Saturday, June 24, 2017

American Christianity declines as Martyrs of the Middle East bear Powerful Witness to Christ

"Perhaps some today find Christianity irrelevant to their lives because they have never seriously encountered the Orthodox experience of Jesus Christ."

American Christianity declines as the Martyrs of the Middle East bear Powerful Witness to Christ

Homily for the Sunday After the Ascension in the Orthodox Church
by Fr Philip LeMasters, Pravoslavie, June 2, 2017:



A recent survey of Americans about religion is getting a lot of attention, especially because it shows that fewer people now identify themselves as Christians and more consider themselves unaffiliated with any religion. Perhaps at least part of the reason for these declines is that many people have not found something worth living and dying for in the churches with which they are familiar.

Their experience reflects the failure of so much Christianity in our culture to embody with integrity the good news that we celebrate during this season of the Ascension, which invites us to participate personally in the fulfillment of our humanity in the risen and ascended Savior. The Lord went up into heaven forty days after His resurrection. In Him, humanity and divinity are united in one Person; He rises into heaven as the God-Man. His Ascension shows that the Son shares in the glory that He had with the Father and the Holy Spirit before the creation of the world.

"The power of the risen and ascended Son of God continues in the Church, especially in the witness of the martyrs to this day who share in a victory that is not of this world."

And He brings us into that glory with Him. The Ascension is a brilliant icon of our salvation, for it makes clear that our Lord has raised us in all dimensions of our existence—not only from the tomb, not only from Hades—but into the eternal life of the Holy Trinity. In the ascended Christ, we truly become participants in God, partakers of the divine nature by grace even as we live and breathe in a world that so often forgets the One Who spoke it into existence.

Friday, June 23, 2017

VIDEO: 'Was Islam ever a religion of peace?'

While it is still possible to post theological refutations of Islam on the internet, let us not hesitate to do so, for the day is fast approaching when Truth will be banned from the public square, as seen in the recent sharia law enacted in Minneapolis, and in the new resolution criminalizing free speech put forth in the US Senate.

Was Islam ever a religion of peace?

Excerpted from the writings of St Sophronius of Jerusalem and St Gregory Palamas
From the YouTube Channel of Gregory Decapolite, February 22, 2015.

Follow these links for more on the writings of St Sophronius and St Gregory Palamas on Islam...




Let us repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Minneapolis Installs Sharia Hotline to report criticism of Islam, declares Muslims 'protected class'

Under the Pact of Omar, the dhimma contract, and Sharia law, conquered Christians are not allowed to criticize Islam, and are even forbidden from teaching their families and congregations about Islam. 

Looks like Minneapolis has just accepted the terms of the dhimma, surrendered to Islam, and is paying her jizya up front with this unconstitutional law.




Those who have been following the global jihad threat and Muslim extremism in America know that Minneapolis is a cesspool of Islamic terrorism and jihad activities.

Watch for a mass exodus of wise Christians from Minneapolis, now that it is in the dar al-Islam.

Minneapolis installs Shariah hotline for ‘hate speech’ snitches

by Leo Hohmann, WND, June 21, 2017:

The city of Minneapolis has set up a hotline for residents to report suspected hate crimes, including “speech and actions,” according to statements on the city’s website.

The city, which will operate the “service” through its 3-1-1 helpline, is targeting any “harassing behaviors motivated by prejudice,” according to a press release. Those wishing to report a hate crime from outside the city may dial 612-673-3000.

According to the local newspaper, the Star-Tribune, “the announcement comes amid signs of a recent surge of such incidents affecting Muslims and Jews across the country, many of which go unreported.”

The city’s Department of Civil Rights clearly states on its website that it only enforces hate crimes against certain “protected classes.”

Friday, June 16, 2017

New Documentary on Muhammad and Islam - VIDEO

'Through the Lens of Muhammad's Life' by William DiPuccio, presents a clear and straightforward survey of Islam. 

Suitable for viewing and sharing with any age group from mid-teens and older, this professionally produced video benefits from a sober, academic presentation style devoid of polemics or agenda. Rather, it's agenda is to present the truth about Islam and Muhammad from Islam's own primary sources, yet without obscuring the unpleasant facts about the founder of Islam.

A seven page, descriptive chronology of Muhammad’s life is also available with the video.

This documentary (and the supplemental chronology) is a serious teaching tool which can also be shared with Muslims, many of whom may not have been given the full picture Muhammad's life, actions, and directives. Seeing Islam through the lens of Muhammad's life is essential for anyone seeking to understand Islam in the 21st century.




As I watched this video, I was struck by how, without ever stating it, Bill DiPuccio manages to perfectly convey the truth of Jesus Christ's words:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Symposium and Services venerating today's Christian Martyrs under the Sword of Islam

St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary has announced a landmark event for its annual Orthodox Education Day, October 7, 2017:


MODERN MARTYRS
- Christians of the Middle East and North Africa -

Orthodox Education Day - October 7, 2017
  • 10AM - Divine Liturgy
  • Public Lectures, Children's Activities
  • Coffee, Ethnic Food, Icon Display, Book Sale
  • Akathist Service  to the New Martyrs
  • Free Admission to SVS Grounds

Click to enlarge for event info.

We look forward with hope that this gathering truly honors the heroic New Martyrs and Confessors of Jesus Christ, who refuse to submit to or worship a false god and false prophet, but faithfully witness — even unto death — to Jesus Christ as Lord and God.  These 'Modern Martyrs' — men, women and children — are a powerful sign of faith and light in our age of lukewarmness, apostasy, darkness, and insanity.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Samia the Confessor of Egypt

"We very well know our path, we know our place very well is in faithful hands. Our God is a strong God. He is a God of love. He gave us to love and not to hate."

Samia the Confessor

Translated by M.G., Coptic Orthodox Scientist, May 29, 2017 (Thanks to Fr Steven):

English transcript of an interview with one of the survivors of the shooting that occurred on May 26, 2017 in Minya, Egypt against the Coptic Christians. Samia lost most of her family and she continues to reflect the light of Christ, confessing her faith and love.




(0 minutes to 10:03 minutes):

Interviewer: I want you to tell me your name.

Samia: Samia Adly Ibrahim

Interviewer: Madam Samia, this isn’t easy, right?

Samia: Thank God. Believe me, we are comforted. I am not upset about those who went to heaven, believe me. I placed them in safe hands, better than the world and the problems of the world, all the bad things in the world. They left on the feast of the Ascension. And their dad came from America to have them around him.

Interviewer: Tell me first, where are you from?

Samia: I am from Nazlet Hanna in Fashn.

Interviewer: Fahn is in Bani Suef?

Samia: Yes

Interviewer: So that day, tell me from the beginning what happened?

Samia: what happened is that we were going to the monastery of Anba Samuel. We headed out in the faithfulness of God, singing with joy. And we were about to arrive and they attacked us. The blessing came to us.

Interviewer: “the blessing”?

Samia: Mm, blessing.

Interviewer: These criminals, these terrorists, you call them “the blessing”?

Samia: Yes, may God bless them and protect them.

Interviewer: bless who?

Samia: Bless the demons, to show them His way. Of course, God will reveal Himself for these people and He will show them His way one day. Because they are absent-minded. They do not know the strong faith. If they know the strong faith, they would not have seen the people who are faithful, the ones who know God, and hurt them. We were going to a holy place, we were going to pray in a holy place, to become comforted and joyous by it. So, they don’t want us to be joyful in the world. We don’t have a place in the world, believe me. We have a place in heaven. This world has no use. Plants, and at the end we will go to Paradise. We very well know our path, we know our place very well is in faithful hands. Our God is a strong God. He is a God of love. He gave us to love and not to hate.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

MASS JIHAD in the UK: Muslims screaming 'this is for Allah' murder 7 at FIVE locations in London

"Jihadi terrorists shouting ‘this is for Allah’ have reportedly killed seven people after mowing down up to 20 with a white van on London Bridge and stabbing revellers with 12-inch hunting knives."

The 'Same God Heresy' becomes increasingly difficult to defend, as followers of the bloodthirsty Allah seek to please him through yet more jihad mass murders — as commanded in the Quran and in imitation of Muhammad. 


Further reporting on the London Attacks:



Jihadi terrorists shouting ‘this is for Allah’ kill seven in knife frenzy at ‘FIVE’ locations in the capital:
Hunt for men with 12in blades who began the rampage by mowing down revellers on London Bridge 
by Ekin Karasin, Mailonline, June 3, 2017 (thanks to Jihad Watch):



Jihadi terrorists shouting ‘this is for Allah’ have reportedly killed seven people after mowing down up to 20 with a white van on London Bridge and stabbing revellers with 12-inch hunting knives.

The men, described as being ‘of Mediterranean origin’, reportedly drove the van at 50mph across the bridge, then jumped out and began ‘randomly stabbing people’ along Borough High Street in central London at 10pm.

One woman said she saw three people with what appeared to be their throats cut at London Bridge. There are also reports that a bystander was shot in the head in the crossfire and at least seven people have been stabbed.

One person has been killed at London Bridge – and one of the casualties is reportedly a police officer.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Coptic Martyrs and their Forgiving Families - Seeds of the Church in Egypt

“When people see this attitude [of forgiveness] from Christians and the church, they ask themselves, ‘What kind of power is this?’” he said. “But with this witness we must also declare the message of Christ, which we are fulfilling—literally. We may not see the response immediately. But we will in the near future.”

The Lord's grace is present and real among the Coptic faithful, as they persevere through the valley of the shadow of death, bearing their heavy cross of mass martyrdom, following Christ to their own Golgotha. Their profound faith — and their forgiveness of their Muslim persecutors — may be planting seeds for a new Orthodox Christian harvest in Egypt. May it be so!

Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable

Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
by Jayson Casper, ChristianityToday, April 20, 2017


Coffins are carried to the funeral of Egyptian Christians killed in Palm Sunday bombings. (Photo: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP)

Twelve seconds of silence is an awkward eternity on television. Amr Adeeb, perhaps the most prominent talk show host in Egypt, leaned forward as he searched for a response.

“The Copts of Egypt … are made of … steel!” he finally uttered.

Moments earlier, Adeeb was watching a colleague in a simple home in Alexandria speak with the widow of Naseem Faheem, the guard at St. Mark’s Cathedral in the seaside Mediterranean city.

On Palm Sunday, the guard had redirected a suicide bomber through the perimeter metal detector, where the terrorist detonated. Likely the first to die in the blast, Faheem saved the lives of dozens inside the church.

“I’m not angry at the one who did this,” said his wife, children by her side. “I’m telling him, ‘May God forgive you, and we also forgive you. Believe me, we forgive you.’

“‘You put my husband in a place I couldn’t have dreamed of.’”

Stunned, Adeeb stammered about Copts bearing atrocities over hundreds of years, but couldn’t escape the central scandal.

“How great is this forgiveness you have!” his voice cracked. “If it were my father, I could never say this. But this is their faith and religious conviction.”

Millions marveled with him across the airwaves of Egypt.

So also did millions of Copts, recently rediscovering their ancient heritage, according to Ramez Atallah, president of the Bible Society of Egypt which subtitled and recirculated the satellite TV clip.

“In the history and culture of the Copts, there is much taught about martyrdom,” he told CT. “But until Libya, it was only in the textbooks—though deeply ingrained.”

The Islamic State in Libya kidnapped and beheaded 21 mostly Coptic Christians in February 2015. CT previously reported the message of forgiveness issued by their families and the witness it provided.

“Since then, there has been a paradigm shift,” said Atallah. “Our ancestors lived and believed this message, but we never had to.”

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Fall of an Empire ~ The Lesson of Byzantium (VIDEO)

May 29 is the anniversary of the defeat of Constantinople in 1453 by the Ottoman Muslims. This fine documentary, scripted and hosted by Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), Abbot of Sretensky Monastery in Moscow, presents a uniquely Russian Orthodox perspective on the history and fall of Byzantium, and the lessons to be drawn from the world's greatest and longest-enduring empire.


h/t to Fr Thomas Soroka


The Fall of Constantinople, 29 May 1453

"The great doors of Saint Sophia were forced open, and crowds of angry soldiers came in and fell upon the unfortunate worshippers. Pillaging and killing in the holy place went on for hours. Similar was the fate of worshippers in most churches in the city..."




by Dionysios Hatzopoulos, Romiosini:

In the city everyone realized that the fateful moment had come. In the city, while the bells of the churches rang mournfully, citizens and soldiers joined a long procession behind the holy relics brought out of the churches. Singing hymns, men, women, children, soldiers, civilians, clergy, monks and nuns, knowing that they were going to die shortly, made peace with themselves, with God and with eternity.

When the procession ended the Emperor met with his commanders and the notables of the city. In a philosophical speech he told his subjects that the end of their time had come. In essence he told them that Man had to be ready to face death when he had to fight for his faith, for his country, for his family or for his sovereign. All four reasons were now present. 

Furthermore, his subjects, who were the descendants of Greeks and Romans, had to emulate their great ancestors. They had to fight and sacrifice themselves without fear. They had lived in a great city and they were now going to die defending it. 

As for himself, he was going to die fighting for his faith, for his city and for his people... He thanked all present for their contribution to the defense of the city and asked them to forgive him, if he had ever treated them without kindness.