September 1, 2015
(Luk 6:22-23) Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Be glad in that day and rejoice: for behold, your reward is great in heaven, For according to these things did their fathers to the prophets.
POPE FRANCIS: “Let it also be a stimulus to legislators and government leaders to guarantee religious freedom everywhere, and to the international community to put an end to the violence and oppression.”
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CRISIS MAGAZINE: Faith-Based Negotiations with Faith-Based Fanatics
REVIEW: The ISIS Caliphate and the Churches
CHRISTIAN TODAY: Iraqi archbishop: 'I quarrel with God daily' over Islamic State crisis
An Iraqi archbishop has said his faith has been challenged by the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.
Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil, Iraq, has admitted that while he would outwardly encourage the scores of Christians arriving in Irbil, in his heart he wrestles with why God has allowed such terrible things to happen.
"I don't understand what he is doing when I look at what has happened in the region," Archbishop Warda said.
"I quarrel with him every day."
According to the Catholic Herald, he said the arguments take place within his intimate relationship with God and, with the help of grace, his relationship withstands even the unimaginable challenges that he has faced over the past year.
"Before going to sleep, I usually hand all my crises, wishes, thoughts and sadness to him, so I can at least have some rest," Archbishop Warda told The Criterion, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
"The next day, I usually wake up with his providence that I would never dream about."
More than 100,000 Christians and other persecuted minorities have sought refuge in Irbil in northern Iraq as they flee ISIS. With the threat of the extremist group now only 25 miles away, however, many Christians who fled to Irbil are moving on to refugee camps in Jordon, Lebanon and Turkey.
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EXCERPT DEBKA.COM: ISIS declares war on the US dollar with the “gold dinar”
The Islamic State on Sunday, Aug. 30, launched a new campaign to destabilize the US Dollar with a 54-minute video tape, produced to the professional standards of New York Madison Avenue. for general distribution.
The ISIS tape calls on world markets to stop using the dollar and revert to the financial system of the medieval Muslim caliphates. It offers the following currency substitutes:
1. A dinar coin weighing 4.25 grams of 21-carat gold, worth $139 at current gold prices;
2. A silver “dirham” coin, currently in use in some Muslim countries such as Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and parts of Libya, where ISIS is snapping up oil fields and installations.
3. Two copper coins known as “fulus,” which are handy currency for small transactions and daily use.
4. The jihadis also accept gold trinkets in lieu of coins.
The tape shows details of the coins’ production process at a plant in Mosul, ISIS’s Iraq headquarters. While the Islamists’ plan for war on the dollar may recall a bygone age in history, it is worth noting that just two years ago, Iran was paid for its oil sales to India in gold and gold ornaments, to beat the Western oil embargo.
Most financial circles have greeted the ISIS reach for world domination by the gold dinar as a stunt. They maintain that ISIS itself uses American dollars to buy arms on the black market and pay its fighters.
All the same, DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism experts disclose that the jihadis are deadly serious about their plan to wage a war of terror on the Western economy and financial system with four goals in view:
a) ISIS is not a run-of-the-mill terrorist organization, it is a movement seriously determined to forge an Islamic state and world order governed by its fundamentalist values.
b) Their territorial expansion and conquest of land has been accompanied by the pirating of natural resources, in their reach for affluence and control of the world’s economic levers.
ISIS’s consistent drive for terrain rich in oil, uranium, gold, silver and other natural resources, shows up in their grab for dominance in places like Libya, Iraq, Syria and the Sinai Peninsula. In Afghanistan, the Islamists have of late seized and ousted the Taliban from areas rich in precious metals.
c) The Islamic State is gaining a strong hand in the arms and oil black markets in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Europe. It is also gaining leverage for forcing traders to accept payment in gold dinars.
And there is no reason why they should refuse. Some of them already trade in bitcoins, a virtual currency with no national, economic or banking backing.
d) Like Al Qaeda in its heyday of the 90s, ISIS has many secret sympathizers among the rich and powerful of the Gulf emirates. If a hundred of them could be persuaded that the jihadist cause required them to start trading in gold dinars in their international business transactions, including the halawa (word of mouth system), Islamist gold would soon start infiltrating the world’s financial system.
The first response came Monday, Aug. 31, from the radical Hizb ut-Tahrir of Britain. It advised examining the benefits of returning to the old Gold Standard for resolving the sovereign debt crisis threatening the Eurozone, instead of “printing counterfeit money on keyboards.”
The ISIS video was not released merely as a provocative propaganda thrust against the likes of Wall Street and Western financiers. The jihadis seriously believe that financial terrorism can be a destructive weapon for destabilizing the US-dominated global economy at least as devastating as a raging horde of suicide bombers.
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Humility
44. 'A brother once came to Sisois on the mountain of Antony, and as they were talking he said to Sisois, 'Have you reached the stature of Antony yet, abba?' He answered, 'If I had a single thought like Antony, I should leap toward heaven like a flame. But I know myself to be someone who can only with an effort keep his thoughts in check.'
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