Voices from Russia

Friday, 27 February 2015

Israeli Settler Attacks on Christian and Muslim Holy Places

00.0b Putin in Jerusalem. 06.12


Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. 

Proverbs 10.12

I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. 

Gospel according to St John 8.12


Every day, I wake up and stare at the new illegal Israeli settlement right in front of my kitchen window. It’s been a very different life as a Greek-American living in a Palestinian Christian village that my husband loves so much.  This morning, after listening to news that I didn’t understand about a church building put on fire and terrible hate slogans about Christ, I started to call all of my friends to get some information from the ground. Sometimes, just because something is in the news doesn’t mean it happened exactly that way. It was a great comfort that so many people were extremely busy that some of us didn’t exactly know or understand the details of what happened. Somehow, we try every day to continue a normal pattern of working or functioning with terrible evil all around us. How does one keep sanity with such craziness? May God have mercy, since I feel that we’ve gone backwards to the first century.

Finally, at the end of the day, after speaking with Bishop Demetri of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, he confirmed that two unknown men wearing black masks, who broke a bathroom window, attacked the seminary on Mount Zion in Jerusalem before dawn. They threw a homemade bomb, setting the building on fire. The fire department responded by putting the fire out without anyone being hurt in this awful hate crime. Graffiti on the outside walls written in Hebrew blasphemed Christ. My dear friend Dan said that the relics of St Philoumenos were kept at the Mount Zion Seminary until 2009, before being returned to the Church of St Photini at Jacob’s Well, where fanatic settlers brutally killed the saint on 29 November 1979. Bishop Demetri helped me understand that the seminary of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate has operated for more than 300 years with local and Greek teachers giving instruction to about 15 students, aged 12 to 17, in general education and in Greek, English, and Arabic. The new principal is Hieromonk Nicholas, a Greek-Australian. He replaced the late Fr Photius, who served as a principal for over twenty years. The community is peaceful and a witness for Christ’s love and peace.

This vicious attack on our precious holy sites today comes after fanatic settlers also burned a mosque near Bethlehem on Wednesday morning. This terrible violence on Palestinian Christian and Muslim holy places is occurring on the 21st anniversary of the massacre of 29 Palestinian worshipers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron by an American-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein. May God forgive him. However, I surely challenge my church leadership to have a loud voice for a just peace.

May the Light of Christ shine in this terrible dark time in the world and may the Love of Christ overpower evil. Let us pray to see the humanity in each other.

(no date)

Maria C Khoury

(no URL available, sent to me as a cut-and-paste)


THIS is what Ted Cruz praised when he spat on Arab religious leaders. May God forgive him his blasphemy. Why is there is no outcry in the US Congress when Jewish settler terrorists attack? WHY? That’s why I hate Ted Cruz and his ilk so bitterly.

V V Putin stands up for Palestinian Christians. The USA kicks them in the face. I seem to see a difference…


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Statement by President Obama on the Occasion of Orthodox Easter

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Easter 2012 01


This weekend, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to members of the Orthodox Christian community here in America and around the world as they observe Holy Friday and the Feast of the Resurrection. For millions of Orthodox Christians, this is a joyful time, but it’s also a reminder of the sacrifice Christ made so that we might have eternal life. His decision to choose love in the face of hate, to hope in the face of despair, is an example we should always strive to follow. However, it’s especially important to remember this year, as members of the Orthodox community have been confronted with persecution and violence, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. For centuries, the region and the world has been enriched by the contributions of Orthodox communities in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. As a nation, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting universal human rights including the freedom of religion. Moreover, in this season of hope and restoration, we celebrate the transformational power of sacrificial love.

00 Barack Obama4 May 2013

Barack Obama

President of the USA



Saturday, 12 January 2013

12 January 2013. A Photo Essay. It Happened on Orthodox Christmas in 2013…

00a Orthodox Christmas 2013. Jerusalem. Patriarch Theophilos. 12.01.13

Most Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas on 7 January. Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos Giannopoulos of Jerusalem served on Christmas Eve in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in Palestine.


00b Orthodox Christmas 2013. Cairo. Patriarch Tawadros. 12.01.13

Coptic Orthodox believers came to St Mark Cathedral in the Abbassia District in Cairo for a service led by newly-elected Patriarch Tawadros Sulayman of Alexandria and all Africa.


00c Orthodox Christmas 2013. Ethiopia. 12.01.13

Ethiopian Orthodox believers celebrated the holiday.


00d Orthodox Christmas 2013. Serbia. Badnjak. 12.01.13

In Šabac, west of the Serbian capital of Belgrade in Mačva Okrug (Šumadija and Western Serbia Region), believers took part in the badnjak, a traditional Serb Christmas Eve custom.


00e Orthodox Christmas 2013. Belarus. Verbovichi. 12.01.13

Believers in Verbovichi (Gomel Oblast. Narovlya Raion), a town south-east of the Belarusian capital of Minsk, at Christmas services. Most Orthodox Christians follow the Julian Calendar for calculating the feasts of the Church Year. There isn’t any such thing as the “Revised Julian Calendar”… that’s just a cobbled-together pseudo-intellectual abortion consisting of the Julian Calendar for calculating Easter and the Gregorian Calendar for fixed feasts… neither fish nor fowl, it isn’t defensible in scholarly terms, nor is it logically-sound in its argument or application, and it shows a lack of charity towards the faithful majority of Orthodox believers who continue to follow the Received Tradition.


00f Orthodox Christmas 2013. Russia. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Patr Kirill. 12.01.13

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias served at Christmas at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow (he visited Maternity Home nr 3 afterwards to bring holiday cheer to the mothers, families, and staff).


00g Orthodox Christmas 2013. Russia. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Dmitri Medvedev. 12.01.13

Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev was amongst the believers that attended Christmas services at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.


00h Orthodox Christmas 2013. Russia. Krasnoyarsk. 12.01.13

Fireworks were part of the celebrations outside the newly-built Church of the Nativity of Christ in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.


00i Orthodox Christmas 2013. Gaza. Palestine. 12.01.13

In Gaza, Greek Orthodox believers attended Christmas service at St Porfirios Church.


Over 80 percent of all Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas on its traditional date. The rest should reconsider their position. Don’t you want to be in union with the rest of Christ’s Church? What the heterodox do is of no moment to us… they do what they do, and that’s that, and it has NO relevance to the Church. There are three midwinter holidays called “Christmas”:

  • Xmas: C S Lewis used this term for the secular midwinter holiday… it’s a good distinction. When most people wish you “Merry Christmas”, this is what they refer to. Show them kindness and charity… say, “Thank you, and the same to you and yours”. Orthodox can keep this as a secular holiday… we keep all the rest of ‘em like the Fourth of July, Fête du Canada, Australia Day, and the May Day Bank Holiday, don’t we? In any case, to give your kids some gifts on this date is good, as it allows them not to feel out-of-place amongst their mates at school. It’s a secular bank-holiday… keep it as such.
  • Catholic Christmas: This is the 25 December religious holiday. The Proddies keep this date, too, as they’re the bastard children of Rome. This is a heterodox celebration, and the Church enjoins us to show respect to other religions and their believers. If you’re wished “Merry Christmas” in this sense, again, show charity (for that’s what Christ’s Church COMMANDS you to do), and say, “Thank you, and the same to you and yours”. Many religious people will be hip to the fact that Orthodox Christmas is a different day. Be kind… show respect to their holy day. Oh… don’t forget to break the opłatek with the Soloniewiczs down the street and get the scungilli and calamari for Nona Sophia next-door (she’ll call ‘em scungil and calamad in Sicilian). You might get an invite to the feast… accept and show your gratitude… that’s what real true-blue down n’ dirty Christians do.
  • Orthodox Christmas: This is on 7 January on the civil calendar for the rest of this century (it’ll be 8 January in 2100). Most Eastern and Oriental Orthodox believers keep this date; this is Orthosphere Christmas. Don’t you wish that all of us celebrated together on this day?

If you’re not keeping Orthodox Christmas… you should. Most Orthodox who follow Catholic Christmas are guiltless… they didn’t decide to do such… that was the work of notional and misguided heretics such as Meletios Metaxakis and Aleksandr Schmemann. All Russian Orthodox believers in the diaspora should follow the Mother Church… we should not only celebrate when she celebrates, we should be as one, and scrap all the foolish divisions that split us now. The OCA, Paris Exarchate, ROCOR, and MP Abroad are false and pernicious artificial constructs. We should be as one, under the omofor of our Mother Church. God willing, that day will be soon…

Христос раждается!

Славите его!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Visits Omaha


On Wednesday morning, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem spoke at Bethel Lutheran Church in Omaha NE on topics ranging from the current conflict in Gaza to working together. Patriarch Theophilos Giannopoulos used an interpreter for much of his talk and the question and answer portion of the programme, held at South 45th Street and Poppleton Avenue. He described for the audience the current situation between Israel and Hamas and other things going on in the region. His host for the day, Pastor Nathan Houfek, said it’s important to hear different perspectives on important issues, noting, “Too much of what we hear is filtered through a media that’s coloured by our political ties”. Local Greek families prepared lunch, which featured food that they felt would make the archbishop feel at home.

28 November 2012

6 News WOWT



Click on the link above; there’s a 50-second video of the Patriarch’s visit.

Editor’s Note:

Again, there was no note on oca.org of Patriarch Theophilos’ visit to the USA. There are three possibilities:

  • Syosset is incompetent and clueless (the Tosi hypothesis)
  • Syosset doesn’t give a rat’s ass (the Lyonyo hypothesis)
  • Syosset is out of the loop (the SVS hypothesis)

Actually, it’s probably a mixture of all three, with it being more skewed to Hutsky-Klutsky rather than conspiratorial. Mollard could’ve met with Theophilos, or, at least, posted a message of good will on oca.org. “We welcome the visit of Patriarch Theophilos of the Holy City of Jerusalem to the USA. We hope that he finds his stay here congenial. We’d like to inform him that he’s always welcome at the Chancery in Syosset, and that he’d meet with a hospitable and Christian reception if he came to visit us. Mnogaya lyeta!” Nope… NOTHING. If that doesn’t tell you that it’s business as usual in Syosset and SVS, well, nothing will. This is abominable…


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