Orthodox Churches – UAOC http://uaoc.net/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 23:57:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://uaoc.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-1-150x150.png Orthodox Churches – UAOC http://uaoc.net/ 32 32 Former Russian Orthodox monk sentenced for child sex abuse https://uaoc.net/former-russian-orthodox-monk-sentenced-for-child-sex-abuse/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 23:57:00 +0000 https://uaoc.net/former-russian-orthodox-monk-sentenced-for-child-sex-abuse/ KODIAK, Alaska (KTUU) — A former monk who was part of the Russian Orthodox Church has been sentenced to five years in prison for child molestation, the Justice Department reports. Content Warning: This article contains information that some readers may find disturbing. Some specific details have been omitted to protect the identity of the victim. […]]]>

KODIAK, Alaska (KTUU) — A former monk who was part of the Russian Orthodox Church has been sentenced to five years in prison for child molestation, the Justice Department reports.

Content Warning: This article contains information that some readers may find disturbing. Some specific details have been omitted to protect the identity of the victim.

Kodiak Superior Court Judge Stephen Wallace sentenced Evan P. Nicolai, 60, to 15 years, including 10 years suspended and five years to serve, followed by 16 years probation. Nicolai was a monk in the Russian Orthodox Church and was living in church accommodation at the time of the abuse.

Nicolai will also have to register as a sex offender for an additional 15 years after his probation ends.

Nicolai surrendered to police in October 2021 and admitted to committing the crimes, accompanied by the victim’s father and an Orthodox priest. Nicolai admitted to being alone with the child in his church-owned apartment on several occasions, where he touched the child’s genitals and had the child touch his own, according to the Law Department. Nicolai also admitted to officers that he knew these acts were criminal.

Police said Nicolai was also involved with churches in Anchorage, Bethel, Eklutna, Homer and Kaktovik, as well as in the state of Arizona.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, resources are available on the Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) website or by calling the nationwide Crisis Hotline. ‘State at 1-800-478-8999. If you think a child is being abused or neglected, resources are available on the Alaska Children’s Alliance and Alaska Children’s Trust websites. To report abuse or neglect, call the state hotline at 1-800-478-4444 or the national Childhelp Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.

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3 Steps Christian Institutions Take From Orthodoxy To Sexual Immorality https://uaoc.net/3-steps-christian-institutions-take-from-orthodoxy-to-sexual-immorality/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 16:51:15 +0000 https://uaoc.net/3-steps-christian-institutions-take-from-orthodoxy-to-sexual-immorality/ Eastern University has become the first non-Mennonite Christian school in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) to change its policies to allow the hiring of LGBT+ faculty and add sexual orientation to its statement of non- discrimination, according to Religious News Service. In response, CCCU put Eastern’s membership on “pause” and removed the […]]]>

Eastern University has become the first non-Mennonite Christian school in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) to change its policies to allow the hiring of LGBT+ faculty and add sexual orientation to its statement of non- discrimination, according to Religious News Service. In response, CCCU put Eastern’s membership on “pause” and removed the school from its online listing.

Policy change is not completely off the table. Eastern University is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of the United States, a major denomination with a history of theologically liberal positions. The school had previously openly welcomed LGBT+ students and allowed a student-run club to advocate for LGBT+ students. For a liberal Protestant school to reject Christian orthodoxy and adopt a heretical view of sexual immorality is not shocking.

Yet it raises the question of why such changes are happening and whether they are inevitable. Eastern was founded in 1925 to be a theologically conservative institution by embracing the Bible and the “fundamentals of faith.” But in less than 100 years, the school has rejected historic Christian orthodoxy. What leads to such a change?

It might be presumptuous to suggest that the path from orthodoxy to heterodoxy is the same for all institutions. Yet there seems to be a recurring pattern that includes three stages.

1. Enter through the egalitarian opening.

Let’s start with a controversial but indisputable assertion: every Christian institution that now rejects the orthodox Christian view of sexuality first embraced the egalitarian view of gender.

Pointing this out may seem unfair. Egalitarianism is a second order problem– Orthodox Christians may disagree on this, but it nevertheless creates significant limitations. For example, women serving as pastors is a second-order issue, akin to the mode of baptism. Sincere believers may come to different conclusions, but they are unlikely to join the same church.

Every Christian institution that now rejects the orthodox Christian view of sexuality first embraced the egalitarian view of gender.

Sexual morality, however, is a matter of the first order, a fundamental truth of the Christian faith. The sexually immoral, adulterers and homosexuals are among the groups that will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9). To teach people that they can embrace such sexual immorality while going to heaven is promoting heresy.

Why combine the two problems? Because without the foundation laid by egalitarianism, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for people to embrace certain types of sexual immorality, such as LGBT+, and claim to be faithful Christians. As Ligon Duncan explained,

The denial of complementarism undermines the church’s practical adherence to the authority of Scripture (which eventually and inevitably damages the church’s witness to the gospel). The gymnastics needed to go from “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man”, in the Bible, to “I permit a woman to teach and exercise authority over a man” in the actual practice of the local church, are devastating to the functional authority of Scripture in the lives of God’s people.

This destruction of the authority of Scripture has allowed LGBT+ groups to gain a foothold in Christian institutions, especially colleges and universities. Moreover, by eliminating gender distinctions, the egalitarian movement undermined the concept of gender essentialism. Equalists aren’t the only culprits, of course. But they aren’t entirely innocent either.

This is not, however, to blame but rather to underline an obvious reality: any institution today egalitarian is very likely to be overtaken by those who advocate a heretical view of sexuality. Those who want to advocate for LGBT+ acceptance enter through the egalitarian opening.

2. Promote the future without constraints.

The equality movement also popularized the idea that the past could be discarded if it constrained desires, especially the desires of women. To conclude that the Bible empowers women to be pastors, the movement had to discard nearly 2,000 years of biblical thinking, teaching, exegesis, and reflection. Yet, for the most part, egalitarians attempted to reach their anticipated conclusions by making arguments based on logic, hermeneutics, and reason. Promoters of sexual immorality who follow suit have abandoned this considered approach.

Mary Harrington observes that many ideas promoted by this group are not evaluated on the basis of being true, or even reasonable, but on how much they coerce desire – and coercing desire is now taboo.

Harrington notes that most people now believe the enemy is “anything that limits the free play of individual desire”. And there is nothing that constrains desire more than orthodoxy. For Christian institutions, Orthodoxy is based primarily on the Bible, but also on the creeds, catechism, and other writings of earlier believers. For the promoters of sexual immorality, this enemy that is orthodoxy must be overcome so that individual desire can better reign.

For the promoters of sexual immorality, this enemy that is orthodoxy must be overcome so that individual desire can better reign.

If this preference for unconstrained desire were simply limited to the “awakened,” Christian organizations would not have much cause for concern. But opposition to the constraints of desire is part of the American DNA. Indeed, far too many Christians pretend to be faithful to biblical ethics while pledging their full allegiance to the neo-pagan ethic of “Do whatever you want, as long as it does not harm anyone.” Constraints should not be in place, they believe, unless there is clear and obvious harm being done to other people by allowing the behavior.

Who does it hurt if women serve as pastors? Who does it hurt if your son wants to marry his boyfriend? Who does it hurt if your daughter wants the world to deny reality and pretend she’s a man?

Even to ask these questions is to align oneself with the ancient, obsolete, and unenlightened past (i.e., before the 1960s). No one wants to be a fuddy-duddy and on the “wrong side of history”. This is why we allow constraints to be challenged, first in our hearts and then in our institutions.

The result, as recent history has shown, is that where constraints are contested, orthodoxy will sooner or later be conceded.

3. Proscribe the new orthodoxy.

Major moral shifts begin with a concession, something light, seemingly trivial. A small compromise. The institution seeks to find a way to loosen the restraints on what was previously an inviolable doctrine or practice by condoning a seemingly inconsequential gesture. On college campuses, it almost always starts with the official recognition of an LGBT+ advocacy group or allow teachers to support same-sex marriage. Such gestures seem inconsequential while allowing an institution to feel magnanimous. The gesture says, “We hear you and we care.”

But the concession, small as it is, signals that the institution sees orthodoxy as a matter of preference. Doctrinal justification is no longer “Thus saith the Lord, so we shall do”, but now “We believe so, but we can also do it your way”. The result of such a change, as Richard John Neuhaus warned usis that “where orthodoxy is optional, sooner or later orthodoxy will be proscribed”.

What he meant by “Neuhaus’ law” is that orthodoxy implies that there is a clear standard, but making orthodoxy optional concedes that point. And because of the rule of liberal tolerance, he “can’t help but be intolerant of talking about good and bad, true and false.” The orthodox are allowed to continue to believe what they want, as long as they don’t have the temerity (or the power) to coerce the desires of those who reject the orthodox view.

Where constraints are contested, sooner or later orthodoxy will be conceded.

Many institutions are unaware of the extent to which this change disrupts institutional dynamics. They believe they are making a compromise. But exactly the opposite is true: having compromised on orthodoxy, they have put themselves at the mercy of those who advocate sexual immorality.

This fine distinction about who is in power is compounded by the fact that promoters of unconstrained desire tend not to push their advantage too quickly. Neuhaus’ law often lags far behind within Christian institutions.

The reason is that institutionalized Christians are nice. Gentile Christians don’t want to constrain the desire of women to be preachers, but neither do they want to chase away all the gentile seniors who cling to complementarism. They don’t want to constrain the lust of their LGBT+ members, but neither do they want to kick out the few young people who believe homosexual behavior is immoral. Why not just wait for the old people to die and the young to give in to social pressure? What is the precipitation? Of course, an institution can ultimately must outlaw the new orthodoxy of unconstrained desire, as they did in The United Methodist Church. But most institutions can afford to be patient, since the future is theirs.

Decline is not inevitable

Seeing this model unraveling our institutions is discouraging. Still, the fact that he’s recognizable should give us hope. If we can discern the pattern, we can work to stop it. We can take steps to prevent our institutions from descending into heresy and driving people to hell. We can work to restore the integrity of our institutions or admit they are lost and move on to create new ones.

The decline of Christian institutions is not inevitable. But it takes diligent effort and courage to prevent it. If we start now, we may be able to faithfully transmit Orthodox churches, denominations, ministries and universities to our brothers and sisters in the future.

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The Samaritan’s purse gives away 200 million Christmas shoes…… | News and reports https://uaoc.net/the-samaritans-purse-gives-away-200-million-christmas-shoes-news-and-reports/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 18:04:23 +0000 https://uaoc.net/the-samaritans-purse-gives-away-200-million-christmas-shoes-news-and-reports/ God’s love came into Elizabeth Groff’s life in the form of a yellow yo-yo packed in a shoebox. She remembers the feeling of light, in stark contrast to the darkness that surrounded her for so much of her childhood. At the time, she knew nothing about Samaritan’s Purse or Operation Christmas Child, which sends shoeboxes […]]]>

God’s love came into Elizabeth Groff’s life in the form of a yellow yo-yo packed in a shoebox.

She remembers the feeling of light, in stark contrast to the darkness that surrounded her for so much of her childhood.

At the time, she knew nothing about Samaritan’s Purse or Operation Christmas Child, which sends shoeboxes of gifts to children in need around the world. Groff was born in a small town in southern Ukraine. Both of her parents were alcoholics and her father was killed in an alcohol-related accident when she was just one year old, she said.

Her mother was unable to take proper care of her on her own, so they went to live with her grandparents. There, her mother again gave birth to a baby girl named Tanya. Their mother was rarely home, so even though she was just a child herself, Groff took on much of the responsibility of caring for her little sister.

“I had to grow up and become a householder at a very young age,” she told CT.

Her mother gave birth to a third daughter, and Groff’s burden increased.

Then tragedy struck. Groff’s mother fed the new baby alcohol instead of milk, and the baby girl died aged seven months.

“It was really hard for me. I was taking care of her,” Groff recalled. “I felt like I did something wrong.”

Although she was only seven years old, Groff decided at that time that she had to find a better life for her sister Tanya. She impulsively decided to run away with the four-year-old child.

“I just took her by the hand and got on the bus and we left,” she said.

They didn’t get very far, but it turned out to be the gateway to a better life for both of them.

Police spotted the two girls hanging out near the nearby town’s bus station and took them to a detention center while authorities investigated. The situation at home was so dire that the detention center seemed unbelievable to Groff.

“Life was so much better because we didn’t have to worry about food, we didn’t have to worry about having shelter, and we had kids we could play with there our age.” , she said.

Officials decided that she should not be in her mother’s care. Groff was, she said, officially classified as an orphan and sent to an orphanage. It was a good place that met all of her physical needs, but Groff still felt darkness around her. At the Orthodox religious services attended by the orphans, she learned of the existence of God and began to cry out to him.

“What is the purpose of my life? she begged. “Why am I here?”

She remembers the day her prayers were answered.

The director of the center where she was staying called her and a group of other children to a small room. They were told that they were going to receive gifts from people who wanted them to know how much God loved them.

“I just remember being so excited about this gift because it was the first gift I had ever received in my life,” she said.

Inside the box were coloring books and accessories for little girls, but her favorite item was a yellow yo-yo. As she held it, she thought about the idea that God loved her and she believed it. The darkness of his life was flooded with light.

“I just remember at that moment realizing I wasn’t alone,” she recalled. “A stranger somewhere in this world packed this shoebox just for me. And I realized that God has been with me all this time and He’s not going to leave me broken.

For her, the shoebox was God saying, “You are not an orphan. You are my daughter.

A few years later, Groff was adopted into an American family and from then on attempted to spread that same message of hope to others with shoeboxes, which she would learn were an initiative of Samaritan’s Purse. .

While a student at Virginia Tech, Groff led a team of fellow students to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, an annual tradition.

Now 28, Groff lives in Texas with her husband and is the national spokesperson for Operation Christmas Child.

This year is a special year for the organization as it prepares to deliver the 200 millionth shoebox. Groff will have the opportunity to deliver this special box to a Ukrainian refugee.

“All I can say is that we serve a faithful God,” Groff said.

Edward Graham, son of Samaritan’s Purse founder Franklin Graham, is equally excited about this year’s milestone.

Edward was just a small child when Operation Christmas Child started, but he remembers coming downstairs and helping to process the shoeboxes.

He saw it grow from 11,000 delivered in Bosnia in the first year of Operation Christmas Child in 1993 to 11 million expected this year, delivered worldwide. Samaritan’s Purse has delivered the gifts to children in 170 countries.

“Making a child smile and have joy is a wonderful thing,” he told Christianity Today. “For many of them, this is the first gift they have ever received.”

But despite the joy the gifts bring, Graham believes most important is the chance to share God’s love through the gospel message.

“Each child receives a presentation of the gospel in their language,” he said. “We train our staff and our volunteers in the churches to do the presentation of the children, so that they understand the Gospel at their level.”

Over time, Samaritan’s Purse has also seen the Christmas gift program open doors for humanitarian work. When Russia invaded Ukraine in the spring, for example, Samaritan’s Purse had contacts in the country dating back to delivering shoeboxes in 1996. This gave them a starting point to start the conversation about helping people in need.

Graham, who spent 16 years in the US military, thinks it’s fitting that that 200 millionth shoebox should go to a Ukrainian child.

“There has been so much destruction, there has been so much suffering and turmoil, especially to the detriment of children,” he said. “I’ve spent years in combat and I’ve seen what happens to children in war and conflict and it’s horrible and it’s ugly. No child should go through this. There are so many children who have been displaced or who have lost loved ones.

Graham hopes that through shoeboxes, Samaritan’s Purse can bring God’s love and hope to these children.

“The Samaritan’s Purse goes into the ditches of the world, just like the Good Samaritan,” he said.

He doesn’t believe that God wants them to pass these children by without doing anything.

“Where other people may not have the resources, the ability to go, or the network to go and serve in Ukraine, God has given it to us,” Graham said. “I think he wants us to go over there and deliver that 200 millionth shoebox.”

Groff, for her part, is thrilled to be a part of it all.

“To be able to receive one and now be able to give one to a Ukrainian child who has been affected is an incredible opportunity and I am so grateful.”

Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes November 14-21. Locations and information on how to donate are available at samaritanspurse.org.

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Archbishop Chrysostomos II, head of the Church of Cyprus, buried https://uaoc.net/archbishop-chrysostomos-ii-head-of-the-church-of-cyprus-buried/ Sat, 12 Nov 2022 14:24:43 +0000 https://uaoc.net/archbishop-chrysostomos-ii-head-of-the-church-of-cyprus-buried/ Nicosia, Cyprus — Chrysostomos II, the head of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, was laid to rest on Saturday in a ceremony reflecting centuries of church tradition, hailed as his church’s greatest reformer and an outspoken fighter for his people. The spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox, Istanbul-based Patriarch Bartholomew, was dressed in […]]]>

Nicosia, Cyprus — Chrysostomos II, the head of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, was laid to rest on Saturday in a ceremony reflecting centuries of church tradition, hailed as his church’s greatest reformer and an outspoken fighter for his people.

The spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox, Istanbul-based Patriarch Bartholomew, was dressed in resplendent Byzantine vestments to preside over the funeral at St. Barnabas’ Cathedral on the grounds of the church’s headquarters in Nicosia, the capital.

“Your name will always be held in the greatest respect in our memory and in the history of the whole Church and of our people,” an emotional Patriarch Bartholomew said. “All you have done will be eternally remembered before God and mankind.”

Chrysostomos died Monday at 81 after a four-year battle with bowel and liver cancer. His body has been in condition since Thursday. He was buried in a specially designed crypt in the cathedral he commissioned, which will be the final resting place of all future archbishops after the remains of their predecessors are transferred to an ossuary.

One of the most active archbishops in recent memory, Chrysostomos enacted a series of reforms, including restoring the decision-making independence of the Church after eight centuries by strengthening the Holy Synod with the ordination of new bishops and the redaction of a new constitution.

In his eulogy, the overseer of the church of Paphos, Bishop Georgios, hailed Chrysostomos as the “greatest reformer” and a tireless defender of the rights and aspirations of his people.

“He left behind a body of work before which time itself will bow, and he taught us that humans justify their fleeting passage through this world by striving for the common good,” Georgios said.

The late church leader has often been criticized for speaking his mind on everything from the complex politics of the ethnically divided country to state finances. But Chrysostomos has earned everyone’s respect for his unassuming work to help those most in need.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades hailed Chrysostomos as a “tireless leader” whose service elevated him to “an internationally acclaimed spiritual personality”.

“I had the honor of knowing a hierarch who did not hesitate to express his opinion directly, no matter if it would displease his interlocutor or even a part of society,” Anastasiades said.

Among those present at the funeral were Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos II. In a message read by a Vatican emissary, Pope Francis who visited Cyprus a year ago highlighted Chrysostomos’ efforts to bridge the chasm between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Earlier this week. The American President Joe Biden called Chrysostomos “a dedicated leader who has never hesitated to speak out on behalf of Cyprus’ most vulnerable communities” and who is committed to peacefully resolving the island’s ethnic divide.

The successor of Chrysostomos will be chosen from a election process that begins when the Church’s highest decision-making body, the Holy Synod, meets next week. Church leaders in Cyprus are elected by lay voters in combination with a college of clerics, a tradition that dates back centuries.

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Agios Nektarios Monastery in Aegina https://uaoc.net/agios-nektarios-monastery-in-aegina/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 05:56:08 +0000 https://uaoc.net/agios-nektarios-monastery-in-aegina/ One of the most visited sites on Aegina is the church of Agios Nectarios and the monastery of Agia Triada (The Holy Trinity) is located on an upper level overlooking the church. Agios Nektarios of Aegina (1846-1920), is one of the best-known Greek Orthodox saints. He was officially recognized as a saint by the Ecumenical […]]]>

One of the most visited sites on Aegina is the church of Agios Nectarios and the monastery of Agia Triada (The Holy Trinity) is located on an upper level overlooking the church.

Agios Nektarios of Aegina (1846-1920), is one of the best-known Greek Orthodox saints. He was officially recognized as a saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1961. Every year, thousands of people from all over the world come to Aegina to visit the tomb of Agios Nektarios for healing purposes, to pray to him or ask for his blessings. . Agios Nektarios is also the patron saint of Aegina.

November 9, feast day of Agios Nektarios the Wonderworker
Agios Nektarios in Aegina

The monastery of Agios Nektarios in Aegina is one of the largest monasteries in Greece and one of the largest Orthodox churches in the Balkans.

It is located 6 km from the center of the city of Aegina and was founded by the Bishop of Pentapolis Nektarios around the period 1904-1910, at the request of several nuns. Bishop Nektarios moved to Aegina in 1908, but the monastery functioned again in 1904 under his direction while he remained at the Rizarios school. He lived in the monastery for 13 years and was buried under a plane tree outside the monastery church.

November 9, feast day of Agios Nektarios the Wonderworker

Inside the monastery there are two small chapels which actually house the tomb and the holy relics of Agios Nektarios. His cell, which was his home, is behind the two chapels and is open to the public.

Near the Monastery there is an imposing church, dedicated to the Saint. The church has two tall bell towers and four sets of windows, all covered with red arches. After the steps there is the Church of the Holy Trinity.

Agios Nektarios Monastery in Aegina

Agios Nektarios was known as a great miracle worker, especially as a healer of cancer and all kinds of diseases, he was also a prolific writer, theologian, philosopher, moralist, educator, poet, ascetic and mystic. Agios Nektarios was above all a man of deep prayer and a hard worker who worked like everyone around him, no job was ever dishonorable to him.

In 1904, at the request of several nuns, he established a monastery for women in Aegina named The Holy Trinity, where he lived the rest of his life as a monk. He wrote, published, preached and heard the confessions of those who came from near and far to seek his spiritual ideas.

Agios Nektarios Monastery in Aegina

Agios Nektarios is also known for his countless miracles and healing abilities when he healed a demonized man. Another significant event convinced the locals of his holiness when they asked him to pray for a drop of rain on the island. Both of these events were seen as signs from God. After a serious illness, he died in 1920.

Agios Nektarios Monastery in Aegina

His memory is celebrated on November 9, the name day of Nektarios. There are services in the church the day before and there is a special procession in the morning, where the remains of Agios Nektarios are carried through the streets of Aegina town.

*Main source: Aegina Greece

Aegina

Aegina is one of the largest of the Saronic group in Greece, about 26 km south-southwest of Piraeus.

Aegina, the closest and most charming island to Athens

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Sponsorship Program for Asylum Seekers, Greek Fest in Palos, and More – Chicago Tribune https://uaoc.net/sponsorship-program-for-asylum-seekers-greek-fest-in-palos-and-more-chicago-tribune/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 22:29:51 +0000 https://uaoc.net/sponsorship-program-for-asylum-seekers-greek-fest-in-palos-and-more-chicago-tribune/ Our Lady of the Heights Parish, 1501 Chicago Road: The second collection during Masses on November 5 and 6 will help provide asylum seekers with basic living needs and pastoral care and create a parish family sponsorship program. The Unified Parish, which includes St. Kieran and St. Agnes Churches, is just one of many parishes […]]]>

Our Lady of the Heights Parish, 1501 Chicago Road: The second collection during Masses on November 5 and 6 will help provide asylum seekers with basic living needs and pastoral care and create a parish family sponsorship program. The Unified Parish, which includes St. Kieran and St. Agnes Churches, is just one of many parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago to raise the funds, which will go to Catholic charities.

The archdiocese and the organization are working with government agencies and social service organizations to help buses full of men, women and children who have been arriving since September, fleeing political oppression, extreme poverty and violence in their country of origin. To donate online or for information: www.catholiccharities.net.

Church of Life, 925 Macarthur Drive: Vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every first Sunday of the month. Vaccines are provided by Cook County Health. All vaccines and boosters are available. Information: www.getthelife.org/events or 708-300-2970.

Queen of Martyrs & St. Bernadette Parish, 10233 S. Central Park Ave. : Rev. Benedykt Pazdan will be officially installed as the new pastor during a mass at 4 p.m. on November 5. Bishop Robert Casey, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago, will join the parish to celebrate Mass. A reception will follow at Vitha Hall, the school gymnasium. Information: qmstbparisish.org or 708-423-8110.

St. Bernard Parish, 13030 W. 143rd St.: Bernard’s Bucks, a 2022 capital improvement raffle with a grand prize of $20,000. Second prize is $3,500, third $2,500, fourth $1,500 and fifth $500. The cost is $100 per ticket and only 800 tickets will be sold. Each winning ticket will be raffled off so that participants have several chances to win. The draw will take place after the 4 p.m. mass on November 12. The winner does not need to be present. Information: www.stbernardhg.org/bernards-bucks-raffle-tickets-1 or 708-301-3020.

St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church, 10621 S. Kedvale Avenue: Pacific Garden Mission clothing drive sponsored by the SCA 55+ Club. Bring donations of clothing for men, women, and children from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday through November 13 in the church lobby. Necessary items include new underwear (tops and bottoms) and new socks; pajamas for girls and boys; and winter shirts, blouses and coats for everyone. Information: 708-499-2672 or 708-425-0503.

JOrland Park Presbyterian Church, 13401 Wolf Road: Craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 12. Admission is free. Vendors are always needed. Seats start at $30. Participants can set up from 9 a.m. to noon on November 11 or from 7 a.m. on November 12. www.pcorlandpar.org or by calling 708-448-8142.

Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 11025 S. Roberts Road: Fall Greek Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 5 and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on November 6. It is sponsored by the Women’s Philoptochos of St. Helen. Dine in or prepare hot dishes including a Greek chicken, meatballs, gyros and a plate of Greek salad; pastitio; triopitakia; spanopitakia; and Greek sweets. Frozen foods include casseroles of spanakopita, pastitsio, or triangles of tiropita/spanakopita. Select vendors will be on hand for holiday shopping. Proceeds benefit needy families in nearby communities. Information: www.stconstantinehelen.org/ or 708-974-3400.

What’s going on in your church? Let us know by sending us an email with the time, date, location and public contact details at religion@southtownstar.com.

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Putin ally urges Russia’s Chechen Muslims to launch ‘jihad’ attacks in Europe https://uaoc.net/putin-ally-urges-russias-chechen-muslims-to-launch-jihad-attacks-in-europe/ Wed, 26 Oct 2022 18:10:00 +0000 https://uaoc.net/putin-ally-urges-russias-chechen-muslims-to-launch-jihad-attacks-in-europe/ Russiathe Chechen Muslim population should carry out “a great jihad” against Europe in favor of Russia war in ukraineurged a prominent Kremlin ally. “Do you remember the rally in Grozny against the cartoons of our beloved Prophet? Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on social media. “The same forces that insulted the best of people are […]]]>

Russiathe Chechen Muslim population should carry out “a great jihad” against Europe in favor of Russia war in ukraineurged a prominent Kremlin ally.

“Do you remember the rally in Grozny against the cartoons of our beloved Prophet? Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on social media. “The same forces that insulted the best of people are now fighting against us in Ukraine. … The protesters in Grozny have threatened to go to Europe and deal with the offenders. Where are these heroes?”

Kadyrov, a longtime ally of the Russian president Vladimir Poutine, made the call as Russian troops continue to suffer heavy casualties from a Ukrainian counteroffensive in eastern and southern Ukraine. And his characterization of the war as a “jihad” was part of a broader Russian attempt to frame the war in religious terms, as Putin’s team began to portray the Ukrainian government and its Western supporters as a force “ satanic”.

RUSSIA REMOVES RISK OF ‘DIRTY BOMB’ PLOT AMID NATO WARNINGS

“I believe that with the continuation of the special military operation, it becomes more and more urgent to proceed with the de-satanicism of Ukraine,” Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Aleksey Pavlov said on Tuesday.

Kadyrov acknowledged that he was “deeply unhappy with the current situation”, but insisted on his call to arms.

“It’s a big jihad that everyone should take part in,” he said. said.

This call, like the awards and promotions Putin has given Kadyrov and other Chechen officials, underscores how Putin’s relationship with Chechnya has changed over the year. Putin consolidated power in the Kremlin by launching a war in Chechnya, which he justified by blaming Chechen terrorists for a series of now widely publicized apartment bombings. perceived as having been orchestrated by Putin’s associates within the FSB.

Kadyrov would find it difficult to stage a terrorist attack in Western societies, according to a senior Western official. “Even though there are [Chechens] somewhere in Europe, so they are closely watched,” an ambassador to NATO said. Washington Examiner.

The Chechen and Kremlin rhetoric builds on Putin’s assertion that “Western elites…are coming to resemble ‘religion upside down’ – pure Satanism”, an allegation he made just in time. when he was signing documents formalizing his request to annex several partially occupied Ukrainian territories. in the Russian state.

“Unveiling false messiahs, Jesus Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount, ‘By their fruits you will know them,'” Putin said. “These poisonous fruits are already evident to people and not just in our country, but also in all countries, including many people in the West itself.”

Putin has invoked the common religious tradition of Orthodox Christians in Russia and Ukraine for years, but his attempt this year to overthrow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has drawn strong condemnation from the public. preeminent global Orthodox leader in Istanbul and prompted many Ukrainian churches to sever their ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.

“Over the past few days, the Russian Federation has significantly intensified the execution of acts of terror and genocide against the Ukrainian civilian population, using a vast and extensive arsenal of missile weapons,” the Ukrainian Council said. churches and religious organizations. wrote Last week. “More than two hundred Iranian-made cruise missiles and kamikaze drones struck peaceful Ukrainian towns and villages, which cannot be justified by military necessity.”

This organization, which has called Putin an “insidious and unprincipled enemy”, includes both the Independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – the institution which continues to be under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“All who participate in these brutal attacks on peaceful cities, both the leaders who issue orders and the direct executors, and all who justify acts of inhuman cruelty, must know that they will be answered before the God Almighty and punished for their crimes,” Ukrainian religious leaders also said earlier in October.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill is a staunch supporter of Putin and the war, but Western leaders hope religious institutions can put pressure on the Kremlin.

“We know well how the Orthodox religion is being manipulated today by those in power in Russia to justify their actions,” French President Emmanuel Macron said. said Last week. “Resistance is needed here.”

The Kremlin, however, seems keen to label the war a joint Orthodox-Muslim war against the West. Pavlov, the head of the Russian Security Council, has invoked Kadyrov and Chechen leaders are calling for the “complete de-chaitanization” of Ukraine. (Shaitan, in some Islamic mythologyis a name for demonic spirits.)

“Each region and Ukraine as a whole is our Russian territory,” Kadyrov said. “I give you my word: we will attack them every day. We will not take these shaitans prisoners. We will burn them. We won’t stop anywhere.

The message, earthy as it is, points to the lack of manpower torment the Russian army as their losses mount.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

“Kadyrov is the most aggressive in the public space, but he also loses his fighters,” the NATO ambassador said. “Kadyrov sends his guys to the front, to Ukraine, and there they are killed in large numbers.”

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A journey through war-torn Ukraine https://uaoc.net/a-journey-through-war-torn-ukraine/ Sun, 23 Oct 2022 16:13:59 +0000 https://uaoc.net/a-journey-through-war-torn-ukraine/ Comment Himali McInnes, a doctor from Auckland, shares her experience accompanying her aid worker husband on a recent trip to western Ukraine, where money donated by Kiwis is helping to house people whose homes have been destroyed. destroyed We enter Ukraine through one of the land border crossings in Medyka, Poland. It’s a slightly surreal […]]]>

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Himali McInnes, a doctor from Auckland, shares her experience accompanying her aid worker husband on a recent trip to western Ukraine, where money donated by Kiwis is helping to house people whose homes have been destroyed. destroyed

We enter Ukraine through one of the land border crossings in Medyka, Poland. It’s a slightly surreal experience rolling your rickety suitcase down a holey path, past the white canvas tents set up by UNICEF and others, past the overflowing portable toilets, through the building of the soviet era immigration with its turnstiles and mustard floor, and on the street outside. On both sides of the border, trucks and other vehicles line up for days. The signs are in indecipherable Cyrillic script. We are helpless and mute until our cheerful driver Vitali finds us.

Traveling in a country in the throes of a humanitarian crisis means being attentive to every inflection of the voices around us. The thrill of atoms that could indicate the launch of a Russian missile thousands of miles away. The location of the nearest underground bunker with ventilation and water supplies. The use of a network of helping hands.

The staff of the NGO equips us each with a decontamination pack. Iodine tablets to counter radioactive iodine (produced after the nuclear explosion, absorbed by our thyroids, responsible for cancers), levonorgestrel tablets to prevent pregnancy in the event of sexual assault, a gas mask for use unique with insectoid eyes and a blunt snout, a big bottle of water to clean our skin from toxic chemicals or biological agents, saline rinses for our eyes.

I haven’t told my parents exactly where I am.

Ukraine is an ancient land linked to the memory of Cossacks, poets and Slavic kings, a varied history of invasion and counterattack. There is no consistent narrative that validates this current invasion. The killing of civilians and the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure are undeniably war crimes.

Olena, director of an arts institute in Ternopil that helps house 170 displaced Ukrainians with the help of the NGO, says: “I was 22 when Ukraine gained independence in 1991. Until then, I felt watched all the time. remember my parents talking quietly in the kitchen. Since independence, I have enjoyed being able to vote and say what I think.

The landscape is enormous, and apart from the crumpling of the Carpathians to the west and the Crimean mountain range to the south, it is largely flat steppes. The soil is old, smooth-skinned, worn by erosion, unlike Aotearoa with its curves and dimples and oily-fleshed mountains. Ukrainian roads are straight like gray needles. Vitali is a courteous and careful driver. There are Ladas, a relic of a Soviet past; but there are also Peugeots, Audis, BMWs. A high-speed convoy with an unmarked truck passes in front of us, carrying weapons to the front line. There are gleaming golden-domed Eastern Orthodox churches. We pass field after field nodding with blackened sunflower heads. Sunflower oil is a major export. I ask why the seeds were not harvested; those buds look damp and rotten to me. Most of the processing plants are to the east, our guide tells us, and either damaged by missile strikes or closed. Millions of wasted hryvnia.

Baba Halia, who lost his son and daughter-in-law to the Russians, shares photos of his family.

It’s autumn, this season of mists and gentle fruitfulness, after one of the hottest summers in Europe in memory. Trees the color of burnt butter, candied orange, blood red line the highway. There is fog, fresh and mysterious. The soil is grossly fertile: Ukrainian black earth, or chernozem, is loamy and rich in humus. The branches groan with apples and pears. The vines glide along the fences, the fruit purplish-sweet and vinous. Earlier this year there were apricots and plums. The Ukrainian flag, with its clear bands of yellow and blue which designate fields of wheat under the vast sky of Eastern Europe, testifies to this fertility.

Twenty-three internally displaced people, from a rest home in the Donetsk region, now live in an abandoned school in a small village outside Khmelnytsky. We enter and a sour smell invades us – floor cleaner, boiled cabbage, milk. A man hobbles past on the stumps of his knees. White-haired men and women greet us from their beds or stare into space. The rooms, flooded with sunlight, benefit from new joinery installed by the NGO. The rooms are hot at the moment. But winter is coming; this village will be snow-covered, the roads impassable. The caretaker is in desperate need of firewood. We speak with Baba Halia. She was born in 1940 – the same year as my father. Dressed in a crumpled red T-shirt, with cropped white hair and a weathered tint to her cheeks, she pulls out her “treasures” – photo after photo of her family. The theme of X-files plays on a nearby TV. Baba Halia tells us that Russian soldiers burned her son alive, drowned her daughter-in-law, raped her 14-year-old granddaughter. Tetiana, who is helping to translate, cannot speak for several minutes.

Another building nearby – formerly a tuberculosis sanatorium – houses 96 displaced people with intellectual disabilities. The group was transported here in March to escape the bombardment of Kharkiv. The oldest is 70 years old. Another extremely vulnerable group. The red linoleum is cracked underfoot. Antique metal bed frames are wobbly and need replacing. The toilets are a corrupt mess of rust and broken stone. On the other hand, the toilets and showers that the NGO has renovated shine with new boilers, pipes and tiles. Local villagers look after the building day and night, and they have stored enough wood and charcoal for the winter.

A reception center for internally displaced people with intellectual disabilities.

When we visit the Soviet-era building that Olena runs in Ternopil, we find similar problems – cracked cisterns, old stoves, leaky pipes. Across Ukraine, there is a similar theme to aid efforts, namely helping uninhabited or dilapidated buildings become safe for the sudden influx of people. So far, the NGO has helped renovate bathrooms and the sewage system, and provided new boilers, washing machines, countless mattresses. Olena says, “Fear is contagious. Like Covid. Every person reacts differently to war. Helping others helps me cope.” One hundred and seventy people, including 56 children, live here. There is room for another 120 people. Vika, a shy 13-year-old girl holding a little bunny knitted by her mother in her arms, shares a room with her grandmother Ludmyla. They have been here since April 28. Vika’s blue eyes fill with tears as Ludmyla tells us that Vika’s parents stayed in Kharkiv because her mother is a nurse. The teenager dreams of becoming a veterinarian, and the only time she smiles is when we show her a picture of our Huntaway cross.

We return to Poland to catch up with the work of the NGO which helps refugees. We board the train at Ternopil alongside fleeing Ukrainians. The train is completely full. Suitcases clutter the aisles. The children are crying. I imagine it was even more chaotic in March and April. Ukrainian soldiers verify our identities; they are surprised to meet New Zealanders. A car is filled with Hasidic Jews in traditional dress; this subgroup of Conservative Judaism originated in Ukraine in the 18th century. There is a bubbly release of tension as the train crosses the border after nearly six hours. The queue is long and drags on into the night as the Polish customs officers check our papers quickly.

The following days we visit a disused Tesco supermarket in Przemyśl which has been converted into temporary accommodation for refugees. Five thousand refugees camped here at the height of the influx; there are currently 137, but more could be pouring in as winter bites. The space is cavernous, with the echoing feel of a warehouse. A few children run around the play area kicking a ball. Several aid agencies work from this site, providing advice, food, clothing, travel assistance, money. At the nearby train station, Tearfund’s NGO partner helped set up a room as a safe transit space for mothers and babies. There are 50 beds here.

Beds set up for refugees at a train station.

I see displaced Roma families in front of the station. A plethora of small children chirp and fight. They were told they couldn’t come in. My brown skin and my dark hair saw me stopped by customs officers more than my two traveling companions. It’s a sad reminder that the whiteness of your skin can lead to better results in many circumstances.

The UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration estimate that 7.5 million Ukrainian refugees have fled the country. In Ukraine, there were 6.9 million people who were internally displaced at one time; this number is constantly changing. This is the biggest human displacement crisis in the world today. Many refugees return home for short stays when it is relatively safe, before leaving again. This crossing is constant. It’s unusual; in other parts of the world, once a refugee returns to their place of origin, they can no longer apply for refugee status. It is difficult for humanitarian organizations to plan ahead for winter. Will people try to hold on, will gas supply and city heating be cut off, how many more civilian infrastructure objects will be targeted?

For now, Tearfund’s partner and other aid organizations are preparing for the worst.

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Area Community News | News, Sports, Jobs https://uaoc.net/area-community-news-news-sports-jobs/ Fri, 21 Oct 2022 05:18:54 +0000 https://uaoc.net/area-community-news-news-sports-jobs/ Harry Potter Grab-and-Go bags, paint ‘n sip, book clubs as part of library programming STEUBENVILLE — Various programs and activities are taking place at the Steubenville and Jefferson County Public Library, with Harry Potter Grab-and-Go bags available at all library branches beginning Monday. Kit contains everything kids will need to make their own […]]]>

Harry Potter Grab-and-Go bags, paint ‘n sip, book clubs as part of library programming

STEUBENVILLE — Various programs and activities are taking place at the Steubenville and Jefferson County Public Library, with Harry Potter Grab-and-Go bags available at all library branches beginning Monday. Kit contains everything kids will need to make their own “The Monster Book of Monsters” which is the infamous biting book of “Prisoner of Azkaban.”

“Fortunately, these won’t bite,” noted a library spokesperson. Kits are available while supplies last.

Other scheduled programs are:

Main Library, (740) 282-9782

Children: October 28 is National Chocolate Day. Children are invited to visit the life-size Charlie and the Chocolate Factory exhibit in the library to celebrate. The first 30 children will receive a book and a special chocolate bar.

Stop by anytime for a craft on Thursday.

Stencil Art for Kids will take place on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. Children ages 6-13 will create their own art to take home. Register in advance.

Adults: The book club will meet for discussion on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Call to join.

The Tai Chi class will meet for its low-impact class on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Wear comfortable clothes.

Adena Branch, (740) 546-3782

Children: Story time, for children ages 2 to 6, will take place on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. Register in advance.

Brilliant Branch, (740) 598-4028

Kids: Play and Learn the Alphabet, for ages 2-6, will be on Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

Grab-and-Go Story Time starts Monday for kids and includes the book “The Little Ghost Who Lost His Boo!!!” by Elaine Bickell. It is available while stocks last.

Adults: The book club will meet for discussion on Mondays at 6 p.m. Call to join.

Dillonvale-Mount Pleasant Branch, (740) 769-2090

Children: Story time, for children ages 2 to 6, will take place on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. Register in advance.

Schiappa Branch, (740) 264-6166

Adults: Paint ‘n Sip will take place on Mondays at 6 p.m. and will consist of creating a fall scene. It’s free and supplies are provided, but registration is required.

The book club will meet for discussion Tuesday at 6 p.m. Call to join.

Kids: Play and Learn the Alphabet, for ages 2 to 6, will take place Thursdays at 6 p.m. and October 28 at 10:30 a.m. Come and have the kids play with letter-learning toys.

Tiltonsville Branch, (740) 859-5163

Adults: The library’s Thriller Book Club will meet for discussion Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Call to join.

Paint ‘n Sip is Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and creates an autumn scene and sips a hot beverage. It’s free and the materials are provided. Registration is mandatory.

Kids: Play and Learn the Alphabet, for ages 2-6, will take place on Mondays at 11 a.m.

Grab-and-Go story time begins Monday for kids and includes the book, “The Little Ghost Who Lost His Boo!!!” by Elaine Bickell. It is available while stocks last.

Toronto Branch, (740) 537-1262

Kids: Tot Time for kids ages 2-4 will take place on Thursdays at 11 a.m. Children are encouraged to wear a costume. Registration is required by calling the library.

Story time, for children ages 2 to 6, will take place on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Register in advance.

Sale Philoptochos of the Holy Trinity

November 1st for gyros and more

STEUBENVILLE – The Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church will hold a gyroscope sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 1 at the church, located at 300 S. Fourth St., Steubenville.

The gyros are $9 each, and there will be a 50-cent charge for the extra tzatziki sauce.

Also available are koulourakia – twist cookies – for $8 a dozen; baklava at $3 each; vine leaves at three for $3.50; and spanakopita, $3.50 each.

Customers can place orders by phone on sale day at (740) 282-9835 or by fax at (740) 282-2091. Customers are asked to allow a minimum of 20 minutes for all orders.

Shipping will be free on orders of four or more gyros. Walk-ins are welcome.

“The Serpentine Prophecy” at the Seventh-day Adventist Church

WEIRTON — The Weirton Seventh-day Adventist Church will host “The Serpentine Prophecy” over Halloween weekend.

“In this four-part series, we will discuss the fascinating connections between occult and world powers and how they have influenced modern thinking about what happens after death,” noted a statement from the church located at 600 Colliers Way, Weirton.

“We will examine the first lie recorded in the Bible. The serpent (Satan) told Eve that if she ate the fruit, “You will certainly not die” (Genesis 3:4). Have you ever wondered why Satan would consider the mystery of death his greatest chance to lead mankind to doubt the Word of God? Would he still be trying to use that same lie to deceive people today? press release notes.

Beginning October 27 at 7 p.m., Pastor Shawn Boonstra will take attendees “On a journey through history to follow Satan’s path of deception regarding the mystery of death.”

Each evening, a 30 minute video presentation will be followed by a 30 minute Bible study. In addition to Oct. 27, meetings are at 7 p.m. on Oct. 28, and on Oct. 29 parts three and four are at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

For more information and to register, visit www.SerpentineProphecy.com.

Chili cook-off, music on October 30 at Warren Township Park

ILTONSVILLE – The TBS Trinity Chili Cook-Off will take place on October 30 at Warren Township Park, located at 400 Williams St., Tiltonsville.

The outdoor church service will begin at 11 a.m. and all are welcome.

A Chinese auction will be part of the event with music by Ron Retzer. Participants must bring a lawn chair.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Children under 5 are admitted free. Admission includes samples of all chilies, five ballots, a hot dog, a cookie, and a drink.

In the event of inclement weather, this will be held at Martins Ferry United Methodist Church located at 307 Clay St., Martins Ferry.

TBS is a cooperative parish made up of the United Methodist churches of Tiltonsville, Brilliant, Rayland, Martins Ferry and Buena Vista.



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Australian Government urged to condemn Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia by NSW Ecumenical Council – Press releases – News| https://uaoc.net/australian-government-urged-to-condemn-azerbaijans-aggression-against-armenia-by-nsw-ecumenical-council-press-releases-news/ Tue, 18 Oct 2022 14:47:53 +0000 https://uaoc.net/australian-government-urged-to-condemn-azerbaijans-aggression-against-armenia-by-nsw-ecumenical-council-press-releases-news/ SYDNEY: The New South Wales Ecumenical Council, representing 18 leading Christian congregations in Australia’s largest state, has issued a powerful appeal to Foreign Secretary Senator Hon. Penny Wong, urging the federal government to condemn Azerbaijan’s unprovoked military assault on the republics of Artsakh and Armenia, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) reported. The letter, […]]]>

SYDNEY: The New South Wales Ecumenical Council, representing 18 leading Christian congregations in Australia’s largest state, has issued a powerful appeal to Foreign Secretary Senator Hon. Penny Wong, urging the federal government to condemn Azerbaijan’s unprovoked military assault on the republics of Artsakh and Armenia, the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) reported.

The letter, co-signed by the President of the Ecumenical Council of New South Wales, Reverend Myung Hwa Park and the Secretary General, Reverend Shenouda Mansour, also called directly on Minister Wong to appeal to the United Nations Security Council to that he supports the Armenian people and the sovereignty of their nation.

The New South Wales Ecumenical Council also took the opportunity to call once again on the Australian government to join more than 31 nations and legislatures in accurately recognizing as genocide the massacres of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915 by the Ottoman Turkish government.

The World Council of New South Wales now joins the National Council of Churches in Australia and the Uniting Church of Australia, which earlier this month called on the Australian government to stand with the Armenian nation in the aftermath of Azerbaijan’s attacks on Armenia.

The deep concern of the Armenian-Australian community over Azerbaijan’s military aggression was raised by the Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Australia and New Zealand, His Eminence Archbishop Haigazoun Najarian during the last meeting of the Heads of Churches of the Council.

The council’s letter stated: “We understand from our member church, the Armenian Apostolic Church of Australia and New Zealand, that a ceasefire has been established in 2020, with the help of the international community. . On September 13, 2022, new military attacks were launched by Azerbaijan against villages and towns bordering the Republic of Armenia, a sovereign state.

“This brutal aggression left hundreds dead and injured among Armenian soldiers and civilians, forcing families to be driven from their homes. More than 40 square kilometers of Armenian sovereign territory are now occupied by Azerbaijan. Such aggression continues to undermine international efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

In their correspondence with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reverend Park and Reverend Mansour also highlighted Azerbaijan’s attempts at systematic cultural genocide.

“Furthermore, Azerbaijan continues to eliminate the centuries-old Armenian presence in the region by destroying and vandalizing churches, monasteries and heritage monuments and spreading fear and terror,” the letter reads.

The ANC-AU thanked the Ecumenical Council of New South Wales for its long-standing support of the Armenian-Australian community and its concerns about the existential danger faced by its compatriots in their home country.

“It is no coincidence that following the occupation of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, the Armenian nation is even more threatened by a new genocide. We thank the New South Wales Christian community, represented by the Ecumenical Council, who have not ignored the plight of Armenians, but who support our persecuted Armenian brothers,” said ANC-AU Executive Director, Michael Kolokossian.

The letter from Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed concern from 18 church communities, including the Anglican Church, Antiochian Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Bruderhof, Congregational Federation of NSW, Coptic Orthodox Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church. , Greek Orthodox Church, St Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Australian Lutheran Church, Mar Thoma Church, Religious Society of Friends, Roman Catholic Church (Diocese of Bathurst, Parramatta and Wagga Wagga), Syrian Orthodox Church, Church of India South, Salvation Army Synod and United Church of NSW and ACT.

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