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Browsing: Middle East

Source: Lebanon Wire By Rupert Shortt*, The Independent The beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by forces sympathetic to Islamic State over recent days is sadly not an isolated case. On the contrary, it is the latest of countless outrages perpetrated against Christians in or near the Church’s Biblical heartlands over many years. The latest victims were migrant workers from Upper Egypt. The announcement by the authorities in Cairo of retaliatory bombing raids on terrorist training camps in Libya should not blind us to an inconvenient truth – that more than 600,000 Christians have left Egypt over the past…

Source: Get Religion by Terry Mattingly What can be said about the images that are coming out of Libya, in that hellish Islamic State video showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians – explicitly for their faith and their connection to “crusaders”? This is a story with so much religious imagery and language in it that there is no way for journalists to avoid the ghosts. Religion News Service, and some other news outlets, are using a very important quote from Pope Francis: “The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that cries out,” Francis said in off-the-cuff remarks…

Source: The Algemeiner JNS.org – Israeli Arab Christians in Jaffa marked the beginning of the Christmas season in the Holy Land with an annual Christmas tree lighting celebration earlier this week. At the gathering in the ancient port city adjacent to Tel Aviv, men dressed up as Santa Claus met children, sang Christmas carols and lit fireworks. Orthodox Christian leaders also addressed the crowd of Jewish, Muslim and Christian onlookers, using the occasion to promote unity between the three faiths. “This is the best example for all the citizens of Israel to see how people can do things that we can…

Source: The Tablet by James Roberts The Prince of Wales this week followed up his impassioned plea for religious freedom at the 4 November launch of an Aid to the Church in the Need report on persecution, with a visit to St Yeghichè’s Armenian church in South Kensington, London. April next year marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the genocide by the Ottoman Government against the Armenian population, in which 1.5 million were killed. Some of those who escaped fled to Syria, and the visit by the Prince of Wales comes as the descendants of those who fled…

Source: The Christian Post BY NINA SHEA , CP OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR In a brief, nationally televised announcement on August 7th regarding the Islamic State, which invaded the multicultural, northern Nineveh Province of Iraq this summer, President Obama observed “these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yazidis.” The brutal persecution of Iraq’s non-Muslim religious groups is part of a human rights atrocity that is as grave as it is overlooked in American foreign policy. The president’s eight-and-a-half-minute speech hardly scratched the surface. In fact, what the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, is undertaking…

Source: First Things by George Weigel On the evening of Sept. 12, 2006, my wife and I were dining in Cracow with Polish friends when an agitated Italian Vaticanista (pardon the redundancy in adjectives) called, demanding to know what I thought of “Zees crazee speech of zee pope about zee Muslims.” That was my first hint that the herd of independent minds in the world press was about to go ballistic on the subject of Benedict XVI’s Regensburg Lecture: a “gaffe”-bone on which the media continued to gnaw until the end of Benedict’s pontificate. Eight years later, the Regensburg Lecture…

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: 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: Congressman Frank Wolf UPDATED MEDIA ADVISORY  AMERICAN CHRISTIAN LEADERS “PLEDGE” TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH IMPERILED CHRISTIAN AND OTHER RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IN EGYPT, SYRIA AND IRAQ  Press Conference 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 7, 2014 234 Cannon House Office Building  Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), co-chairs of the bipartisan Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, will host a press conference at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7 on Capitol Hill featuring several prominent American Christian leaders who will be releasing a Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action on behalf of Christians and other religious…

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 minority. Last February, the website Ora pro Siria [1], operated by Italian missionaries in Syria, launched an emergency fundraising appeal it called “Ransom a Christian.”…

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