistan. We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their...
  • 'They are Savages,' say Christians Forced to Flee Mosul by Isis

    07/27/2014 6:00:27 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 19 replies
    The Guardian (UK) ^ | 7/24/14 | Fazel Hawramy
    Hundreds have found shelter in areas between Mosul and Irbil that are controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga fightersIraqi Christians who were forced to flee the northern city of Mosul under threat of forced conversion or execution by jihadists have spoken of their terror as churches were turned into mosques and their homes and property confiscated. The expulsion of one of the world's oldest Christian communities provoked condemnation and anguish from figures as diverse as the pope and Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who lambasted the Islamic State (Isis) for its "criminality and terrorism". Last weekend Isis gave the city's Christians a...
  • Meriam Ibrahim, freed from Sudan, plans to settle in New Hampshire

    07/25/2014 7:12:57 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 07/25/2014 | Josephine Mckenna | Religion News Service
    ROME — Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian who was flown to Rome after her death sentence was overturned, is now dreaming of building a future in the U.S. “We will begin a new life,” Ibrahim told Antonella Napoli, head of Italians for Darfur, according to the daily La Repubblica. “My husband, a chemist, lost his job because of my event. Now we will go to New Hampshire where my brother-in-law Gabriel lives. They will help us. We will be all together as a true family.” Ibrahim, 27, was spared a death sentence for apostasy and then barred from leaving Sudan....
  • A Word About Orthodox Apologetics

    07/25/2014 10:45:39 AM PDT · by don-o · 29 replies
    Orthodox Christian Network ^ | Fr. Brendan Pelphrey
    Today in America, many Protestant theologians and missionaries continue to believe that Christian apologetics should rely upon the use of sound reason or logic. A Protestant Christian radio program about apologetics even took the name, “Sound Reason.” But Orthodox apologetics is not based upon reason, because Christian faith is actually unreasonable. Christianity is faith in Jesus Christ—or, to be more accurate, being faithful to Christ. Jesus of Nazareth, called the “Christ” or Messiah, manifested Himself as the eternal God in the flesh, the salvation of all humanity through His incarnation, death and resurrection. None of this is “reasonable.” None of...
  • Vatican Newspaper Decries ‘Caliphate of Brutality’; Mosul Cathedral Becomes Mosque

    07/24/2014 6:15:17 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 6 replies
    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has removed the crosses from all 30 churches and monasteries in Mosul and converted the Syriac Orthodox cathedral into a mosque, according to the Assyrian International News Agency. ISIL, also known as Islamic State and ISIS, took over Iraq’s 2nd-largest city in June and later ordered all Christians to leave, pay an unspecified tax, or convert to Islam. The jihadist group now controls 40% of Iraq and 30% of Syria.
  • Moscow Patriarchate on Downed Plane: Those Who Know the Truth Should Speak Before God

    07/24/2014 6:12:32 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    AsiaNews ^ | 7/23/14 | Nina Achmatova
    Archpriest Chaplin invites those responsible and aware of the facts to "get rid of the burden of this guilt." The bodies of the victims traveling to the Netherlands. Patriarch Kirill calls for prayers to avoid a "great war".Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Russian Orthodox Church has launched an appeal to the people involved in the crash on July 17, in eastern Ukraine, to tell "the whole truth before God and the people". Meanwhile the tragic odyssey of recovery of bodies seems to have come to an end: 82 of the 298 victims are still missing, as reported by Dutch experts. The...
  • When They Set Fire to Our Monasteries (irreparable damage from anti christians)

    07/24/2014 5:02:31 AM PDT · by NYer · 19 replies
    Aleteia ^ | July 24, 2014 | Philip Jenkins
    Day by day, we hear new horrors about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Now, believers living under ISIS control in northern Iraq must choose between conversion to Islam, payment of protection money, or death. Ancient churches and shrines are already in flames. I want to concentrate on a unexamined aspect of this problem, one that has done much to shape what we know about the history and nature of early Christianity. In one particular historical era, anti-Christian violence did irreparable damage to our historical sources.   The story goes back to the dual origins of monasticism,...
  • Islamic Scholars Condemn Expulsion of Iraq's 'Christian Brothers'

    07/23/2014 11:12:27 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 10 replies
    DOHA (Reuters) - An influential group of Islamic scholars has denounced the forced expulsion of Christians from northern Iraq by Islamist hardliners, saying it paves the way for fighting between the country's ethnic and religious groups. The Christian community of Mosul fled to the Kurdish autonomous region last week, ending a presence stretching back nearly 2,000 years, after Islamic State militants set them a deadline to submit to their rule or leave. "The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) condemns the forced expulsion of the Christian brothers of Iraq from their homes, cities and provinces," the group said in a...
  • With jabs at Obama, CUFI lobbies for Iran sanctions, end to P.A. aid (Christians United for Israel)

    07/23/2014 11:10:05 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet
    The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles ^ | July 22, 2014 | Jewish Telegraph Agency
    Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, addressing the annual Washington conference of Christians United for Israel, July 21, 2014.With sharp jabs at the Obama administration, Christians United for Israel launched its annual Washington rally with appeals to Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran and cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority. David Brog, the group’s executive director, said CUFI regarded the Iran nuclear talks as a failure and would back legislation proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would impose new sanctions immediately. The Cruz measure is tougher than legislation already under consideration that would trigger sanctions...
  • “Francis wants to achieve unity also by reforming the papacy”

    07/23/2014 9:29:31 AM PDT · by NYer · 36 replies
    Vatican Insider ^ | July 23, 2014 | IACOPO SCARAMUZZI
    Francis embraces Patriarch Bartholomew Francis has nominated the Prior of Bose, Enzo Bianchi, as the consultor of the ecumenical dicastery. He speaks of “synodality and supremacy”, the martyrs of the Middle East and the intelligence of the various denominations in Ukraine Iacopo Scaramuzzivatican city “The Pope plans to reform the papacy and this will benefit relations with the Orthodox,” says the Prior of the monastic community of Bose, Enzo Bianchi. Yesterday Pope Francis appointed Bianchi as one of the new consultors of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Vatican dicastery led by Cardinal Kurt Koch who is in...
  • Moscow Worried by Persecution of Religious Minorities in Iraq - Foreign Ministry Statement

    07/23/2014 6:06:05 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 6 replies
    Interfax ^ | 7/23/14
    Moscow, July 23, Interfax - The Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned about the persecution of members of religious minorities in northwestern Iraq by Islamists from the radical militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and is calling on the international community to prevent inter-religious strife in the region. "Moscow is deeply concerned about the fact that ISIL militants are persecuting members of religious minorities living in northwestern Iraq, forcing thousands of Christians and adherents of other faiths to hastily leave their traditional places of living," the ministry said in a statement available on its website. "We believe...
  • Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza Shelters Muslims Fleeing War

    07/22/2014 8:06:26 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 6 replies
    Reuters via Yahoo News ^ | 7/22/14 | Nidal al-Mughrabi
    GAZA (Reuters) - About 1,000 Palestinian Muslims fleeing Israeli shells devastating their Gaza neighborhood have found shelter in a building they otherwise would rarely if ever enter, the city's 12th-century Greek Orthodox Church. Despite its thick walls dating back to the Crusades, the Church of Saint Porphyrius was still not a very safe haven. Shortly after they arrived, Israeli aircraft bombed a nearby field, spraying shrapnel on the church and damaging graves. But children from the Shejaia district, where some 72 Palestinians - many of them women and children - were killed during fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants...
  • ISIS Plundered Assyrians As They Fled Mosul; Families March 42 Miles

    07/22/2014 8:02:06 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 9 replies
    (AINA) -- More than 200 Assyrian families fled in panic from Mosul on July 17 and 18 as the ISIS deadline for converting to Islam approached (AINA 2014-07-20). ISIS had issued a statement asking all Christians in Mosul to convert to Islam, pay the jizya, the poll tax on Christians, or face the sword. ISIS gave July 19 as the deadline to comply with its demands. Most Assyrians of Mosul responded by fleeing the city. ISIS setup checkpoints at the Araby and Shallalat neighborhoods (AlSada and Biawaizah) and robbed and plundered Assyrians who were fleeing the city. ISIS took money...
  • ISIS targeting Christians: “The West must step in now… or we will be wiped out.”

    07/21/2014 5:26:32 PM PDT · by markomalley · 66 replies
    WDTPRS ^ | 7/21/2014 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    How grim is you life?  We watch in horror as Christians in Iraq are being persecuted, driven, hunted by Islamic terrorists.  The Religion of Peace… right? ‘Christian families are on their way to Dohuk and Arbil [in Kurdistan]. For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians’Chaldean patriarch Louis Sako From the Daily Mail: Thousands of Iraqi Christians pour out of Mosul after ISIS jihadis give them deadline to convert, pay or face deathThousands of Iraqi Christians today poured out of Mosul after ISIS jihadis gave them an ultimatum – convert, pay or face...
  • Syriac Catholic Diocese in Mosul Burns As Conversion Deadline Passes

    07/21/2014 10:07:30 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 13 replies
    Patheos.com ^ | 7/20/14 | Kathy Schiffer
    The news is chockful of bad news about the fate of Christians in Mosul. If you’re not careful, your eyes glaze over and you shake your head and move on to the next story–because after all, it’s not happening here. The burning of an 1800-year-old church is the latest in a series of burnings and desecrations by ISIS. A Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian website released this photo of a church being destroyed.
  • Putin, again...

    07/21/2014 10:01:24 AM PDT · by Teófilo
    Vivificat - From Contemplation to Action ^ | 21 July 2014 | Teófilo de Jesús (@vivificat)
    Brethren, Peace be with you. For professional and personal reasons I've always cultivated an interest and a studied curiosity about foreign events, their drivers, and their meanings. The recent shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines commercial carrier over eastern Ukraine inmediately caught my attention, but I haven't said anything about it until now for two reasons: first, I wanted to wait for more facts to surface and, second, I didn't want to write out of shock and anger. However, writing this post is also due to a few precipitating factors: Russian President Vladimir Putin's call for "a moment of silence"...
  • Iraq Catholic Leader Says Islamic State Worse than Genghis Khan

    07/20/2014 7:00:53 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 16 replies
    Reuters via Yahoo News ^ | 7/20/14 | Dominic Evans and Raheem Salman
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The head of Iraq's largest church said on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove Christians out of Mosul were worse than Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who ransacked medieval Baghdad. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako led a wave of condemnation for the Sunni Islamists who demanded Christians either convert, submit to their radical rule and pay a religious levy or face death by the sword. At the Vatican, Pope Francis decried what he said was the persecution of Christians in the birthplace of their faith, while U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the...
  • Iraqi Patriarch: For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians

    07/19/2014 7:21:21 AM PDT · by markomalley · 13 replies
    Radio Vaticana ^ | 7/19/2014
    The last Christian families still present in Mosul are leaving the city and are heading towards Iraqi Kurdistan. The exodus was caused by the proclamation on Thursday by the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate that Christians must pay a special tax or be killed. Islamists have for the past two days been marking the doors of homes belonging to Christians and Shia Muslims living in the city. “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” said Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako in an interview with the AFP news agency. The Patriarch said as late as last...
  • Christians Given Ultimatum in Mosul: Convert, Leave or Die

    07/18/2014 10:47:11 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 10 replies
    Aleteia ^ | 7/18/14
    Islamic State sets new rules, raising possibility of martyrdomChaldean Auxiliary Bishop Saad Sirop of Baghdad has confirmed a troubling report from Mosul that the Islamic State is now presenting Christians in that city with a final ultimatum of conversion, subservience or death. According to sources known to Aleteia, but kept anonymous due to security concerns, a number of mosques in the city of Mosul, and through loudspeakers, called on Christians Friday to leave the city. They said in their appeals that the reason was due to the rejection of the bishops to meet elements of the Islamic State to dictate...
  • Russia's Strength in Long-Standing Values - Putin

    07/18/2014 6:42:38 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 8 replies
    Interfax ^ | 7/18/14
    Sergiyev Posad, July 18, Interfax - The precepts of St. Sergius of Radonezh is a key to understanding Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a gala concert on the occasion of the 700th birthday anniversary of St. Sergius of Radonezh. "The precepts of St. Sergius of Radonezh are key to understanding Russia, to learning its foundamental principles - its historical traditions, unity and togetherness. It is in this unity, in truth and justice, in our centuries-long traditions in which lie the strength of Russia, its great past, present and future," Putin said. St. Sergius played a truly seminal role...
  • New Document: Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church

    07/17/2014 9:34:10 AM PDT · by Teófilo · 7 replies
    Vivificat - From Contemplation to Action ^ | 17 July 2014 | Teófilo de Jesús (@vivificat)
    Brethren, Peace be with you! From time to time I have discussed here  the role of the faithful of the whole Church in receiving, proclaiming, and in a certain sense, "sanctioning" the faith of the Church. I receive with great joy the news that the Holy See has published a new document about this issue of the "sensus fidei" titled: Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church. I believe this document will serve a twofold purpose: First, the document will help us frame our discussions with our Sister Churches in the Eastern Orthodox communion for whom "active reception" of...
  • Removing Church Pews for Muslim Prayer Mats in the Name of Religious Tolerance

    07/17/2014 2:28:23 AM PDT · by markomalley · 8 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 7/13/2014 | Gene Koprowski
    My alma mater, The University of Chicago, was recently in the news for an overtly politically correct act for replacing its historic Bond Chapel's pews for Muslims to worship. This act is raising hackles reminiscent of the university's other, recent, tone-deaf decision to demolish the childhood home of former President Ronald Reagan, on its campus, and replace it with a parking lot and a commemorative plaque.The school, founded by the Rockefeller family in the late 19th century as a Baptist-affiliated institution of higher learning, with an English-style undergraduate college, and German-style graduate research school, today positions itself as completely non-denominational...
  • In Mosul, Islamic Caliphate Orders: No Aid to Christians, Shiites, While Homes Are Expropriated

    07/16/2014 6:23:24 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 11 replies
    Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - The jihadist militiamen of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who since June 9 control Mosul and have proclaimed the Islamic Caliphate, have ordered civil servants to suspend any provision of food aid and gas cylinders to the Shiites, the Kurds and the few remaining Christians in Iraq's second city. This is confirmed to Fides Agency by Christian sources in Mosul, after the news had been launched by the Arab website www.ankawa.com. According to what was reported by the local official Fadel Younis, representatives of the Islamic Caliphate have announced that any infringement...
  • Ukraine crisis poisons Catholic-Orthodox relations

    07/14/2014 11:05:14 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 6 replies
    AFP ^ | July 13, 2014
    Metropolitan Hilarion, who acts as the Russian Orthodox Church's foreign minister, accused the Greek Catholic hierarchy in June of playing a "very destructive role". Hilarion accused Greek Catholics and the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church of trying to "divide" the Russian Orthodox Church, adding ominously: "This harks back to a time when Catholic and Orthodox considered themselves adversaries." .... Even as the conflict has degenerated, the Vatican has made important overtures to Moscow including an invitation from Pope Francis to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to hold the first ever meeting between a Catholic and a Russian Orthodox leader. But the conflict...
  • Re-Islamization in Istanbul: Hagia Sophia Next?

    07/14/2014 4:36:47 AM PDT · by markomalley · 29 replies
    National Catholic Register ^ | 7/14/2014 | Victor Gaetan
    Visiting Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), Christianity’s first mighty cathedral — now a museum — inaugurated by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in Constantinople in 537, is a mixed blessing.Nothing can undercut the raw power of this huge structure, constructed in less than six years. Nothing can prevent glimmers of its former splendor from piercing my soul.Spying the central mosaic of Mother Mary holding Jesus, high up in the semi-dome above the missing altar, I shiver thinking of all she’s survived: earthquakes, invasion, theft, concealment.But the place is more…dingy than I expected considering its great significance: the building changed the course of sacred...
  • Holy Smoke! Why do we use incense in worship?

    07/12/2014 3:53:00 PM PDT · by NYer · 53 replies
    Catholic Education ^ | July 11, 2014 | Fr. DWIGHT LONGENECKER
    Our altar boys practically fight for the honor of being the thurifer. That's the name for the server who carries the thurible — the censer — in the procession at Mass.  They like being thurifer because they get to wear the more ornate lace surplice, and they know thurifer is the most complicated job and is reserved for the older, more experienced boys. The use of incense is optional for most Masses.  It's used to purify the coffin at funerals and to bless statues and images.  However, many Catholic priests choose not to use incense at Mass, and the...
  • 200 Muslims Attack Church, Christians Fight Back, Slaughter Them, And Take The Victory For Christ

    07/09/2014 7:13:12 PM PDT · by markomalley · 50 replies
    Shoebat ^ | 7/9/2014 | Theodore Shoebat
    200 Muslims attacked the Cherebeen convent in Syria, but Christian militants protecting the premises fought back, slaughtered the Muslims and took the victory for Christ.One of the head Christian militants, named Sari, said: We stopped them and we killed them but Christian guys from Saidnaya also died in the battle… The Syrian government protects and provides Christian people with weapons and ammunition because they are loyal to Syria Shoebat.com wrote an exclusive and detailed report on the Christian militia, called The Lions of the Cherubim, who are are protecting the beautiful and ancient church at Saidnaya, which can be read...
  • How Sex is Derailing Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue

    07/08/2014 7:52:36 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 45 replies
    First Things ^ | 7/8/14 | Mathew Block
    "The outcome of the dialogue in Tallinn was sobering, as it is difficult to come closer on substantive issues. The question of women’s ordination is regarded as church-dividing, at least from the Orthodox angle . . . Consequently I think we on the Lutheran side have to think about whether progress in dialogue is to be expected at all.” These sobering reflections come from Rev. Dr. Jennifer Wasmuth, a participant in the Joint Commission for theological dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Orthodox Church, following recent discussions in Estonia. The meeting, which took place May 8-13, focused...
  • MAJOR NEWS Muslims Destroy The Tomb Of The Prophet Jonah, The Prophet Seth, And Burn Down…

    07/08/2014 5:40:42 AM PDT · by markomalley · 27 replies
    Shoebat ^ | 7/8/2014 | Walid Shoebat and Theodore Shoebat
    Muslims destroying the tomb of the prophet JonahMuslim devils in Iraq, members of ISIS, destroyed the tomb of the prophet Jonah (called Younas in Arabic). Shoebat.com obtained a video of the destruction:(video at link)According to one Mid East report: On Friday a local Nineveh official, Zuhair al-Chalabi said that there is information that almost certainly confirms that members of the organization of the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant dug up the grave of the Prophet Younis in the east of Mosul. Al-Chalabi said in an interview for IraqiNews.com, that “The elements of ISIL controlled the mosque of the...
  • Iraq's Beleaguered Christians Make Final Stand on the Mosul Frontline

    07/07/2014 7:20:11 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 8 replies
    Some Christian families from Mosul have sought refuge in St Matthew’s Monastery, writes Richard Spencer. Others vow to take a stand against the Islamists - whatever the cost.Captain Firaz Jacob knows he may well be mounting a last stand at the frontiers of the Christian settlement of Bartella on the outskirts of Mosul. Less than a mile down the road are the jihadists of Isis, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, and the portly, middle-aged Mr Jacob is aware that his home-grown militia are outnumbered. “I stand here waiting for my destiny,” he said, as he stood this week...
  • Khilafa Rising (Cover the keyboard with your prayer rug)

    07/05/2014 3:44:17 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 28 replies
    The American Muslim ^ | July 4, 2014 | Rev. Frank Julian Gelli
    Who is afraid of a rising Middle East Khilafa, the Arabic word for Caliphate? Lots. Muslims like Shia, Kurds, most Sufis, Alawis, sundry Arab secularists. And Arab Christians of course. All fearing their lives, women, sacred buildings and properties being treated as war loot. Western leaders too are shaking in their boots: good! A nemesis is unfolding. A sort of retributive justice, maybe of divine origins. A paying back for the 2003 illegal, unjustified aggression on Iraq. Engineered by the two scoundrels, Bush and Blair. But the roots of evil reach far back. To WWI, the catastrophic, suicidal, mad all-European...
  • Head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church dies at 78

    07/05/2014 1:31:07 PM PDT · by annalex · 14 replies
    News Observer ^ | July 5, 2014 | Maria Danilova
    Head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church dies at 78 The Associated PressJuly 5, 2014 Updated 8 hours ago KIEV, UKRAINE — The head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church has died at 78 after leading it for more than two decades during the tumultuous post-Soviet period. In this file photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate, Volodymyr leaves a booth at a polling station in Kiev, Ukraine. The head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church under the Moscow patriarchate died on Saturday, July 5, 2014, the patriarchate said on its website. Volodymyr , 78,...
  • Why Pope Francis is not a Communist

    07/05/2014 5:53:22 AM PDT · by Kolokotronis · 64 replies
    Aleitia.org ^ | March 7, 2014 | Mark Gordon
    "I say only that the Communists have stolen the flag,” Francis responded. “The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the heart of the Gospel. The poor are at the heart of the Gospel. Take Matthew 25, the protocol over which we shall be judged: ‘I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was in prison, I was sick, naked.’ Or look at the Beatitudes, another flag. The communists say that this is communist. Yeah, right, 20 centuries later.” The Holy Father concluded with a joke: “So you could say when you speak to them: ‘But you are Christians.’”...
  • Patriarchs Call on Region's Christians to Hold on to Their Lands

    07/04/2014 6:25:26 AM PDT · by marshmallow
    Assyrian International News Agency ^ | 7/3/14 | Antoine Amrieh
    Balamand, Lebanon -- The patriarchs of Eastern churches Tuesday deplored the raging violence in Iraq and Syria that has caused a massive wave of refugees, exhorting Christians to maintain their presence in the region's war-torn countries and keep hold of their lands. In a statement released at the opening of their Holy Synod in Lady of Balamand Convent in north Lebanon, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai, Melkite Gregorius III Lahham, Syriarc Catholic Patriarch Ignatius III Younan, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem and Greek Orthodox Patriarch John Yazigi released a statement on local and regional developments. "The patriarchs prayed for the people...
  • The Patriarchs of Antioch call for an end to the Lebanese crisis

    07/03/2014 11:30:31 AM PDT · by NYer · 7 replies
    Vatican Insider ^ | July 3, 2014 | GIORGIO BERNARDELLI
    (©REUTERS) CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST All six patriarchs – the Catholics, Orthodox and Syrians – hold a historic meeting, returning in spirit to Antioch, the early centre of Christianity: “Christians must stay united in trying times” giorgio bernardelli Together, united by the spirit of the Church of Antioch, where - according to the Acts of the Apostles - Jesus’ followers were called Christians for the first time. Six bishops and patriarchs who whilst representing different denominations hold the spirit of the ancient patriarchal see of Antioch alive, met at the University of Balamand in Lebanon in recent days, to...
  • A Message from Metropolitan JOSEPH

    07/03/2014 8:03:39 AM PDT · by lightman · 11 replies
    Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese ^ | 3 July A.D. 2014 | Fr. George Kevorkian
    A Message from Metropolitan Joseph Venerable Hierarchs, Brother Clergy, Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees: Christ is in our Midst! It is with joy that we confirm the election of Archbishop Joseph by the Holy Synod of Antioch to be the new Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of New York and all North America. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph asked me to convey to all of you his love and prayers. He said that he stands ready to lead this Archdiocese with the support and assistance from each and every one of you, and looks forward to working together for the...
  • Iraq’s Christians See Putin As Savior

    06/29/2014 9:03:24 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 27 replies
    The Daily Beast ^ | 6/29/14 | Peter Schwartzstein
    Reeling from regional developments and disillusioned with the West, some Iraqi Christians are looking to Russia for support.After a decade of church bombings, targeted killings, and anti-Christian workplace discrimination, Ramy Youssef has finally tired of Iraq’s halting progress and is intent on emigrating. “I don’t want to leave. I don’t want these terrorists to do what no one’s ever done before: push Assyrians out of our historic homeland, but I can’t work like this,” said the fresh-faced IT technician, his voice rising, as he sipped tea in his cousin’s Erbil liquor store a month after death threats forced him to...
  • Moscow Patriarch awards patriarchal honor prize to top Russian Communist leader

    06/28/2014 10:37:17 AM PDT · by Brian Kopp DPM · 4 replies
    rorate-caeli ^ | 6/28/2014 | New Catholic
    Moscow Patriarch awards patriarchal honor prize to top Russian Communist leader Forgiving your persecutors? Yes, a Christian attitude. "Honoring the king"? Yes, certainly (I Pt 2:17). Giving a public prize honoring the leading figure of the organizational successor of the very same unrepentant Atheistic Materialistic Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist political party that martyred as many of your ancestors in the faith as they could and that tried to wipe out any trace of Christianity from your land with cruelty and ferocity unsurpassed since Apostolic times? Well, that is quite unexpected. From the website of the Moscow Patriarchate: Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia...
  • Iraqi Bishops Meet to Discuss ‘Rescue Plan’ for Country’s Christians

    06/24/2014 5:56:21 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 8 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/24/14 | Staff Reporter
    Catholic bishops from Iraq are meeting this week to come up with a “rescue plan” amid growing fears that the ISIS Islamist attacks have put Christianity in danger of extinction from the country. The meeting of the Chaldean hierarchy, which starts today, comes after the military success of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) prompted yet another wave of displacement within a country which has already seen a dramatic decline in the Christian population over the past decade. Speaking to Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Saad Sirop of Baghdad said that...
  • Iraq's beleaguered Christians make final stand on the Mosul frontline

    06/22/2014 4:18:35 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 19 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | June 22, 2014 | Richard Spencer
    Captain Firaz Jacob knows he may well be mounting a last stand at the frontiers of the Christian settlement of Bartella on the outskirts of Mosul. Less than a mile down the road are the jihadists of Isis, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, and the portly, middle-aged Mr Jacob is aware that his home-grown militia are outnumbered.
  • Muslims Order Christians To Close Down Their Churches, And Say That If They Open Them Up...

    06/20/2014 1:23:07 AM PDT · by markomalley · 6 replies
    Shoebat ^ | 6/19/2014 | Theodore Shoebat
    Muslims in Nineveh, Iraq, have ordered Christians to keep their churches closed, and told them that if they open their churches, that they will burn them down.According to a native Iraqi pastor, named Majeed, described this destruction of Christian liberty: That they are not allowed to open their churches. And even if they open them they will burn the churches… And also the Christians have been requested — been asked to pay the tax [dhimmi, the tax for non-Muslims under Islamic rule]. …If not, they can leave Nineveh… And if they don’t leave and don’t pay the tax, they should...
  • Plight of Russians who are Catholic

    06/19/2014 6:50:51 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    The Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 6/14/14 | Christopher Howse
    Sacred Mysteries: Russians who sought reunion with Rome felt the pinch Vladimir Putin hardly seems a pattern of holiness, but he has aligned himself with the Orthodox Church as an institution. The Orthodox Church in Russia had a bad time of it under Soviet rule: mass executions, imprisonment in the Gulag, destruction of churches – a brutal history. Yet when the state has been friendly to the Church, the dangers have been different. Under the thumb of Caesar, or a tsar, the function of the Church is distorted. Someone who felt the harm of that Erastianism, the subordination of the...
  • The Ecumenical Laboratory of Ukraine

    06/17/2014 6:13:48 AM PDT · by marshmallow
    Catholic World Report ^ | 6/16/14 | Brett R. McCaw
    A conversation with His Beatitude Lubomyr Cardinal Husar about the Maidan movement and relationships between Catholics and Orthodox On June 7th, Petro Poroshenko was inaugurated as Ukraine’s first elected president since the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych in late February. As Poroshenko’s presidency will take on the challenges of a country whose interests straddle both East and West, the pivotal role of churches within the Ukraine’s contemporary political developments cannot be overlooked. While culturally Orthodox, contemporary Ukraine is one of Europe’s most ecclesiastically pluralistic countries with the historical presence of Eastern-rite Catholic, Latin-Rite Catholic, Protestant, and smaller Jewish and Muslim communities...
  • Archbishop to Pelosi, critics: No, I won’t drop March for Marriage

    06/16/2014 9:00:01 PM PDT · by ReformationFan · 27 replies
    LifeSiteNews ^ | 6-16-14 | Ben Johnson
    San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has responded that, despite criticism from political leaders in his home state, he will attend the March for Marriage this week, because his position requires him to act as a defender of the Catholic faith. In a letter released today, Cordileone wrote that he is required “as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing ... especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife,” Cordileone wrote. “That is what I will be doing on June 19th.” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone Political figures...
  • Biblical Park to Be Set Up in Moscow

    06/16/2014 5:56:41 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 8 replies
    Interfax ^ | 6/16/14
    Moscow, June 16, Interfax - The country's first park of plants mentioned in the Bible will be set up near the Holy Trinity Park in the Lefortovo Moscow District. The project will cost about 20 million rubles. The park will occupy 0,5 hectares. About 40 of 120 plants mentioned in the Holy Scripture will be presented there, website of the Vecherniaya Moskva website reports on Monday. "We need support from authorities to make our plans come true. The park that we want to set up in Moscow have only one analogue, it is located in Israel and is called Neot...
  • The Sign of the Cross

    06/14/2014 2:29:20 PM PDT · by NYer · 40 replies
    Catholic Exchange ^ | June 12, 2014 | FR. WILLIAM SAUNDERS
    Q: My friend is Greek Orthodox. In his Church, they make the sign of the cross crossing themselves from the right shoulder to the left, but we do the opposite. Why is there a difference? When did this come into practice?The sign of the cross is a beautiful gesture which reminds the faithful of both the cross of salvation while invoking the Holy Trinity. Technically, the sign of the cross is a sacramental, a sacred sign instituted by the Church which prepares a person to receive grace and which sanctifies a moment or circumstance. Along this thought, this gesture...
  • Group of Catholic and Orthodox Officials Endorses Marriage for Some Priests

    06/14/2014 12:23:21 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 6/6/14 | Michael Paulson
    In a step that is sure to fuel the debate over mandatory celibacy, a high-level group of Catholic and Orthodox officials is calling on the Vatican to allow married men to serve as Eastern Catholic priests in North America. Married men are already allowed to serve as Eastern Catholic priests overseas, but not in North America, with limited exceptions. This year, a married man was ordained as a Maronite Catholic priest in St. Louis with the permission of Pope Francis. An unmarried man who becomes an Eastern Catholic priest overseas may not subsequently marry. The Vatican is being asked to...
  • Make Jesus Your Paradise

    06/13/2014 2:34:42 PM PDT · by Jedediah · 33 replies
    bible, The Joshua Chronicles ^ | 6-13-14 | Jedediah
    I "AM" your Paradise search no further for truly if the Israelites realized this in the desert I would have been their Canaan as wholeheartedly as they would have received me even then and so it is for you even now for I AM The Wind of Fire and Breath of Tongues for you even unto forever and not just on a day (Pentecost) for I AM ~abiding~ in your WellSpring , so simply let Me "Rise Up" for your Testimony of ME "IS" the spark that starts the FIRE and I AM your Burning Bush and VOICE ! Joshua...
  • Christian-Hating Jihadists are Poised to Eliminate the Church in Iraq

    06/13/2014 6:11:03 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 28 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/12/14 | Ed West
    Mosul, Iraq’s second city, is now free of Christians for the first time in 1,800 yearsWar in Iraq has returned with dramatic speed, with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, a group extreme even by jihadi standards, having taken Mosul. Just 100 kilometres from Baghdad, ISIS also threatens the major city of Kirkuk and so bringing the Kurds into a wider war. Aid to the Church in Need is reporting that Mosul’s Christian population, which had declined from 30,000 to 3,000 in the years following the 2003 US invasion, is now down to virtually nothing. They fled, along...
  • Archbishop: Probably There Is Not One Christian Now Left in Mosul

    06/12/2014 7:08:48 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 12 replies
    Notes Uncertainty About Those Responsible; What We Do Know Is That the Attackers Are ExtremistsA graphic account of the Islamist take-over of Mosul and the people’s desperate struggle to flee to safety has come from the city’s Chaldean bishop. Speaking today to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Amel Nona said he thought Mosul’s last remaining Christians had left now a city which until 2003 was home to 35,000 faithful. The Christians are among 500,000 thought to have fled Mosul, which was overthrown Tuesday. That event is now followed by news today of militant attacks on the...