Slaughter in Syria: 45 Christians Killed by Islamists in Sadad and Thrown into Mass Graves

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Source: Catholic Online By Deacon Keith Fournier Sadad is a small town of 15,000 people, mostly Syriac Orthodox Christians, located 160 km north of Damascus. It has 14 churches and a monastery with four priests. We have shouted to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers? I think of all those who are suffering today in mourning and discomfort: We ask everyone to pray for us. (Archbishop Selwanos … [Read more...]

In midst of Syrian war, giant Jesus statue arises

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Source: Huffington Post DIAA HADID BEIRUT (AP) — In the midst of a conflict rife with sectarianism, a giant bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions in the country's civil war. Jesus stands, arms outstretched, on the Cherubim mountain, overlooking a route pilgrims took from Constantinople to Jerusalem in ancient times. The statue is 12.3 meters (40 feet) tall and stands on a base that brings its height to 32 meters … [Read more...]

‘Honeymoon With Jesus:’ Eritrean Christian Woman Describes Torture in Prison

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Source: The Christian Post BY STOYAN ZAIMOV, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER An Eritrean Christian woman who was tortured in prison has revealed that her faith helped her get through the darkest of times, describing the experience as a "honeymoon with Jesus." "When we visited Gabriella at home, she stood up from her seat to welcome us. We immediately saw how much weight she had lost in prison. We could see that she had suffered much. But despite the weakness, Gabrielle looked to us like a … [Read more...]

Syria’s Christian Community Cries Out for Help

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Source: National Review Online By Nina Shea The Vatican news agency Fides reports today that two new mass graves containing a total of 30 bodies were found in Sadad, an ancient Christian town of some 15,000 people between Damascus and Homs, bringing to 45 the number of residents killed there by Islamist militias since October 21. Surviving relatives and friends uncovered the graves after government forces recently recaptured the town from rebels. Those killed were reported by the local … [Read more...]

Fanaticism, Politics Threat To Middle East Orthodoxy

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Source: The National Herald Amb. Patrick N. Theros Special to The National Herald The Greek Orthodox populations of the Middle East have survived where others have virtually disappeared. Leading up to the Islamic conquest in the 7th century, the Orthodox represented perhaps ten percent of the total population of the then Eastern Roman (now known as the Byzantine) Empire’s provinces of Syria and about two percent in Egypt. The rest were heterodox (i.e., heretical) Christians, including … [Read more...]

Church Near Trade Center to Echo Landmarks of East

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St. Nicholas Church, Destroyed on 9/11, to Rebuild With Byzantine Design Source: The New York Times By DAVID W. DUNLAP A gleaming, monumental and unmistakable symbol of Orthodox Christianity would rise at the south end of the National September 11 Memorial under plans drawn up for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The original St. Nicholas Church was crushed on Sept. 11, 2001, when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Plans to replace it on the grounds of … [Read more...]

Orthodox participate in 10th WCC Assembly

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Source: Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] - The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches opened on October 30, 2013 in Busan, Republic of Korea. Representing the Orthodox Church in America at the Assembly are His Grace, Bishop Alexander of Toledo; Professor Paul Meyendorff of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary; and Cindy Davis of the OCA Chancery. The OCA delegation will join the other Orthodox delegations in offering an Orthodox presence and witness at the Assembly. The OCA … [Read more...]

Church repairs will cost EGP 190m: Pope Tawadros of Egypt

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Basil El-Dabh Coptic Orthodox Church anticipates a return to stability for the country Source: Daily News - Egypt After a preliminary survey of damage inflicted in sectarian violence, an estimated cost of EGP 190m will be required for restoration, said head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II. The committee consisted of members of the Church and the military’s Engineering Authority. The estimate was presented to the Engineering Authority, according to the pontiff during … [Read more...]

Facebook off Limits for Macedonian Clergy

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Source: ABC News SKOPJE, Macedonia October 26, 2013 (AP) The Macedonian Orthodox Church has banned it clergy from using Facebook to protect against abuse and "new phenomena of confessions and intimate conversations with young people," local media report. Reports on Saturday said the Holy Synod, the executive body of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, took the decision after one bishop's complaint. Local media say the decision has already created tensions between older church dignitaries … [Read more...]

Russia’s “protectorate” over Middle Eastern Christians

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Source: Vatican Insider Defending Middle Eastern Christians has become a strategic asset for Putin and is in perfect harmony with the Patriarchate of Moscow's mission GIANNI VALENTE ROME The Kremlin is about to consider granting citizenship to about 50 thousand Syrian Christians in the region of Qualamun after they issued a collective request to Moscow’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In statements issued in the past few days, the spokesmen for President Putin and the Ministry confirmed … [Read more...]