The 21 beheadings in Libya: Why edit ‘Orthodox’ from name of the Coptic Orthodox Church?

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 … [Read more...]

Christians in Jaffa Mark Beginning of Christmas Season

Source: The Algemeiner – 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 … [Read more...]

Prince Charles tells Armenian church of his heartbreak over attacks on Middle Eastern Christians

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 … [Read more...]

Barbarism 2014: On Religious Cleansing by Islamists

  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 … [Read more...]

Regensburg Vindicated

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 … [Read more...]

The Middle East’s Friendless Christians

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 … [Read more...]

Five Christian Patriarchs meet with President Obama at the White House

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 … [Read more...]

Pledge of Solidarity for Egyptian, Iraqi, and Syrian Christians and Other Small Religious Communities

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 … [Read more...]

Ransom A Syrian Christian For $200K

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...]

Fanaticism, Politics Threat To Middle East Orthodoxy

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...]