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Source: The New York Times by Ross Douthat WHEN the long, grim history of Christianity’s disappearance from the Middle East is written, Ted Cruz’s performance last week at a conference organized to highlight the persecution of his co-religionists will merit at most a footnote. But sometimes a footnote can help illuminate a tragedy’s unhappy whole. For decades, the Middle East’s increasingly beleaguered Christian communities have suffered from a fatal invisibility in the Western world. And their plight has been particularly invisible in the United States, which as a majority-Christian superpower might have been expected to provide particular support. There are…

Source: Today’s Zaman The youth of Turkey’s Greek minority are facing critical demographic and educational problems which are complicating their ability to maintain their historical tradition in Turkey. Aug. 22 was the last day of the second biannual Greek reunion on the island of Burgazada. Turks and Greeks were reunited accompanied by the tune of Greek and Turkish songs in a celebration of their friendship that dates back many years. “In Burgazada, we’re all one family,” said Vasilis, a Rum (Greek Orthodox Turkish citizen) who moved to Athens many years ago. Although the Greek Orthodox presence is still evident on…

Source: Ecumenical News by Peter Kenny Ukrainian Greek-Catholic bishops from around the world, meeting in Lviv for their annual Holy Synod, have appealed to the international community to help restore peace in Ukraine. “Ukraine is flowing with blood!” the bishops began, noting the “direct military intervention” in Ukraine by Russia, Vatican Radio reported Friday. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused Russia of wanting to “eliminate” his country and restore the Soviet Union, the BBC reported Saturday. It said there were reports of heavy fighting near the airport in Donetsk, one of the main rebel-held cities despite there being an official ceasefire between…

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty By Robert Coalson A Moldovan newspaper says it was threatened after publishing two scandalous investigative reports on the assets and personal life of the head of Moldova’s Orthodox Church. The Chisinau weekly “Ziarul de Garda” says it received the telephone threats on September 11 after publishing photos of Vladimir, metropolitan of Chisinau and All Moldova, vacationing in Turkey with a woman named Nelli Tcaciuc. According to an investigation by the newspaper, Vladimir does not live in his official residence or in the apartment that he owns in Chisinau, but rather in a luxurious villa in…

Source: Syriac International News Agency (SINA) by Hirutho WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For the first time in history, five Christian Patriarchs representing Christian communities in the Middle East visited the White House to discuss the protection of Christians in theMiddle East with President Obama and National Security Advisor Susan Rice. In Defense of Christians President Toufic Baaklinisaid, “We want to thank President Obama at this critical moment in history for meeting with the representatives of these Christian communities from the Middle East who face suffering and hardship for professing their religious beliefs.” Attending the meeting with the President…

Source: Yle The Russian Orthodox Church has cancelled an official doctrinal dialogue with the Finnish Lutheran Church over the Lutheran stance on homosexuality. The Orthodox side wanted to pre-approve a communique before the meeting, but talks broke down over the Finns’ refusal to condemn homosexuality. Finnish and Russian attitudes to gay rights are poles apart, and that’s helping to derail doctrinal dialogues between the two countries’ largest religions. Archbishop Kari Mäkinen says that he was forced to cancel planned ecumenical dialogues when he met the Russia Patriarch Kiril in Moscow. The Russian Orthodox Church wanted to agree a statement in…

Source: NL Times by Maxime Zech A silver reliquary belonging to the Greek orthodox church in Rotterdam was stolen on Saturday afternoon. According to the church, the box contained pieces of the very cross where Jesus Christ was crucified 2000 years ago, along with other items, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.  Priest Christos Sidiropoulos had the box in a bag on the back seat of his car, which was parked at the church on the Westzeedijk in Rotterdam on Saturday afternoon. Someone broke a window and stole the items on the back seat. Several items were found in the area around the church,…

Source: Pravmir Rescuers soon extracted the two wounded firefighters, who were immediately transported by helicopter to General Military Hospital 424 in Thessaloniki. The monk was found dead. On Mount Athos, Monk Athanasius of Hilandar Monastery fell into a precipice while hurrying to aid firefighters that had gotten into a car crash. The tragedy occurred at about 8 AM, when a fire truck with two firefighters took the road on Mount Athos to complete their ordinary daily duties, Russian Athos related. During their patrol, because of an unsettled road, their car got stuck in the difficult mountainous terrain near a chapel…

September 8, 2014 His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America Chairman, Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America Your Eminence, Evlogeite! I pray and hope you will have a blessed new ecclesiastical year, and I respectfully request that you extend my best wishes to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops for a successful assembly gathering next week. I am also writing to ask the assembly to add the Holy Land Christians to their prayers and press releases when speaking of Christians in the Middle East.  When the Christians in the Holy Land see Orthodox statements calling for…

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