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Source: Orthodox Church in America FOCUS has been featured on multiple TV stations in Ferguson, MO, where its St. Louis Center and FOCUS Director, Eric Shanburn, have been working to embody the “U” in FOCUS, which stands for “United” and “Understanding.” The video is accessible at www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLkqpS8h240&feature=youtu.be. “Eric and his team of Orthodox volunteers have spent time in Ferguson promoting discussion and understanding between the police and protesters,” said Larissa Hatch of FOCUS. “On Saturday, August 23, FOCUS hosted a community cookout that brought local shop owners—many of whom were victims of looting—protesters and authorities together.  In the past few nights,…

Source: The Messenger Online The Memorandum of Understanding has been concluded between the Ministry of Defense of Georgia and The Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church. The document was signed by the Minister of Defense of Georgia Irakli Alasania and His Holiness and Beatitude, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, the Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and Metropolitan bishop of Bichvinta and Tskhum-Abkhazia Ilia II at the Youth Center of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. After the signature of the MoU, the sides underscored the importance of the document. “We are very happy that in his preaching Catholicos-Patriarch talked about the Georgian Army and blessed our military.…

Source: Accuracy in Media by Cliff Kincaid An article titled, “Iraq’s Christians See Putin As Savior,” appeared on the website of The Daily Beast in late June. It was picked up by literally dozens of “news” sites all over the Internet, contributing to the perception that Russia was actually prepared to do something on behalf of these Christians and other minorities. The article referred to “Russia’s increasingly cozy relationship with Middle Eastern Christians” and included a photo of Putin under a halo. But when the Christians in Iraq actually needed some help, it was the U.S. and Britain which intervened on…

Source: Catholic News Agency By 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…

Source: The National Herald BY ANDRE GEROLYMATOS Torture, rape, murder and mass killing – it is not a page from the Roman Empire or the Ottoman Turks; but life for Christians under the current Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Shockingly, crucifying Christians, forcing them to pay a head tax to keep their lives, destroying religious structures, are daily practices in Iraq and Syria. This is the first time that terrorists have acquired a physical space where they can practice their perverted versions of Islam. Indeed, finally George W. Bush and his associates can say there is truly a…

Source: Interfax Moscow, August 15, Interfax – Members of far-right groups disrupted a religious service being conducted by Priest Vladimir Navozenko at the Church of the Holy Intercession in the village of Chervonaya Motovilovka outside of Kiev.A video posted on YouTube shows several dozen people entering the church holding Ukrainian flags and symbols of the far-right party Svoboda (Freedom) and the Radical Party led by Ukrainian MP Oleg Lyashko.They insulted Father Vladimir, accused him of “supporting the terrorists” and Russia and threatened to punish him for that. The nationalists gave him one week to leave the village.One of the women who came together with…

Source: The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America The recent wave of violence against innocent families and children in Iraq has rendered the world shocked and horrified. We will not remain indifferent or silent before such irrational persecution, cultural intolerance and appalling loss of life, especially when it is caused by religious hatred and racial hostility. The targeting of tens of thousands of Christians (including Arameans, Chaldeans, and Assyrians) and other religious minorities (including Turkmens, Yazidis, and Kurds) can never be justified in the name of any religious creed or conviction. What we are witnessing before…

Source: First Things by Mark Movsesian This past weekend, the United States began to intervene in the humanitarian crisis unfolding in northern Iraq. The Islamist group ISIS has made a lightning conquest of much of the region, persecuting religious minorities, and even some Sunni Muslims, everywhere it goes. In response, the U.S. has begun air drops of food and water to up to 40,000 Yazidi refugees stranded on Mt. Sinjar, where ISIS militants have them surrounded. And the U.S. undertook airstrikes against ISIS positions threatening the Kurdish city of Erbil, where hundreds of American advisers are stationed. Other Western nations…

Source: Christian Today by Ruth Gledhill Severe conditions in Gaza are leaving the struggling Christian community open to the temptations of “an extremism which does not differentiate between race and religion,” warns a report today. Christians in Gaza have been prevented from visiting holy sites in Bethlehem and Jerusalem since 2007, which disrupts their ability to uphold their religious faith, in contrast to other Christians from around the world who are freely able to visit these sites. Their number has declined by nearly a fifth in under two decades, according to the first ever survey of the small embattled population.…

Source: The National Herald ATHENS – Greece’s major opposition party leader, Alexis Tsipras of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) is back from a two-day visit of the monastic community of Mount Athos, located in Halkidiki Peninsula, northern Greece. Tsipras and his aides left via a Coast Guard vessel at the Monastery of Xenofontos harbour, after having attended the morning mass and had a meal with the monks. The Abbot of the monastery Alexios and the monks saw Tsipras and his associates off. Tsipras was accompanied by his office director Nikos Pappas, SYRIZA MP and the party’s parliamentary group…

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