(Joh 15:20-23) Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for my name's sake: because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
BLOG: ISIS “split her in two; she would not convert!”
CRISIS MAGAZINE: Islam, Immigration and the Importance of Culture
JERUSALEM ONLINE: Brigitte Gabriel: “We Are Witnessing Genocide against Christians”
Prominent Lebanese American journalist Brigitte Gabriel, who founded Act for America and American Congress for Truth, in an interview with JerusalemOnline discussed the plight of Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East: “With the establishment of the Islamic State and Jihadi movements metastasizing from Libya to Iraq, the prospect for religious minorities in the Arab world is unfortunately bleak. Unless the tide can somehow be turned against the Jihadist movement, I am afraid we will see continued persecution of Christians, Jews and others--and worse. What we are witnessing now in Iraq and Syria--and it is spreading to Lebanon--is genocide. It takes persecution to its terrible but inevitable extreme.”
The plight of Christian women especially is dire in the Arab world: “Christian women face the reality of living under Shariah in the Arab world to one degree or another. In places like Saudi Arabia, where there is no religious freedom, a Christian woman must essentially live as if she was a Muslim. This is becoming truer in other parts of the Arab world as well. And in areas controlled by the Islamic State, women are subject to rape, torture and slavery. If they resist in any way, they face death.”
Gabriel was very critical of Obama’s Iraq and Syria policy, stressing that Obama’s administration does not understand that there can be no solution to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria without ISIS being overthrown: “So, first, the Islamic State must be taken down militarily. Only then can the true humanitarian work begin. Can you imagine humanitarian workers trying to enter into Islamic State-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria today? It would be putting the workers in grave danger. Unfortunately, I don't think Obama understands the threat that the Islamic State poses and I think he sees it as an internal Iraqi sectarian organization instead of the Jihadist organization of global reach that it is. So I don't see any way that he will do what is needed.”
Even though Lebanon is not dominating headlines at the moment, Gabriel stresses that the plight of Christians in Lebanon is also dire: “Christians who are left in Lebanon are living in fear and acknowledging now that they are second class citizens. I mailed my book just two weeks ago to a cousin of mine and had to put a different name, as a sender, on the package and address. She was afraid that if the package was from me, she will be arrested and taken into investigation just because she received a package from me. Hezbollah monitors all social media and all communication lines. I cannot even speak freely to family members or friends discussing anything other than hello, who died, who got married and the weather.”
CARITAS: A day in the life: Syrian refugees in Lebanon
CRS: Iraqi Families Find Refuge in Catholic Church
ACN: The hundred thousand faces of suffering of the Iraqi Christians
PATRIARCH SAKO: A whole month passed after the plight of Iraqi Christians and Yezidis and other minorities, as if it was meant to be. The curtains have been drawn on the painful events, and 120.000 Christians are uprooted from their historical homeland because the Political Islam does not want them there, and the world is silent, standing still, either because it approves or because it is incapable of acting. This encourages ISIS (which has nothing to do with the ancient Egyptian goddess of nature and fertility ISIS) to move forward with its ferocious war against culture and diversity and threatening the intellectual and social security. The suffering of the displaced Christians and other minorities is mounting: their needs are escalating and their fears of an unknown future of their shocked children, seized towns, and looted houses keep them sleepless! These people were living in their hometowns in prosperity, pride and dignity; in the blink of an eye, they were ousted from their homes, terrified and fleeing on foot in search of a shelter. It is a scene that takes us back to the dark centuries of the past although it has become a horrific reality of our present civilization!
What these peaceful Christians and loyal citizens experienced is a real genocide, a sad ending, and a proof of the privation of the religious, human, moral, and national values. Therefore, it is a shameful stain in history. Everybody should know is a threat for all!
PRAYER: Prayer IV, during Assault by Aliens The Composition of the Most Holy Patriarch Callistus I
O unoriginate King, invisible, inscrutable, unapproachable and ineffable, Who holdest all creation in the palm of Thy hand, and Who dost preserve, uphold and govern it by Thine ineffable word! O Thou Who didst at first endure the iniquities of the Ninevites, and later accept their repentance and conversion, and gavest them forgiveness for all their iniquities and offenses, in Thy wonted and ineffable love for mankind, and Thine excellent goodness and longsuffering!
Accept our prayers, as Thou hast said, as Thou didst the conversion and repentance of the Ninevites; accept our tears and sighs; accept our humble entreaty; for, heavy laden with sins, we are in nowise able to look upon Thee, Who art sinless. Accept as it were smoke from the depths the cries sent up to Thee, our Master. Accept the petition of a wretched people, that the depth of Thy lovingkindness may prevail over the multitude of our sins; and grant Thy people deliverance, freedom from temptations, and release from the stroke of death. Yea, O Lord our God, hearken to Thy people at this hour, and to me, a sinner; and withdraw the rod of sinners, which striketh against the lot of the righteous, whom Thou Thyself knowest, and by whom Thou art known: that we, Thine unprofitable servants, may glorify the all-holy name of Thee—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit— now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion
58. A brother said to Poemen, 'If I see something wrong do you want me to tell you about it? 'He said to him, 'It is written, "If a man answers before he has heard, it is foolishness to him and discredit" (Ecclesiasticus 11:8). If you are asked, speak; if not, say nothing.'
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