Posts made in November, 2015

Mass in Bethlehem in remembrance of victims of terrorism

Posted on Nov 26, 2015

Mass in Bethlehem in remembrance of victims who had fallen as a result of terrorist attacks in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, France, Russia, Mali and other countries.   (Photo: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

Mass in Bethlehem in remembrance of victims who had fallen as a result of terrorist attacks in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, France, Russia, Mali and other countries. (Photo: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

(Latin Patriarchate of Jersualem) November 24, 2015 – On Sunday November 22nd, 2015, a Mass took place in St. Catherine Church in Bethlehem in remembrance of victims who had fallen as a result of terrorist attacks in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, France, Russia, Mali and other countries. The Mass was organized at the request of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas by the municipality of Bethlehem, the Higher Committee for Churches’ Affairs in Palestine and the Latin Parish in Bethlehem.

Read More

When it comes to terrorism, ‘a Christian is a Christian’

Posted on Nov 26, 2015

…it seems that instead of beginning with theology, a “practical ecumenism” that forces faith communities to confront shared problems in the world together is the best way forward.

Christian children prayed during Mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Ankawa, Erbil, in northern Iraq last December. The Christians were expelled from their homes in August 2014 when the Islamic State group militants attacked their villages in the Nineveh Province. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

Christian children prayed during Mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Ankawa, Erbil, in northern Iraq last December. The Christians were expelled from their homes in August 2014 when the Islamic State group militants attacked their villages in the Nineveh Province. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

by Christopher Hale

(Crux) November 20, 2015 – Last week I was in northern Iraq studying the work of World Vision and other Christian aid organizations in response to the refugee crisis in the Middle East. While there I spent time with a young priest who opened my eyes to the reality that when it comes to terrorism, not only do denominational lines not matter much, they might very well fade away when dealing with the realities of life inside a war zone.

Read More

Iraqi president receives credentials of Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martin

Posted on Nov 26, 2015

(abouna.org) Baghdad, November 20, 2015 – Iraqi President Muhammad Fuad Masum stressed, on November 19, that “the presence of Christians in Iraq is historical since they are an inherent component of the country.”

He added, while receiving the credentials of new Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martin who conveyed the greetings of His Holiness Pope Francis, that “strengthening relations with the Vatican is a prime Iraqi concern.” He also reiterated “the importance of the presence of Christians in the country, of their positive role in the construction of Iraq, and of the preservation of religious and sectarian diversity.”

Read More

Lebanese Archbishop: We Have Always Known ISIS Is a Danger to the Whole World

Posted on Nov 26, 2015

Archbishop Issam John Darwish

Archbishop Issam John Darwish

Asks for More Help in Keeping Christians in Their Homeland

This report is contributed by Oliver Maksan and Clare Creegan of Aid to the Church in Need.

(Zenit) November 24, 2015 – A Lebanese archbishop has called on Europe to rethink the conflict in Syria following the attacks in Paris.

Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Issam John Darwish of Zahle and Furzol in Lebanon said he believed the attacks in France were inevitable.

“We have always known that ISIS is a danger to the whole world. But Europe hasn’t taken it seriously,” he said.

The archbishop said that the attacks by the Islamist terrorist organisation Daesh (ISIS) should cause Europe to rethink its policy with regards to the Syrian conflict.

Archbishop Darwish called for greater action, adding: “It’s time to fight ISIS together with the Syrian government: “Only then will we be able to see how to move on in Syria.”

Read More

World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016: Enter an event or text to promote interfaith harmony

Posted on Nov 25, 2015

Information about World Interfaith Harmony Week on the UN webpage for last year

The 2016 United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week is coming and you can be one of the winners of the annual prizes and awards that are worth over $50,000. A prize will be given to each of the three best events or texts organized during the UN WIHW (first week of February) which best promote the goals of the WIHW. Start organizing and promoting your event(s) now to get a head start on the competition.

Read More

‘Baptism Site a living reminder of culture of tolerance in region’

Posted on Nov 25, 2015

Madani [Director of the Baptism Site Commission] noted that tourism in Jordan witnessed a decline with the unrest in the region, but the way forward is to promote Jordan as a safe zone that holds religious and historical significance.

(UNESCO photo)

Baptism site at Bethany beyond the Jordan (UNESCO photo)

by Suzanna Goussous

(The Jordan Times) November 21, 2015 – At a time when heritage is being destroyed in some countries around the world, local authorities are working to preserve historical sites in several areas of the Kingdom, officials said on Saturday.

Read More

Jordan’s Christian Youth express belief in the God of life and disbelief in terrorism

Posted on Nov 25, 2015

(abouna.org) November 22, 2015 – Hundreds of Christian youth in Jordan have explicitly announced their faith in the God of Life, the Living God, the God of Love and Peace, as well as their “disbelief” and renunciation of acts that tarnish the image of God by killing, destruction, and labeling others as infidels. They also expressed their rejection of all forms of terrorism.

Read More

The role of the Orthodox Church in Russia’s intervention in Syria

Posted on Nov 25, 2015

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin

The church fully supports the Kremlin’s decision to intervene in Syria, both as a ‘war on terrorism’ and to protect Middle Eastern Christians it sees as its responsibility.

by Fred Weir

(Christian Science Monitor) November 23, 2015 – For many in the West, the idea that a church would take an overtly hawkish stance in the conflict in Syria is an utterly foreign concept.

But then, the Russian Orthodox Church is not of the West, says Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the church’s most recognizable spokesperson, in his spartan downtown Moscow office.

“The idea that church and state should be alienated from each other is not a characteristic of Orthodox civilization,” insists the wispy-bearded senior cleric, whose eyes almost seem to burn. “It’s a characteristic of the West.”

Read More

Radical Christian holy warriors really need to stop throwing stones

Posted on Nov 25, 2015

No one usually bothers to link any of [the atrocious acts committed by Christians] to the belief system of the rank-and-file Christian faithful. No one thinks the little old lady sitting her pew reading Corinthians is responsible for any of that. No one thinks they need to answer for it, or justify it. Nor should we feel those who pray fives times a day in the direction of Mecca are somehow responsible for the acts of madmen, either.

Baldwin II ceeding the location of the Temple of Salomon to Hugues de Payns and Gaudefroy de Saint-Homer. The fourth person is Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem.  (Wikicommons/World Imagining)

Baldwin II ceeding the location of the Temple of Salomon to Hugues de Payns and Gaudefroy de Saint-Homer. The fourth person is Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem. (Wikicommons/World Imagining)

By Frank Vyan Walton

(ailykos.com) November 22, 2015 – In the wake of attacks by the outlaw death cult Da’esh against a Russian airplane, in Beirut, and in Paris in recent days, a firestorm of debate has erupted over how to handle Syrian refugees as well as other Muslims. Suggestions run the gamut from multiple claims that only Christian Syrians should be allowed into the U.S., to arguments that mosques should be closed. Others have said Muslims should be marked and registered and that Islam is a philosophy of violence and murder.

The base argument has been that Da’esh and other terrorist death cults have all been Islamic and that this kind of barbarism is a unique and inherent portion of Islam, as one recent comment noted to me here:

Violent jihad was baked right into Islam by Muhammad himself, who used militancy to spread Islam.

Some argue this same militant streak is a base feature of Islam because of passages such as this:

Quran, 048:29: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves;

Yet the truth—which is often forgotten—is that the origins of Islam stem directly from both Christianity and Judaism, and that you can find similar passages in both the Old Testament and Talmud. You can also find more than a few Christian death cults not only in history, but in the present.

Buckle in, because listing just the highlights of radical extremist Christianity is gonna take some time.

Read More

Collective punishment of the Palestinians must cease immediately

Posted on Nov 23, 2015

Father Raed Abusahlia, Director of Caritas Jerusalem

Father Raed Abusahlia, Director of Caritas Jerusalem

Caritas Jerusalem denounces “the violations of the basic human rights and calls upon the international community to intervene and end the ongoing worsening situation that is taking lives day in and day out”.

(Agenzia Fides) Jerusalem, November 21, 2015 – With each passing day the people of the Holy Land “are losing any sense of empathy, any sense of mutual understanding of our common humanity and common future”. This is how the message released by Caritas Jerusalem begins in view of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, sent to Agenzia Fides. The text, signed by Fr. Raed Abusahlia, director general of Caritas Jerusalem, reaffirms that “peace must be built on rights for all and protection for all” because “the collective punishment of the Palestinians must cease immediately. Detention without charge or trial, home demolitions, closures at checkpoints and other methods that punish indiscriminately have devastating effects on the daily life of Palestinians and only increase animosity and intolerance”.

Read More