Ransom A Syrian Christian For $200K

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Source: The American Conservative By ROD DREHER NCR’s John Allen reports on the kidnapping of the Syrian Orthodox nuns by rebel forces: The monastery’s mother superior, Sr. Pelagia Sayyaf, and 11 other Orthodox nuns were taken away to the nearby rebel stronghold of Yabrud. Though some rebel sources insisted that the sisters had been evacuated for their own safety, most observers regard it as a kidnapping, something that’s become a sad fact of life for the country’s Christian … [Read more...]

Bishop: Christians should take up arms

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Source: The Daily Star BEIRUT: A senior Orthodox Church official has urged Christians to take up arms to defend themselves and their holy places in the wake of the seizure of a group of nuns from the ancient village of Maaloula. Speaking to the Iraqi newspaper Az-Zaman, Bishop Luca al-Khoury said “we have many young men who are asking us [to take action], and there are those demanding that we take immediate action.” “I call on every young man who can take up arms to come forward,” … [Read more...]

PM vows to defend Christians after pro-IDF family attacked

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Source: Israel Hayom Son of the Rev. Gabriel Nadaf attacked, apparently in response to his father's call to Christian Arabs to join Israeli military • Netanyahu: I will not tolerate this. We will use every mean at our disposal to stop these thugs so that Christians can enlist. by Danny Brenner, Daniel Siryoti and Gideon Allon The Rev. Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest and one of the leaders of the Christian Arab community in Israel, has had to sustain a barrage of criticism -- … [Read more...]

In Memoriam: James Paffhausen

Orthodox Church in America (OCA)

Source: Orthodox Church in America SILVER SPRING, MD [OCA] - Funeral services for Mr. James Paffhausen, 88, father of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, will be held at Philip D. Rinaldi Funeral Service, 9241 Columbia Blvd., Silver Spring, MD at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 6, 2013. Mr. Paffhausen fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 4. He had recently undergone surgery. … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry – Year in Review

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Syria: Islamist Rebels Abduct 12 Nuns from Orthodox Monastery in Maaloula

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Source: Global Research News Damascus (AsiaNews) – Islamist rebels have kidnapped a group of nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of St Thecla (Mar Taqla) in Maaloula (north of Damascus). Mgr Mario Zenari, the Vatican nuncio in Damascus, confirmed the information after speaking with the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate. Through the Vatican diplomat, the latter “calls on all Catholics to pray for the women religious.” “Armed men burst in the monastery of St Thecla in Maaloula this afternoon. … [Read more...]

Chaplain Runs Marathon In Cassock

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Source: Journey to Orthodoxy “I wanted to show that the Church always lived with its people and was present at all events: from public events to sports. That’s why I took part in this marathon. I could see that the people liked it: whenever I was running, I was applauded more energetically than other participants. Some people asked for prayers. And I was praying while running!” Father Athanasios, 43, was probably the most unique runner and very different from other participants of the … [Read more...]

Bartholomew trusts Francis’ visit to Jerusalem will herald a new season of ecumenical dialogue

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Source: Vatican Insider The Ecumenical Patriarch has high expectations of Francis’ visit to the Holy Land and is relying on the Pope to contribute to the start of a “decisive” new season for ecumenism GIANNI VALENTE ROME Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I’s messages to Rome on the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, were clear: the 264th successor of the 1st Apostle, expressed the hope that Pope Francis’ pontificate would bring “renewed inspiration” to the common journey of the Catholic … [Read more...]

The role of Orthodoxy in the Russian Constitution: the proposal raises controversy and fears

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Source: Asia News by Nina Achmatova The idea is to amend the Charter to enter Christianity as "the foundation of national identity and cultural heritage of Russia." The Patriarchate supports the initiative , but calls will be addressed in a public debate . Defending human rights warns it is likely to raise a "civil war" in the minds of people. Moscow (AsiaNews) - The proposal of some lawmakers to amend the Constitution to insert, in its preamble, the exclusive role of the Orthodox … [Read more...]

Sir John Tavener: Hundreds attend composer’s funeral

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Source: BBC [See video at the end of the story on the BBC website] Hundreds have attended the funeral of composer Sir John Tavener, which has taken place at Winchester Cathedral. His wife and three children led mourners at the Greek Orthodox service, while a representative of the Prince of Wales was among the congregation. Several of Sir John's spiritual works were played at the service, with accompaniment of the cathedral's choir. The 69-year-old, whose music has topped the … [Read more...]