Voices from Russia

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East to Stay in Damascus

00 St George Syriac Orthodox Church. Damascus. Syria. 29.08.13

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On Sunday, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East said that it had no plans to relocate from its offices in Damascus, despite continuing battles between rebel and government forces there. The patriarchate said in a statement carried by SANA, “There is no plan to move the official residence of the Apostolic See of Antioch from Damascus to any other place. Moving the seat is something that Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Iwas, as well as the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Syriacs worldwide refuse”. The patriarchate’s headquarters is at St George Cathedral, in the Christian neighbourhood of Bab Touma in the Old City of Damascus. In June, an explosion struck Bab Touma, in what Syrian state television said was a suicide bombing. It was the first major blast reported inside the Old City since the beginning of the civil war. The Syriac body made no mention of the country’s bloody conflict in the statement, but it emphasised that if it left Damascus, the church “might lose its legal and legitimate rights”. They went on to say, “It’s important to keep Syriacs in Syria, in all parts of the Syrian territories”.

5 August 2013

The Daily Star

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Aug-05/226294-syriac-orthodox-patriarchate-to-stay-in-damascus.ashx#axzz2dNtNlIrK

Saturday, 1 December 2012

1 December 2012. Here are Those Muslims That the Rightwingers are so Hot n’ Bothered About… Friday Prayers at the Mosque at the VOV Memorial on Poklonnaya Gora

00 Mosque Poklonnaya Gora Moscow. 01.12.12

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This is Friday Prayers at the mosque at the VOV Memorial on Poklonnaya Gora. The imam preaching used a loudspeaker system to reach all the congregants. He spoke about the commandments, “If you ask a Christian about the Decalogue, how many will be able to list them, and how one complies with them? It’s important to remember them all the time”. The imam went on to say that God commands us not to murder, rob, or commit adultery. That doesn’t sound very terroristic or subversive to me.

In case you forgot, the Decalogue is:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee
  6. Thou shalt not murder
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Islam holds to the Decalogue as much as Christians and Jews do. To judge all Muslims by Islamists is wrong. It’d be like condemning Christianity for the excesses of wackos like Franklin Graham or Sarah Palin… real Christians don’t act like unhinged Evangelical sectarian fruitcakes. In like manner, mainstream Muslims don’t act like fire-breathing Islamist nut jobs. A little bit of good sense, alert observation, and common decency allow one to tell the plug-uglies without a scorecard… I think that most would agree with me on that one.

BMD 

Monday, 28 November 2011

28 November 2011. Spare a Thought for Our Co-Religionists in the Middle East

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At present, the situation in Egypt‘s rather dicey and could turn ugly at any moment. Some 10 to 15 percent of Egyptians are Christians, most are Coptic Orthodox, with some Eastern Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic groups thrown in, and a statistically-insignificant number of Catholics and Proddies.  The image above shows a woman at prayer in an Orthodox church in Cairo. Spare a moment for our co-religionists in Egypt, they’re facing serious threats to their very existence. Light a candle and say a prayer… keep them in mind. They DO need our help…

BMD

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