Voices from Russia

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Iraqi Christians Face “Death Sentence” as Trump Prepares Mass Deportations

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Editor:

The stupidity of this is mindboggling. The silence of so-called “conservatives” should give you the measure of this godless and demonic movement. They support this and they support Trump in doing this to Christians. All those who voted for Trump are patsies… he’s handing over US foreign policy to Israel and the KSA. He’s also enabling every Russophobe in creation. All Orthodox who voted for this man are partially responsible for this and for the present campaign against the Rodina. It gives you the measure of Dreher and Potapov, doesn’t it (Whiteford is too stupid to garner blame for his rightwing rants… he’s merely an ignorant Yahoo… not calculating and mendacious like Dreher or Potapov).

This is evil. Note well that the “conservatives” are silent about this. Where is Fox News? Where is Sean Hannity? Where is the National Review? May God curse their movement.

Interestingly, I think that Trump himself isn’t that stupid. However, Netanyahu and Prince Mohammed bin Salman are that hateful and they forced Trump’s hand (both have an irrational hate of Iran and its allies). If this doesn’t prove to you that US foreign policy in the Middle East comes from Tel Aviv and Riyadh, nothing will. Strange bedfellows, the KSA and Israel, wot? It proves that hatred can make the most bitter opponents collude together to harm a third-party. God do help the USA and Middle Eastern Christians.

BMD

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A large roundup of Iraqi Christians by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sparked off widespread criticism of President Donald Trump, who previously pledged to protect such communities from persecution in the Middle East. Over the weekend, the ICE seized dozens of Iraqi Christians and other immigrants a series of ICE raids, many of which took place in Michigan, a state known for its large Middle Eastern population. Those arrested face risk of deportation back to their home countries, some of which Trump previously criticised as being hostile toward Christians. CNN reported that many of the detained face years-old charges, with some having not committed any crimes in the past two or three decades. Activists such as Steve Oshana, the Assyrian Christian executive director of A Demand for Action, a non-profit that assists at-risk religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East, attacked Trump for allowing authorities to send Christians back to places like Iraq, where the USA said that a “genocide” against the faith was occurring. On Monday, Oshana, who claimed that some of those arrested hadn’t committed any crimes at all, told Catholic news outlet EWTN:

Someone like the President of the United States has to step in, he promised in the past that he was going to protect our community, but the people who are being sent back now are being sent back as a direct deal between the USA and the Iraqi government to accept these people.

Lavrena Kenawa, an American Chaldean Catholic, cried as she thought about her uncle, seized Sunday by ICE agents during a rally outside the Mother of God Catholic Chaldean Church in Southfield MI on 12 June 2017. A number of protesters gathered to criticise President Trump’s authorisation of raids targeting Iraqi Christians (amongst other groups the President once pledged to protect from persecution in the Middle East). ICE stated that the raids were “consistent with the routine targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis”. According to Michigan’s Local 4 News, however, scenes of chaos reportedly broke out near Detroit’s ICE office as busses removed the suspects. Protestors claiming that ICE apprehended as many as 80 people in the area assembled outside the detention centres, shouting slogans that accused ICE of racism, and attempted to block the buses from departing. On Sunday, local lawyer Wisam Naoum said that ICE officers deliberately waited to take action when the local Chaldean Catholic Assyrian community gathered for Mass. On a Facebook post, Naoum said:

This is a deliberate attack on the Chaldean Catholic Assyrian community of Detroit by the Administration. They waited until Sunday when our community would be going to church and gathering with their families and have rounded up to 40-60 community members.

Naoum said he’d heard reports of the authorities sending suspects to prisons as far away as Ohio and that some final orders to deport individuals to Mosul were received. Mosul is the former Iraqi stronghold of the Islamic State (ISIS) that now serves as a venue for a violent showdown between the jihadists and an Iraqi government-led offensive. ISIS had its origins in Iraq’s Sunni Muslim jihadist movement and the militant group took control of up to 45 percent of the country in 2014, subjecting Shiite Muslims, Christians, and ethnic minorities to mass torture, enslavement, and executions. Despite sweeping victories by Iraqi forces against ISIS in Iraq, Christian protesters claimed being sent back to the country amidst the current instability would effectively constitute a “death sentence”. In January, Trump tweeted:

Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We can’t allow this horror to continue!

Shortly after Trump took office earlier this year, ISIS’s infiltration of Iraq led Trump to add the war-torn nation to a list of countries he sought to ban all travel and immigration from. Shortly afterwards, a federal court struck down the measure, prompting Trump to resubmit the order, this time omitting Iraq, as he’d faced criticism from both the Iraqi community and government, which is deeply involved in the fight against ISIS. According to Politico, in exchange, the Iraqi government reportedly agreed to accept Iraqi nationals designated for deportation by the USA. Most recently, despite Iraq’s absence, a federal appeals court also blocked and struck down the second inception of the travel ban on Monday.

14 June 2017

Tom O’Connor

Newsweek

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iraqi-christians-face-apos-death-200731868.html?.tsrc=fauxdal

Sunday, 28 May 2017

28 May 2017. On Sergei Stagorodsky and “Sergianism”

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You hear rightwing elements excoriating Patriarch Sergei Stagorodsky and who blather about “Sergianism“. Arzamas (his hometown) put up a memorial to him. He was in prison for Christ’s sake three times. Bear in mind what “Sergianism” is… selling-out the Church to political elements, often, to factions more inimical to Christianity than Communism ever was. Actually, “Sergianism” was mostly a trend amongst rightwing anti-communist émigrés and you find it amongst present-day konvertsy, who hobnob with the slimiest rightwing fascists imaginable (on the grounds of being “pro-life!” What hypocrisy!). Interesting… that what the right accused Sergei of, they were guilty of themselves! They sold out Christ for a mess of pottage from anti-Church/anti-Rodina elements… they still do!

BMD

“Sincerely Held Belief” Is a Slippery Slope to Theocracy

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There’s a serious issue with Christian paranoia in North America. We hear Christians complaining about being denied religious freedom, and demanding special rights, beyond the rights of other citizens. Just now, we have a trial in British Columbia, in Canada, on the rights of one particular religious group, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Fundamentalist. Their deeply held religious belief is that God ordained polygamy and that they should observe it. It seems likely the courts will announce that we can’t honour such a religious “right” because it’s contrary to Canadian civil law. We don’t see a single other religious body standing up for and defending the right of this Church to exercise this deeply held religious belief freely.

However, let’s look a bit further. Follow the arguments and make a list of the “rights” that the state denies Christians in North America, aside from being forbidden to make animal (or human) sacrifices. The rights that certain Christian bodies demand aren’t the right to assemble and worship according to their doctrines, and live their lives according to their doctrines! Not at all. Neither Canada nor the USA has ever infringed those rights. The rights that these particular Christians demand are all… every one of them… the right to deny others their rights and freedoms; the right to persecute, humiliate, and denigrate those who don’t share their doctrine and understanding of life. They stop short of demanding the right to kill blasphemers or to burn witches and perceived heretics at the stake. However, all the rights they claim they are denied have to do with persecuting others, denying others of equal rights with them, the right to subvert the Constitution (in America) or the Charter (in Canada).

In other words, such Christians demand special extra-constitutional rights for themselves, and those rights include attempting to destroy other people’s lives and to persecute those who don’t share their doctrines and understandings. All religious bodies have the right to assemble, read their holy books, and follow their religious practises, so long as those doctrines and religious practices don’t harm others or deprive others of their legal rights. If we believe in our particular Word of God, this gives us no rights to attack, spread hate about, persecute, or attempt to destroy the lives of other who have a different “Word of God” such as the Quran, which they equally deeply and sincerely believe to be the direct “Word of God”.

However, neither Muslims nor others have the right to do those things to those who believe that the Judeo/Christian Bible is the express “Word of God”. Moreover, neither we nor Muslims have any right whatsoever to persecute and destroy the lives of or denigrate those who either understand those Holy Books differently that one or another denomination, or who don’t accept their authority at all. To try to convert people is natural. To try to bully, coerce, and take over the government to force people by law to obey one religion or another is clearly just a form of Ego-Fascism. Compelling outward compliance and not converting the hearts of others seems to me to be utterly opposed to Christ Jesus and the Holy Apostles, that’s shameless and unworthy of the name “Christian”.

11 May 2017

Lazar Puhalo

Facebook

Editor:

Christianity is NOT under attack in the USA or Canada. Actually, some claim “rights” that don’t exist. For instance, many Orthodox parishes have made their parish halls places of public accommodation. That is, they rent them out to outsiders, to generate income. If you make your hall into a place of public accommodation, and not a parochial closed venue, then, you must follow the laws regarding places of public accommodation. You can’t allow some to rent the facility and deny it to others based on “sincerely held” beliefs. You must either open it to all comers or keep it as a closed venue. That’s the law in a secular state, and I believe that law to be a good one. Churches shouldn’t be in business… they have more important fish to fry. However, the lure of “easy money” seduces many. We shouldn’t be making our parish halls public banqueting facilities. I’d note that the Catholics don’t do so… they’re right in so doing.

Another so-called “right” is for public officials to refuse to carry out public duties. A civil marriage is NOT a sacramental marriage. A civil marriage is a legal arrangement… not a Mystery of the Church. Can a Christian carry out a “gay marriage?” If one is the public official responsible for such, you must. It isn’t a sacramental action… it’s nothing but a civil contract. Can you disagree with such publicly? Of course, that’s what free speech is all about… but you must also carry out your official duties to the secular state. That’s what many Christian people did in the Sov times. They did right. If a Christian doesn’t feel right in performing such an action, they should deputise a subordinate who’s willing to do it. That protects them… they uphold their duty under the law and uphold the dictates of their conscience, too. What one can’t do is to make a showy self-serving protest… we all know what the Apostle said about loud clashing cymbals, don’t we? Deputise someone and be done with it. That’s the ticket… it upholds conscience and denies the godless a chance to attack Christians and their faith. As the Apostle said, we must be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. I’d say that it’s time for serpentine doves… self-inflicted splashy “martyrdom” isn’t Christian, after all…

BMD

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Ukraine’s War on Orthodox Christianity

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The Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada is considering legislation that could lead to a ban on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church/Moscow Patriarchate (UPTs/MP). If the new laws pass, they’d allow the Ukrainian régime to ban churches, regulate worship, monitor church activities, ban missionaries from entering the country, and seize the assets of churches. The laws would only apply to churches whose ecclesiastical leadership was in what Ukrainian nationalists consider “aggressor states”. Russia is the only state that the Ukraine currently views as an aggressor. Not only is this an attack on the freedom of worship, it’s clearly a racially motivated attack on believers. Advocates of religious freedom all over the world condemned these proposals. The Ukrainian proposals would be totally illegal in the EU (which Ukraine seeks to join) as well as the USA. Previously, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev drew the world’s attention to the oppression of Middle Eastern Christians at the hands of western-backed jihadist groups. He called the Ukrainian proposals:

It’s a full-scale war on believers. In the first place, these draft laws target the UPTs/MP. That’s no question; it’s obvious. These bills don’t even try to cover it up. The UPTs/MP would be under the submission of the Kiev authorities in a way that didn’t exist even in Soviet times.

Fr Andrei Zuevsky told RT:

Should state officials be given the right to forcefully eliminate religious communities, that’d be open and brutal interference into believers’ private lives. In Orthodox Christianity, personal faith is largely realised within a community, a church. When a government interferes in its life, it violates religious freedom.

An MP statement said:

The proposals threaten the constitutional rights of millions of Ukrainian believers; they may cause a wave of violence, new seizures of churches, and escalate the intercommunal conflict in the Ukraine.

Over 300,000 people signed a petition protesting attempts to destroy religious freedom in the Ukraine.

18 May 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/ukraines-war-on-orthodox-christianity/

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