Orthodox Christian (Religion)

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  • Bartholomew I Announces June Environmental Summit

    09/02/2014 4:03:09 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    (Vatican Radio) In a letter to the Orthodox world marking the Ecclesiastical New Year, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I has announced an Environmental Summit next June on the theme of “Theology, Ecology, and the Word: a conversation on environment, literature and the arts.”He says the aim of this conference is to “awaken the global conscience to the particular and specific importance of the ethical and spiritual dimension of the ecological crisis – with special reference to the arts and literature – in order that it may be returned to its “original beauty,” which is the natural, hole and sacred...
  • Pope Francis Sends Letter to Residents of Beslan Who Mark 10 Years Since School Massacre

    09/01/2014 4:20:21 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 20 replies
    RIA Novosti ^ | 9/1/14
    ROME, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - Pope Francis has written a letter to the residents of the town of Beslan in North Ossetia who are marking ten years since the Beslan school massacre, Italian media reported Monday. Abbot Paolo De Carli, who sheltered 60 Beslan residents for two months at his monastery in the Trentino province in Italy in 2004, will take Pope Francis’s letter, the contents of which are not disclosed, to North Ossetia, the press service of the Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation in Bolzano told RIA Novosti. Paolo De Carli will also take part in the...
  • Who Is the Man Who Fears We Could Be on the Eve of 'World War III'?

    08/31/2014 7:44:48 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 49 replies
    Breitbart's Big Peace ^ | August 31, 2014 | Robert Moynihan
    Hardly any Americans will know of Hilarion Alfeyev, 48, a Russian Orthodox bishop who acts as the "foreign minister" of his Church, but it is important that they do. He is a bridge between not just the Orthodox Church and Catholicism but a bridge between Russia and America. As a Catholic American, I first saw him 15 years ago on a cold December day in Moscow. Hilarion, then 33, was already a rising star in the firmament of the Russian Orthodox Church. He had done his graduate studies in philosophy at Oxford — rather rare for Russian Orthodox Church leaders....
  • Iraqi Christian Village: From Sanctuary To Ghost Town In 2 Months

    08/30/2014 7:38:09 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 6 replies
    NPR ^ | 8/27/14 | Pter Kenyon
    Friar Gabriel Tooma leads a service at the Chaldean Church of the Virgin Mary of the Harvest, in Al-Qosh on June 15. At the time, the Christian village in northern Iraq was taking in those fleeing violence in the nearby city of Mosul. Now the village itself is largely deserted. The northern Iraqi village of Al-Qosh was humming with activity — and some jitters — when NPR visited back in June. The Assyrian Christian villagers had opened their schools and homes to Iraqis fleeing the takeover of nearby Mosul by Islamist fighters calling themselves the Islamic State. But these days,...
  • Chronicling the “Last Ebbing Twilight of Byzantium”

    08/30/2014 7:31:59 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 27 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | 8/28/14 | Dorothy Cummings McLean
    William Dalrymple’s 1997 travelogue "From the Holy Mountain" is an excellent place to start for Westerners seeking to understand the devastating decline of Christianity in the Middle East. The historian William Dalrymple is Britain’s most famous living travel writer. He is also a member of the Dalrymple clan, a celebrated Scottish family of three principal branches. William’s branch became Roman Catholic in the 19th century, and in the 20th both his Uncle John (“Old Jock”) and his brother John (“Young Jock”) were ordained Roman Catholic priests. Today “Young” Father Jock Dalrymple is the pastor of a parish church in Edinburgh....
  • He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

    08/29/2014 9:18:38 PM PDT · by ReformationFan · 17 replies
    LifeSite News ^ | 29Aug14 | Pete Baklinsk
    A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage. The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced. John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint. While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real...
  • What Would the Conversion of Russia Look Like?

    08/29/2014 1:40:07 PM PDT · by NYer · 10 replies
    Crisis Magazine ^ | August 29, 2014 | AUSTIN RUSE
    For much of the twentieth century, Catholics around the world prayed after every Low Mass for the conversion of Russia.Called the Leonine Prayers, originally they were conceived as a protection of the sovereignty of the Papal States, which were then under attack. This intention ended with the Lateran Treaty of 1929 but the prayers continued from that time for the conversion of Russia that had become an atheistic state bent on destroying religion.The prayers included 3 Ave Marias, a Salve Regina, a versicle and response, a prayer for the conversion of sinners and the “exaltation of Holy Mother Church,”...
  • Middle Eastern Patriarch Calls for Eradication of the Islamic State

    08/29/2014 6:36:05 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 27 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 8/29/14 | Doreen Abi Raad
    Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs of the Middle East have denounced attacks on Christians and called upon the international community to work toward eradicating terrorist groups. The patriarchs met on Wednesday at the Maronite Catholic patriarchate at Bkerke, north of Beirut, for a special summit to address the crisis in the region. They were later joined by the United Nations’ special coordinator in Lebanon and the ambassadors of the five permanent member-countries of the UN Security Council. “The very existence of Christians is at stake in several Arab countries – notably in Iraq, Syria and Egypt – where they have been...
  • Kurdish Peshmerga Steps in to Protect the Oldest Monastery in Iraq

    08/27/2014 12:52:02 PM PDT · by GonzoII · 6 replies
    BasNews, Maqloub Mountain ^ | 27.08.2014 | Shahab Botani
    Christian holy site in Iraq -Deir Mar Mattai on Maqloub Mountain News / Kurdistan Kurdish Peshmerga Steps in to Protect the Oldest Monastery in Iraq 27.08.2014 Shahab BotaniBasNews, Maqloub Mountain    After Islamic State (IS) militants took control of the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, various religious minorities that pepper the region came under attack as well in the wake of IS’ spread of terror. Many holy sights revered by the religious minorities have been destroyed in order to wipe their existence from history.   One of the most important Christian holy sites in Iraq is Deir Mar...
  • King of Bahrain Offers to Help 200 Christian Families from Mosul

    08/27/2014 11:21:39 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 19 replies
    The King of Bahrain, Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, has said he is willing to help 200 Christian families forced from the homes in Mosul, according to a senior Church official in the region. Bishop Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Arabia (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) said in a recent interview with Vatican Radio that the monarch was not only willing to assist the families but also receive them in Bahrain. “This shows his generosity towards Christians,” the Bahrain-based bishop said. The monarch visited Pope Francis earlier this year, during which he presented plans for a new Marian...
  • In Ethiopia, an Adrenaline-Filled Act of Faith

    08/25/2014 7:44:10 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | 8/22/14 | Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll
    Ethiopia’s little-known churchesWith their sheer cliffs, surreal rock formations and vertical spires, northern Ethiopia’s Gheralta Mountains recall stretches of the southwestern United States’ red desert landscape. The primary difference: perched high and tucked away into these mountain cliffs are some of the country’s least visited rock-hewn Ethiopian Orthodox cave churches, some of which are more than 1,000 years old. The Gheralta cluster, located in Tigray Province, includes more than 30 structures. Although local legend claims that these churches date to between the 4th and 6th Centuries, historians believe that they were more likely built from the 9th to 12th Centuries....
  • LGBT culture clash primed by western activists

    08/25/2014 6:04:29 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 8 replies
    Communities Digital News' The Washington Outsider ^ | August 24, 2014 | Matthew Geiger
    Although LGBT behavior and lifestyles are gaining acceptance in the West, the same cannot be said about many corners of the world. Where the more “liberal” West is defined by its focus on individual rights, the Middle East, Africa, and East are defined more by their focus on cultural rights, thus the individual right to express sexual identity is less significant in these regions than the cultural right to maintain traditional values. Because sexual identify plays a significant role in cultural identity, even tolerating LGBT behavior is asking for a considerable shift in cultural values and practices. Instead of inspiring...
  • Catholic, Orthodox patriarchs visit Irbil to support displaced Iraqis

    08/21/2014 2:33:46 PM PDT · by NYer · 3 replies
    cns ^ | August 20, 2014 | Doreen Abi Raad
    BEIRUT (CNS) -- A delegation of Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs visited Irbil, Iraq, to show their support and solidarity with the more than 100,000 Christians and minorities displaced in the country by the advance of Islamist militants. Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, patriarch of the Maronite Catholics, said the Aug. 20 trip was "a first step in the implementation of the statement issued by the patriarchs," referring to a special summit Aug. 7 to address the crisis facing Christians in Iraq and Syria. ebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, the patriarch of Maronite Catholics who headed a delegation of Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs...
  • New Ukrainian Orthodox head to face questions of independence

    08/19/2014 2:48:29 PM PDT · by NYer · 2 replies
    cna ^ | August 19, 2014 | Sofia Kochmar
    Onufriy, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) was elected to his post Aug. 13, 2014. Credit: Maksym Brusnika. Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug 19, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The newly elected head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate must decide whether that Church can be independent from Russia, Ukraine's eastern neighbor with which it is in conflict, analysts say. On Aug. 13, Metropolitan Onufriy was elected Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, making him the primate of the UOC-MP, which is one of the three primary Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. He...
  • 12 Amazing Virtual Tours of the World’s Most Spectacular Churches

    08/18/2014 6:13:47 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 14 replies
    ChurchPop ^ | 8/10/14
    Explore in 360 degrees the Sistine Chapel, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and many more - all online.Christians have been making pilgrimages to holy sites and churches around the world for centuries. Can’t make a pilgrimage? Here’s the next best thing! Some tours are embedded on this page, while others can be found with the link provided. Enjoy! 1) Sistine Chapel – Vatican CityBuilt in the 15th century and painted in the 16th century, the Sistine Chapel is one of the great artistic masterpieces in the world. Michelangelo painted the ceiling and the Last Judgement fresco, while the frescoes...
  • Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Has WON–So What Lays Ahead?

    08/11/2014 4:10:15 AM PDT · by markomalley · 12 replies
    Shoebat ^ | 8/11/2014 | Walid Shoebat
    As we predicted. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won the presidential election with 52 percent of the vote, according to early results. Thus, Erdogan has become the country’s first popularly-elected head of state. He appears triumphant with the crowds of millions carrying fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow flags. (Revelation 19:17)  With 98.75 percent of the ballots counted, Erdogan leads with 52 percent, the Hurriyet Daily reports. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, former Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, has received 38 percent of the votes. Selahattin Demirtas, head of the leftist pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, is in third place with just...
  • Coptic Bishop: "We know how Muslims behave when they become the majority!"

    08/10/2014 3:19:29 PM PDT · by NYer · 24 replies
    Rorate-caeli ^ | August 10, 2014
    The man speaking here is the Coptic-Orthodox (Oriental Orthodox) "General Bishop" (Generalbischof) for Germany, Anba Damian, a native of Cairo, in an interview recorded a couple of years ago. Since grievous attacks such as those perpetrated by ISIS usually bring with them in the media a kind of guilt-induced backlash (such as, "no, no, Islam is absolutely harmless, and indeed very beneficial to social harmony and very respectful of minorities when they are a majority"), we consider it useful to recall the voice that comes from experience. A 1,400-year-long experience. VIDEO Egyptian Coptic Bishop Warns Europe About The Dangers...
  • Priest from Nineveh: 'Christianity is Finished in Iraq'

    08/10/2014 6:34:53 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 38 replies
    Catholic News Agency ^ | 8/8/14 | Elise Harris
    Rome, Italy, Aug 8, 2014 / 04:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A priest hailing from what used to be Iraq’s largest Christian city has lamented the exodus of over 100,000 Christians from the city, many of whom are fleeing on foot with no food, money or water. “Today the story of Christianity is finished in Iraq,” said a priest who identified himself as Fr. Nawar. “People can’t stay in Iraq because there is death for whoever stays,” told CNA Aug. 8. A priest who has been living and studying in Rome for the last three years, Fr. Nawar is originally from...
  • IRAQ: Watching with horror, prayers, concern.

    08/08/2014 6:45:05 PM PDT · by markomalley · 29 replies
    WDTPRS ^ | 8/8/2014 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    First, I am convinced that what is going on in Iraq is going to have dangerous consequences for us here in these USA and for Western Europe.  Prepare your minds and gird yourselves.Pres. Obama flippantly called these heavily-armed and successfully murdering savages the “JV team”.  JV TEAM?I have followed quite a few stories about the horrific actions of ISIS or whatever its called this week.  Islamic terrorists killing people.   Pewsitter has been a good source for links about the plight of Christians.  I also give props to Rorate for a few important items.Tonight a priest friend sent this, which I hadn’t...
  • Slowly the Egyptian Copts rise up (increase in conversions to christianity)

    08/08/2014 1:57:29 PM PDT · by NYer · 13 replies
    Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem ^ | August 7, 2014 | Pierre Loup de Raucourt
    EGYPT – After three years of hard times consequence of political turmoil born at Tahrir Square in Cairo, the Coptic community seems to raise its head. Following an uneasy coexistence with the Moslem Brotherhood, the handing of power to General Al Sissi brings about hope. It seems that many have converted to Christianity, the figures however remaining unknown.Among the Irakis compelled to quit Mossul under pressure by blood-thirsty djihadists of Islamic Caliphates, it is likely that some of them may dream of the Coptic Church, still on its feet despite all the dark years. They hope may be, deep in...
  • ‘A Real Via Crucis’: Pope Francis, Patriarch Plead on Behalf of Iraq’s Christians

    08/08/2014 6:23:57 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 17 replies
    Pope Francis has renewed his appeal to the Church to intercede for the persecuted Christians of Iraq. “The Holy Father is following with deep concern the dramatic news reports coming from northern Iraq, which involve defenseless populations,” Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, said in a statement issued August 7. “Christian communities are particularly affected: a people fleeing from their villages because of the violence that rages in these days, wreaking havoc on the entire region.” “At the Angelus prayer on July 20th,” Father Lombardi recalled, “Pope Francis cried with pain: ‘[O]ur brothers and sisters...
  • Thousands of Iraqis Flee as Militants Seize ‘Christian Capital’

    08/07/2014 6:08:17 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 16 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 8/7/14 | Staff Reporter
    Thousands of Iraqi Christians are fleeing after Islamic State militants seized the minority’s biggest town in Iraq, according to reports. The Islamic State, formerly ISIS, captured Qaraqosh in Nineveh province overnight after Kurdish forces withdrew from the town. The French Christian organisation Fraternite en Irak said in a post on Facebook that a majority of those living in Nineveh left after militants took over Qaraqosh, known as the Christian capital of northern Iraq, and surrounding towns. “It’s a catastrophe, a tragic situation: tens of thousands of terrified people are being displaced as we speak,” said Joseph Thomas, the Chaldean archbishop...
  • Lebanese Churches Struggle with Flood of Iraqi Christians

    08/07/2014 3:13:11 AM PDT · by markomalley · 2 replies
    Rudaw ^ | 8/6/2014 | Judit Neurink
    Lebanese churches are struggling to handle the influx of hundreds of Christian families who fled Mosul after Islamic extremists seized Iraq’s second-largest city, threatening Christians and other minorities. About 600 Iraqi families have fled to the Lebanese capital of Beirut in recent weeks. “When you hear what has happened to them, you want to help,” said a Lebanese woman who donated food to a Chaldean center in the Hazmiye neighborhood of Beirut. Donations from Lebanese are pouring in after a plea for aid went viral. Basic foods like rice, beans, oil, tea and sugar has been delivered the Chaldean center...
  • Baghdad Patriarch Tells Pope that the Iraqi Christian Tragedy is Rooted in Superpowers' Selfishness

    08/06/2014 6:22:02 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 7 replies
    AsiaNews ^ | 8/5/14
    In a letter to Pope Francis, eastern patriarchs and the presidents of bishops' conferences around the world, Mar Sako calls on the international community to come to grips with the situation and take "concrete actions". The survival of the Christian minority is at stake and a strong stance is needed, even by Muslims. He appeals for help and solidarity.Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The international community and the world's superpowers must realise the need for "concrete actions of solidarity" for Iraqi Christians because the "very survival" of the minority in the country and in middle East is at stake, said Raphael Louis...
  • Muslims are crucifying Christians who refuse to convert to the Religion of Peace

    08/04/2014 1:24:18 PM PDT · by markomalley · 43 replies
    WDTPRS ^ | 8/4/2014 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    From the Quran: “The punishment of anyone who fights against Allah and His apostle and do mischief in the land is to be killed or crucified or to have their hands and feet from opposite ends or be banished from the land.” (Quran: The table spread – Sura 5:33) Won’t convert?  Won’t pay your fine for being an infidel? You have 4 punishments options: public execution (Qatl), crucifixion (Salb) and amputation of one hand and one foot from opposite sides (Yuqata’ Aydihim wa-Arjulihim) or exile (Nafy).At Christian Post: Christians ‘Crucified Again’ for Refusing IslamTo the awe of its readership, a...
  • Institutional from the start #LukeActs2014

    08/03/2014 11:18:22 AM PDT · by The Grammarian · 18 replies
    John Meunier ^ | 2 Aug 2014 | John Meunier
    So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.” (Acts 6:2, NIV) It is interesting how fast our emerging, organic, non-institutional forms of life sprout institutions. The apostles went from a group of 12 leaders of a communistic society in which everyone shared everything and few distinctions were made, to the executive committee of an institution. Here we have differeniated ministry, modes of conferring authority, and even standards of selection. By Acts 15, we will have full...
  • Archbishop's Call to Action: Christian Persecution in Syria and Iraq

    08/03/2014 4:34:24 AM PDT · by lightman · 6 replies
    Anglican Church in North America ^ | 3 August AD 2015 | Rt Rev. Foley Beach
    Greetings in the Name our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! May God grant you the abundance of His Grace as you follow Him day by day! If you have been paying attention to what is happening in the Middle East in recent months, you will note that those who are Christians are being brutally murdered, women and girls raped and forced into marriage, experiencing all kinds of torture, and hundreds of thousands have been forced out of their homes and countries. We are seeing communities who date to the 1st Century with their Christian presence being totally annihilated and killed....
  • Syriac Orthodox Bishop: Muslims Enemies of Christ

    08/01/2014 8:15:49 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    BEIRUT: The Syriac Orthodox bishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli George Saliba Wednesday denounced Muslims as enemies of Jesus, accusing them of a history of violence and oppression against Christians. “What is happening in Iraq is a strange thing, but it is normal for Muslims, because they have never treated Christians well, and they have always held an offensive and defaming stand against Christians,” Elnashra.com reported Saliba as saying in a radio interview. “We are not calling for armament and war; we don’t have the capacities,” Saliba said. “We used to live and coexist with Muslims, but then they revealed...
  • Putin Building Church, Monasteries in the Kremlin

    08/01/2014 8:00:46 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 11 replies
    Charisma News ^ | 8/1/14 | Lidia Kelly/Reuters
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for two monasteries and a church that were demolished during Soviet times to be rebuilt in the Kremlin, the largest overhaul of the site's architectural landscape in nearly a century. Putin has cultivated strong ties with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, adopting more conservative policies and prompting some critics to suggest the line separating state and church has become blurred. At a meeting on Thursday with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and top administrators of the Kremlin site, Putin said his plan would involve tearing down a building used for administrative...
  • French Cardinal ‘Urged Iraqi Christians to Remain in Homeland’

    08/01/2014 7:06:33 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 28 replies
    Iraqi Christians driven from their homes by Islamist terrorists should not flee their country, a French cardinal reportedly said this week. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon celebrated Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Ankawa, and was quoted as telling the Iraqis that Pope Francis wanted Christians to remain there. Sahar Mansour, a refugee who attended the July 28 Mass for peace in Iraq, said the cardinal told the congregation of more than 1,000 people, many of whom had fled Mosul as the city fell to Islamic State fighters in June, that the Pope’s wish was for them “to be strong and...
  • Russia Shouldn't Make Excuses to the USA for Building Relations of Religion, Society and State..

    08/01/2014 6:41:44 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    Interfax ^ | 7/31/14
    Moscow, July 31, Interfax - Russia and other states have the right for their own model of relations between religion and state different from the USA and they should not make excuses for it, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said commenting the recent report of the USA State Department on international religious freedom. "I"ve been reading this report for many years, and I think it becomes more and more balanced. It's good that the topic of Christians' exodus from some countries of the Middle East is mentioned, that not only countries which...
  • Middle East Churches: ‘We are Going Back to the Prehistory Period’

    07/31/2014 6:15:17 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC)-- a regional ecumenical body whose members include Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Protestant churches-- has issued a statement calling upon the international community “to take bold initiatives and stand against” attacks on Iraqi Christians. The council of churches called upon “believers of all religions and people of good will to pray God to come for the rescue of people of Iraq, especially the Christians who are deeply suffering as if they are sheep taken to be slaughtered, and no one is there to advocate for their right for justice, mercy and life.”
  • 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...