Voices from Russia

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Armenian and Syriac Orthodox Patriarchs Ask Christians to Remember the 1915 Genocide as Centennial Nears

armenian genocide memorial

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On Wednesday, the First Hierarchs of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church urged all Christians to remember and reflect on the genocide of Armenians and Syriac Christians in Turkey in 1915, where up to 2 million people died or disappeared without a trace. A joint statement by Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin Nersessian and Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem Karim said, “We invite the entire Christian world to unite in prayer at the Armenian Genocide and the Syriac Sayfo centennial commemorative events in 2015. We call upon the civilised world to recognise and condemn the crimes committed against the Armenian and Syriac peoples as well as other Christian communities”. Since Armenians made up nearly 1.5 million of the victims, many call the 1915 massacre during World War I in Ottoman Turkey the Armenian Genocide. The attacks on Christians eliminated almost the entire Christian population in present day Turkey, leaving almost an entirely Muslim nation {not so… the expulsion of the Greek Orthodox population from Ionia in the 20s did so: editor}.

As the centennial commemoration approaches, the Armenian and Syriac leaders want the international community to recognise and condemn the atrocities committed at the time. Earlier this week, the two patriarchs met at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the spiritual centre of all Armenians, to sign a declaration affirming the shared faith of the two sister churches. In September, Assyrian International News Agency reported that a documentary film is in preparation on the 1915 genocide, scheduled to première in 2015 as part of the commemoration. Produced by the Assyrian Federation of Sweden and the Assyrian Youth Federation of Sweden, the documentary explains the circumstances and details behind the genocide to a wider audience. Directed by Aziz Said from Berlin, the film crew spent close to three weeks in southeast Turkey shooting footage for the film. The documentary also seeks to expose the denial of the genocide as maintained by the Turkish state, and highlight the effect the massacre still has on Assyrians today. The Genocide1915 website provides a comprehensive history of the conflict. It notes that 24 April is the commemoration day of the genocide as the genocide began that night in 1915, when the Turks rounded up and executed close to 250 Armenians within 72 hours, including doctors, lawyers, and politicians.

15 October 2014

Christian Post

http://www.christianpost.com/news/armenian-and-syrian-orthodox-patriarchs-ask-christians-to-remember-the-1915-genocide-as-centennial-nears-128129/

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Ukraine on Terror Alert amidst Explosion Threats

00 Kiev riots 01. 09.02.14

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The SBU posted on its website that Ukrainian security forces are on high alert following reports of planned explosions in the country that could cause mass casualties. It issued a warning about high-risk facilities across the Ukraine, including nuclear and hydro power plants, international airports, railway and bus stations, cross-country pipelines, and weapons storage facilities. It made these measures public to prevent threats to the life and health of Ukrainians. It also confirmed a hijack attempt on an airliner en route to Turkey from Kharkov on 7 February. Official and media reports said that a passenger aboard a Pegasus Airlines flight attempted to hijack the plane by claiming there was a bomb onboard, demanding to go to Sochi. Despite the ordeal, the flight landed safely in Istanbul, its original destination. The MVDU said that three people suffered injuries on Saturday in downtown Kiev, the scene of mass anti-government protests since November. Reportedly, a guard hit one person, whilst unknown assailants in separate incidents attacked two others.

9 February 2014

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140209/187364652/Ukraine-On-Terror-Alert-Amid-Explosion-Threats.html

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Saturday, 4 January 2014

4 January 2014. Armenian Frontal Aviation… One Reason Why Armenia Chose the TS EvrAsES and NOT the EU

00 Armenian Mi-24 attack helicopter. 04.01.14

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00 Armenian Mi-24 attack helicopter 01. 04.01.14

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00 Armenian Mi-24 attack helicopter 02. 04.01.14

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00 Patriarch Kirill & Catholicos Karekin in Yerevan. 04.01.14

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and Catholicos Karekin Nersessian of all Armenians at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin of the Armenian Apostolic Church at the monument to the Russian war dead in the Russo-Persian War in Yerevan ARMENIA

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00 Russia and Armenia... Friends Forever! 04.01.14

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The above images are of Mil Mi-24 assault helicopters of Armenian Frontal Aviation. Armenia is in a rough-ass neighbourhood, with hostiles on its borders. Ergo, it behoves them to cleave to those who’ll have their back in the clutch. Russia has always stood by Armenia. Indeed, the Mi-24 is a Russian-made craft. Recently, Armenia chose to join the TS EvrAsES NOT the EU… that pissed off the Americans mightily. Well, I’d say that the Armenians made the only sane decision open to them, given their situation. Armenia is safe because Russian forces are inside the country. To be blunt, the USA wouldn’t guarantee Armenia against Turkey and Azerbaijan. Indeed, given American actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and American indifference to Turkish and Azerbaijani pogroms against Christians, Armenia faced a no-brainer. Would they join with Russia, who WOULD help them when the shit hit the fan, or, should they join with the USA, who’d leave them to the tender mercies of the Turks and Azerbaijanis? After all, Armenia doesn’t want a repeat of 1915!

Armenia did the only thing open to it. Besides, both Russia and Armenia are part of the Orthosphere. Why count on strangers when the neighbours are at hand? Russia and Armenia… friends forever!

BMD 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Hagia Sophia: A Wonder of the World is in Middle of Religious Controversy

00 Hagia Sophia Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom. 17.12.13

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Editor’s Note:

Yes, I know that Soros finances EurasiaNet, which means that it’s pro-corporatist and pro-Western. However, the lamestream media  (both “progressive” and “conservative”) isn’t covering this, and it’s of interest to Orthodox Christians. As you read it, do consider the source… and who pays for it.

BMD

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç’s call to turn Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque is stoking a dispute between Turkey’s Islamist-rooted government and Orthodox Christians in Turkey. Metropolitan Genadios Lymouris of Sasima, a senior official in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople New Rome, one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, warned, “We do hope that the Turkish government will reconsider and have to think very seriously”.

For over 900 years, Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom” in Greek), built in 537, was Christendom’s most important church, but when Constantinople (as Istanbul was then called) fell to the Ottomans in 1453, it became a mosque, and for nearly 500 years, it ranked among the Ottoman Empire’s grandest places of worship. In 1935, the founders of Turkey’s secular republic transformed Hagia Sophia into a museum. The iconic building continues to carry important political significance. İştar Gözaydin, a professor of law and politics at Doğuş University, an expert on the relationship between the state and religion, noted, “The Islamists always aspired for it to be a mosque”, whilst Turkish secularists want it to remain “a neutral place”, and Christians see it as a church,.

Until Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2003, the chances of Hagia Sophia reverting to a mosque were slim to none. However, with the country’s Islamic heritage now experiencing revival after decades of government-imposed secularism, the prospect isn’t entirely unlikely. On a 16 November trip to Hagia Sophia, Arınç, who oversees policy toward historical buildings that once belonged to religious minorities, declared to television reporters, “The days of a mosque being a museum are over”. With Turkey heading into an 18-month election-cycle in 2014, most believe that politics motivated Arınc’s statements. In campaign speeches for next March’s municipal elections, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan draws heavily on the country’s Ottoman past. He aims the message at both religious and nationalist voters, key AKP constituencies. The strategy could well prove a vote-winner. Recently, one teenager leaving Hagia Sophia said, “God willing, it’ll be a mosque. Fatih Sultan Mehmet wanted this. When he conquered Istanbul, the first thing he did was to convert it into a mosque. That’s why it should be a mosque again”.

Arınç has the reputation of a political maverick, a man prone to making incendiary statements that the government doesn’t always followed up. Nevertheless, the fact that Arınç has links to the mosque-makeover of two other church-museums also named Hagia Sophia (in İznik and Trabzon) means that even the mention of a similar fate for Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia sparked alarm among the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. Metropolitan Genadios, referring to Arınc’s comments, said, “We’re surprised, but not surprised, with this statement. I don’t want to believe our Turkish authorities said this in a concrete way or that they realised the consequences of this decision to open Hagia Sophia as a place of worship [for Muslims]. Hagia Sophia, for Christians and Orthodox… it represents, for us, a monument of Christianity”. The Orthodox Church has powerful international allies, and a visit to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Archontonis often features on the itineraries of visiting foreign leaders and ministers.

In the coming months and years, some observers believe the status of Hagia Sophia would become part of a wider controversy between Greece and Turkey over religious freedom. Increasingly, the Turkish government challenges Athens over what it sees as restrictions put on the religious practises of Greece’s tiny Turkish minority, believed to make up most of the country’s miniscule Muslim minority of roughly 100,000 people. Ankara retaliated by refusing to reopen Halki, a Greek Orthodox seminary near Istanbul, which many expected to reopen as part of a broad democratisation package announced in October. Greece, which sees Byzantium (sic) as part of its cultural heritage, declared last month that statements “about converting Byzantine (sic) Christian churches into mosques offend the religious feelings of millions of Christians”. Officials in Ankara scoff at such statements as hypocritical. Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Levent Gümrükçü said, “Athens is in no position to question us, considering Athens is the only capital in Europe that doesn’t have a mosque, even though there are many Muslims there”. Amidst diplomatic rancour and Turkey’s own charged political atmosphere, Hagia Sophia’s fate is far from clear. Metropolitan Genadios sighed, “We now live in unpredictable times”.

5 December 2013

Dorian Jones

EurasiaNet

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/67836

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