Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Lavrov Proposes Conference on Christianophobia… He Sez Russia Looks After the Interests of Christians in the World

destruction in Kosovo

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After meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, Foreign Minister S V Lavrov said that Russia offered to host a conference next year to combat Christianophobia, saying, “In the coming year, we propose to organise a conference to combat Christianophobia within and through a series of meetings, similar to those which took place this year on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”.

19 December 2014

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At a meeting with His Holiness Pope and Patriarch Tawadros Sulaymān of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, Foreign Minister S V Lavrov stated that one of the Russian Federation’s main foreign policy objectives was to see that no one limited the rights of Christians, saying, “Relations between our churches go deep into history and became one of the foundations for the development of relations between Russia and the Middle East and North Africa. This is our common heritage… however, in re culture and history, the present and future of this region is alarming”. Lavrov noted that Russia appreciates Patriarch Tawadros’ contribution to efforts to prevent a disaster in the region and to his work in preserving inter-religious peace, saying, “We’re delighted to hear your assessment of the political efforts to calm the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. One of our foreign policy objectives is to see to it that no one limits the rights of Christians”. In turn, Patriarch Tawadros observed that he long dreamed of visiting Russia, as he had read Russian theology and literature, saying, “I learned a lot from Orthodox theology, Russian literature, and fairy tales. I’m grateful for Russian leadership in supporting Egypt”. At the same time, he said that the situation of Christians in some Middle Eastern countries is dire, pointing up, “Some groups use violence against the people. Christians are victims of violence in these countries. However, the situation in Egypt changed significantly for the better after 30 June”.

29 October 2014

ITAR-TASS

http://itar-tass.com/politika/1659495

Read more:      

Oppression of Christians in the Middle East

Editor:

Russia stands up for oppressed Christians… the USA stands up for oppressors… whether they’re Saudi Wahhabis, Afghan semi-Talibans, or Ukrainian Uniate murderers; it stands for those who oppress and kill confessing Christians. Fancy that… that puts the bloviations of Marie Harf and Jen Psaki in a new light and it shows Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz up as consummate hypocrites and poseurs. Never trust an “Evangelical” or those who associate with them… one of our bishops called them “Christian atheists”… that’s so true! I’ve never seen a group more grasping and impious… whilst they mouthed pietistic platitudes with ingratiating smiles on their faces! None dare call it deceit… the Devil isn’t called the Father of Lies for nought.

BMD

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society to Create White Book Commemorating All the Christians Killed and Tortured in the Middle East

00 The face of the Syrian opposition. 27.10.13

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On Friday, Yelena Agapova, Vice-Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), stated that the IOPS would create a White Book containing the names of all the Christians killed and tortured by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation and other radical militant groups, saying at a press conference at Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, “The IOPS community centre for the protection of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa has begun preparing a White Book, where we give the names of victims and glaring instances of harassment and persecution of Christians, which we’d pass to UN structures and present for the judgement of the world public”. She spoke of the situation in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which now has almost no Christians, despite the fact that under former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein they accounted for 40 percent of the population. Agapova said, “Today, for the first time in 16 centuries, there are no worship services in Mosul’s churches”. She stated that IS militants forced local Christians either to convert to Islam, or pay a special tax of 250 USD (11,450 Roubles. 1,530 Renminbi. 15,400 INR. 280 CAD. 288 AUD. 202 Euros. 160 UK Pounds) per month for each family member, or leave the city. The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has fought the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate over the territory that it controls.

28 October 2014

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/world/20141003/193619967/Russian-Religious-Society-to-Issue-White-Book-of-Persecuted.html

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/

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Persecution of Christians: No Room at the Inn

00 The face of the Syrian opposition. 27.10.13

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Editor’s Note:

When the right thing’s said, it doesn’t matter who says it. The Guardian has this one right, and that’s that. Was Ma’loula the last straw? Assad’s no choirboy, but Foreign Minister Lavrov is right to point up that if he didn’t have wide support, he’d be dogmeat. Russia and China stood against Western intervention… and they were right. Now, even Establishment voices like The Guardian are getting hip. The West (primarily, American interventionists on both sides of the political aisle) reached its zenith in the so-called Orange Revolution, where it staged a coup against the rightfully-elected President. South Ossetia in ’08 was “a bridge too far”… and Syria merely confirmed the trend. God willing, we can muzzle the godless warmongers in the West. Reflect on this… the most godless are those who use religious rhetoric… the Evangelicals and their fellow travellers aren’t Christian, and the sooner that we realise it, the better we’re off we’ll be.

BMD

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Last week, Prince Ghazi of Jordan joined the Prince of Wales on a visit to an Egyptian Coptic parish in Stevenage and the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in west London, where he heard from a number of Christian families who’ve had first-hand experience of the rising tide of persecution. He said, “We can’t ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately attacked by fundamentalist Islamist militants”. Author William Dalrymple said on the BBC last week, “The Arab spring [is] rapidly turning into a Christian winter”.

Clearly, this is a sensitive subject. The perceived support that Christians allegedly gave to President Assad in Syria and to the Egyptian army in deposing President Morsi in Egypt made them increasingly the target of violence, with churches assaulted, priests abducted, individuals targeted, and homes looted. In Egypt alone, Amnesty International reported that during this past year, there have been 207 attacks on churches and 43 Orthodox churches destroyed. The situation for Christians in Syria deteriorates rapidly as foreign jihadist militants increasingly influence the Free Syrian Army. Today, many thousands of Syrian Christians flee over the border to Turkey. One man who made the journey from Syria claimed, “Where we live, 10 churches have been burned down. They started to threaten Christians in the town we live. When the local priest was executed, we decided to leave”.

All this is a part of a wider picture, which sees Christians increasingly forced out of the biblical homelands. Indeed, across a vast swath of the world between Morocco and Pakistan, the persecution of Christians continues to gather pace, often with barely an eyebrow raised in the secular West. Perhaps, this is beginning to change. Last month Baroness Warsi warned, “A mass exodus is taking place, on a biblical scale. In some places, there’s a real danger that Christianity will become extinct”. On Saturday, the Shadow Foreign SecretaryDouglas Alexander, spoke up against the “political correctness, or some sense of embarrassment at ‘doing God'” that makes this a taboo subject.

This reluctance to speak out partly comes from a peculiar sense that there’s a hierarchy of victimhood, with Christians less deserving of concern. No doubt, the historical association of Christianity with persecution of other beliefs… the Crusades, the Inquisition, and so on… is also working away somewhere in the background, as is the idea that Christianity is essentially a Western faith. This links to the worry that supporting persecuted Christians is somehow taking sides in a clash of civilisations. This thought looks especially foolish when written down, which is precisely why it’s worth stating so baldly. One does not have to “do God” to recognise that protecting the rights of religious minorities, as enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is the human rights equivalent of the canary in a coalmine. It doesn’t help that some Evangelical Christians, not least the former archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, take every opportunity to speak of Christians persecuted for their faith in Britain. This is nonsense. Furthermore, it’s offensive nonsense, to millions of genuine victims. Douglas Alexander was right, “Across the world, there’ll be Christians this week for whom attending a church service this Christmas isn’t an act of faithful witness, but an act of life-risking bravery”.

Of course, it’s not just in the Middle East that Christians are targets. In addition, other religious groups are clearly subject to persecution. However, as billions of Christians gather for Christmas, with their attention focused on a troubled town in the West Bank… one from which Christians have also been fleeing for several years… it’s worth recalling that the message of peace and goodwill is hardly a political reality for a significant minority of the world’s Christians. This should concern religious and non-religious alike.

23 December 2013

The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/23/persecution-christians-religion-editorial

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