Friday, October 7, 2016

Fr. John Whiteford: 'The Immoral Policy of the United States Government in Syria'

A fearless and righteous statement from an Orthodox Christian priest in the United States; Fr. John Whiteford is speaking truth to power here, and rightly condemns the immoral, hypocritical and deceptive policies of the U.S. government in Syria. 

The same condemnation can be (and has been) made of U.S. policy towards Egypt, which resulted in the overthrow of the stable and lawful Mubarak government and the institution of a Muslim Brotherhood sharia regime so vile and repugnant that the military had to topple it to protect its citizens from Islam. In the Egyptian protests which led to Morsi's ouster, Obama was condemned as a supporter of Islamic terrorism, and Putin was seen as the defender of Christians. (Christians in Egypt continue to be persecuted by Muslim mobs and officials, and discriminated against by Egyptian law, but at least it is not the all-out jihad which existed under the Morsi reign of Islamic terror.)

The same condemnation can be (and has been) made of U.S. policy towards Iraq and Libya. Time after time, United States policy in the Middle East and North & Sub-Sahara Africa has been a primary causal agent of the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and other Islamic jihad groups, and the spread of Muslim persecution and genocide against Christians.

The government of the United States of America has the blood of tens of thousands if not millions of Christians on its hands. Electing the chosen successor to the current administration in Washington would be to perpetuate a U.S. foreign policy which is just as evil in its intent and blood-soaked in its effect as is the Democrats' pro-abortion position, which was cheered by thousands at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

"I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement." (Rev. 17:6)

The Immoral Policy of the United States Government in Syria
by Fr. John Whiteford, October 6, 2016

I feel compelled, as a Christian and as an American citizen speaking only for myself, to condemn the policy of the United States government which has been to overthrow the Syrian government by arming and funding a radical jihadist insurgency. This has fueled and exacerbated a conflict which has witnessed the deaths of nearly half of a million Syrians, produced five million refugees, seven and a half-million internally displaced people, and has brought untold misery upon many millions more who have suffered either directly or indirectly as a result of this shameful policy. [1]

I cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that our government continues, with our tax-payer dollars,  to fund and arm those who are raping, murdering, and displacing Christians (who represent about ten percent of the overall population) and other religious minorities in Syria. [2]

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Why Christians and Muslims Worship Different Gods

"While some similarities may exist between the Christian and Muslim conceptions of God, it is certain that the Christian who prays 'Our Father, Who art in Heaven' each day is not praying to the same God as the Muslim who prays 'There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.' This is because they are not worshipping the same God." —Fr. Brandon O'Brien


The 'Same God Question' is at the heart of any Christian consideration of Islam and how to respond to it and to our Muslim neighbors. Dr. Mark Durie offers this cautionary instruction on the matter:

"It is quite clear that the Injil, as described by the Koran, is nothing but a ‘different gospel’. The prophet Isa (Jesus) of the Koran is a product of fable, imagination and ignorance. When Muslims venerate this Isa, they are far removed from Yeshua, the Jesus of the Bible and of history... For most faithful Muslims Isa is the only Jesus they know. But if you accept this Muslim ‘Jesus’, and his ‘gospel’, then you also accept the Koran, and you accept Islam... 
"By Islamicising [the true Jesus of the Gospels, the Jesus of history] and making of him a Muslim prophet who preached the Koran, Islamic orthodoxy would destroy Christianity and take over its history. It does the same to Judaism... 
"The traditional Islamic view is that if you want to know what the God of the Bible is like, then read the Koran. Not only must Muslims believe that ‘we worship the same God’, but this message is always a central component of the presentation of Islam to Christians and Jews. 
[This message] "provides the lynchpin of Muslims’ efforts to convert the ‘People of the Book’ to the faith of Muhammad. In addition, this belief, once accepted, can lead Christians to support Islamic perspectives in ways other than conversion. For example, embracing this Islamic doctrine wins a measure of respect and even support for Islam from Christians."
(Durie, Revelation - Do We Worship the Same God?, pp 50-51, 75-76)

In a landmark article by Fr Lawrence Farley, which I feature here on this blog, we find the following observations:

Islamic worship does not, in fact, connect the Muslim worshipper with the one true God of the Christians... 
Despite their shared theoretical monotheism, Christian and Muslim worship does not focus upon the same God, and (more importantly) the objective and spiritual reality present through their worship is not identical. 
In Christian assemblies, Jesus Christ is present, for He has promised to be present whenever two or three gather together in His Name (Matthew 18:20). In Muslim assemblies, Christ is not present in the same salvific way.  
Rather, just as the early Christians said that the demonic was present in the sacrifices of the pagans, that same terrible reality is present now liturgically in Muslim assemblies...

Which brings us to the below important article, which provides a thorough discussion of dogmatic, scriptural and spiritual differences from a specifically Roman Catholic perspective, pointing out the dangers which stem from Rome's excessively deferential consideration of Islam. By affirming Islam in its Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate, the Papal church stands on the cliff of apostasy.

Here, at least, is one Roman Catholic writer who, along with the rightly respected William Kilpatrick hopes to restore Truth to Rome's discussion of Islam. May Truth prevail in Rome.

Why Christians and Muslims Worship Different Gods
by Fr. Brandon O'Brien, Crisis Magazine, September 5, 2016:

On August 30, Cardinal Raymond Burke sparked a debate about the relationship of Islam and Christianity with regard to their worship of God. It is a debate that has been addressed before, and in an interview he stated: 

“I don’t believe it’s true that we’re all worshipping the same God, because the God of Islam is a governor. In other words, fundamentally Islam is, Sharia is their law, and that law, which comes from Allah, must dominate every man eventually. And it’s not a law that’s founded on love.” 

In addition to remarking on the different conceptions of the nature of God, he also noted a difference in the Divine Will as well: 

“How can the God that we know, a God fundamentally of love, St. John says ‘God is love,’ be the same God that commands and demands of Muslims to slaughter infidels and to establish their rule by violence.”

It would appear that Burke’s view is inconsistent with the Church’s recent teachings on the areas of agreement between Christianity and Islam. According to Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, “[Muslims] adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men.” However, it is obvious that Nostra Aetate is not as clear as it would appear initially.

The brief treatments of Islam in both Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate contain not a single reference or footnote to support them. It is usually the practice that Church documents contain references from Scripture, the Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, or previous documents to reinforce their teaching and assert its continuity with Divine Revelation and the magisterium. The Second Vatican Council’s analysis of Islam is completely lacking in this regard. In fact, as if making an attempt at circular reasoning, the Church has largely only been able to refer as far back as these two passages from Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate in subsequent documents concerning Islam. 

This shouldn’t be surprising since the dearth of writings on Islam by the saints of the Church in the thirteen centuries between the founding of Islam and the Second Vatican Council would actually contradict what Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate proffer. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Raymond Ibrahim: Is Obama Waging a “Narrative Battle” against ISIS or Reality?

"Acknowledging that untold millions of Muslims are engaged in similar behavior [to ISIS] leads to a much more troubling narrative with vast implications."

by Raymond Ibrahim, September 22, 2016

According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, “When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight—a narrative fight with them. A narrative battle.”  Earnest said this the day after two separate bombings occurred in New York, and an ISIS-linked Muslim went on a stabbing spree in Minnesota.  Obama’ spokesman later elaborated:

… remember ISIL is trying to assert a narrative, that they represent the religion of Islam in a war against the west and in a war against the United States. That is mythology. That is falsehood. That is not true. That is bankrupt ideology they are trying to wrap in the cloak of Islam.

This, of course, is a straw man argument: the real question isn’t whether ISIS “represents” Islam, but whether ISIS is a byproduct of Islam.  And this question can easily be answered by looking not to ISIS but Islam. One can point to Islamic doctrines that unequivocally justify ISIS behavior; one can point to the whole of Islamic history, nearly 14 centuries of ISIS precedents.

Or, if these two options are deemed too abstract, one can simply point to the fact that everyday Muslims all around the world are behaving just like ISIS.

For instance, Muslims—of all races, nationalities, languages, and socio-political and economic circumstances, in Arab, African, Central and East Asian nations—claim the lions’ share of Christian persecution; 41 of the 50 worst nations to be Christian in are Islamic.  In these countries, Muslim individuals, mobs, clerics, politicians, police, soldiers, judges, even family members—none of whom are affiliated with ISIS (other than by religion)—abuse and sometimes slaughter Christians, abduct, enslave and rape their women and children, ban or bomb churches, and kill blasphemers and apostates.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Nurtured by the Holy Fathers: Lessons from the life and works of Fr. Seraphim Rose

Two new collections of talks on the life and significance of Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina by hierarchs, clergy, and some of his spiritual children provide a wealth of insights into this revered and beloved Orthodox struggler and spiritual father.

Nurtured by the Holy Fathers: Lessons from the life and works of Fr. Seraphim Rose,
Pravoslavie, September 2, 2016:

For the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the repose of Fr. Seraphim Rose on Sept. 2, 2012, hundreds of faithful pilgrims convened upon St. Herman's Monastery in Platina, CA to remember Fr. Seraphim and offer prayers both for him and to him.

His Grace Bp. Daniil (Nikolov), Vicar of the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia spoke after the Saturday morning Liturgy on the eve of the anniversary of Fr. Seraphim's repose:

"In these days of the feast of the Dormition of the holy Mother of God, we come here to this holy place to venerate and give honor to another dormition, of the ever-memorable hieromonk Seraphim Rose. The holy Mother of God bore for all of us her Son and God our Savior, and is blessed by all generations. Fr. Seraphim also contributed to my life and to all of ours here, and to those of many more people, and we come here to give due love and to receive his blessing..."

The following day a number of personal reminiscences of Fr. Seraphim were offered, before which Fr. Damascene (Christensen), who is now the abbot of St. Herman's Monastery, offered a reflection on Fr. Seraphim's recently-discovered spiritual journal, highlighting his relentlessness in combating sin, and his emphasis on nourishing himself with the writings of the Holy Fathers. Fr. Damascene was introduced by then-abbot Fr. Hilarion.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Timothy R. Furnish: Beheading in the Name of Islam

My friend — and fearless scholar of Islam, Mahdism, and Islamic eschatology — Tim Furnish, wrote this article over a decade ago, before the rise of ISIS and some of the more attention grabbing Islamic beheadings of recent years. In the article, Dr. Furnish sheds light on the bloody penchant for beheadings embedded in Islam's DNA. This helps to explain why the Islamic State Caliphate and other devout Muslim groups and "known wolves" are so intent to"strike the necks" of their victims.

Beheading in the Name of Islam
by Timothy R. Furnish, Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2005, pp 51-57

Timothy R. Furnish holds a PhD in Islamic History and is an author, analyst, and consultant to the US military who specializes in transnational Islamic movements, eschatology and Mahdism. His website is

An ISIS jihadi joyfully displaying his victim's head, July 2014.

Images of masked terrorists standing behind Western hostages in Iraq and Saudi Arabia have become all too common on Arabic satellite stations such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Manar. Islamist websites such as Muntadiyat al-Mahdi[1] go further, streaming video of their murder.

The February 2002 decapitation of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, true to its intention, horrified the Western audience. Chechen rebels, egged on by Islamist benefactors, had adopted the practice four years earlier,[2] but the absence of widely broadcast videos limited the psychological impact of hostage decapitation. The Pearl murder and video catalyzed the resurgence of this historical Islamic practice. In Iraq, terrorists filmed the beheadings of Americans Nicholas Berg, Jack Hensley, and Eugene Armstrong. Other victims include Turks, an Egyptian, a Korean, Bulgarians, a British businessman, and a Nepalese. Scores of Iraqis, both Kurds and Arabs, have also fallen victim to Islamist terrorists' knives. The new fad in terrorist brutality has extended to Saudi Arabia where Islamist terrorists murdered American businessman Paul Johnson, whose head was later discovered in a freezer in an Al-Qaeda hideout. A variation upon this theme would be the practice of Islamists slitting the throats of those opponents they label infidels. This is what happened to Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, first gunned down and then mutilated on an Amsterdam street,[3] and to an Egyptian Coptic family in New Jersey after the father had angered Islamists with Internet chat room criticisms of Islam.[4]

The purpose of terrorism is to strike fear into the hearts of opponents in order to win political concession. As the shock value wears off and the Western world becomes immunized to any particular tactic, terrorists develop new ones in order to maximize shock and the press reaction upon which they thrive. In the 1970s and 1980s, terrorists hijacked airliners to win headlines. In the 1980s and 1990s, the car bomb became more popular; Palestinian terrorists perfected suicide bombings in the 1990s. But what once garnered days of commentary now generates only hours. Decapitation has become the latest fashion. In many ways, it sends terrorism back to the future. Unlike hijackings and car bombs, ritual beheading has a long precedent in Islamic theology and history.

Monday, August 29, 2016

St John the Baptist - Forerunner of those 'beheaded for their witness to Jesus Christ'

The prophetic significance of Muslim beheadings of Christians.

The Beheading of St John the Forerunner, commemorated August 29 in the Orthodox Church.

[Originally posted August 31, 2014]

John the Baptist’s rich and descriptive title in the Orthodox Church is, “The Holy, Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John.” He is much more than “John the Baptist.”  He is a sign, a mystery

As “The Forerunner” he is a clear sign of the First Coming of Christ, but also of the Second Coming; he is a mystery of the fulfillment of this age, and of its trials and woes.

Jesus Himself called John “the greatest born of woman” and “more than a prophet.” The Church considers him to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophets, just as the Virgin Mary  — the Mother of God — is the fulfillment of righteousness through the Old Testament lineage in preparation for the Messiah. 

As the Messiah Himself spoke to the crowds after John’s disciples came and saw the signs He was doing:
Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John… “What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: 
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ [Malachi 3:1]
“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”  (Matthew 11:7-12)

John is the Forerunner of Christ, fulfilling the prophecy of Elijah coming to restore all things:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord…(Malachi 4:5-6)
“For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.”  (Matthew 11:13-15)

John the Forerunner was beheaded “for righteousness sake,” for warning and calling the corrupt and dissipated King Herod to repentance. Yet this is not some dark and dire event, but a radiant, joyous, shining witness (Greek: martyria) for us to emulate.

St. Justin Popovich teaches that St. John "had become the first of all the Holy Martyrs of the New Testament":

See how he suffered for God's truth in this world! He suffered joyously! In today's principal hymn and prayer to him it is said that he went to his death rejoicing, and that he suffered rejoicing[See John 3:29.]  Thus he became the first example and inspiration to all the Holy Martyrs in the New Testament, beginning with St. Stephen the Protomartyr and through today. 
All of the Holy Martyrs go to their death rejoicing...

As the first one beheaded for righteousness sake — that is, for his witness to Christ, for Christ is our righteousness — John is shown to be the Forerunner of the last great wave of martyrs for Jesus:
“Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God…” (Apocalypse 20:4)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Athens allows first mosque in 180 years

"The first official mosque is to be erected in the Greek capital, Athens, ending an almost two-century ban on building a Muslim worship place by the government."
"I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war." - Psalm 120:7

It remains to be seen what new demands and pressures will be exerted by Islamic supremacists following this historic capitulation by the Greek government, let alone the ever-present threat of Muslim terrorist attacks experienced throughout the Balkans, Europe, Russia... everywhere.

Athens allows first mosque in 180 years
Pravmir, August 22, 2016:

Photo: An annex of the Museum of Greek Folk Art, the Tzistarakis Mosque in the center of Athens, in use until the end of Ottoman rule in 1832.

This month, the government passed a bill to accelerate 10-year-old plans to build a mosque in the Athens neighbourhood of Votanikos.

No new mosque has been built in Athens since the Ottoman Empire’s rule ended over Greece in 1829.

Islam was the official religion of the old Ottoman Empire and up to one million Muslims are still believed to be living in Greece.

In Athens alone, approximately 200,000 Muslims are using an estimated 100 informal mosques, mostly in garages or converted basements, for prayer and other forms of worship.

With the recent arrival of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa this number has risen even further, intensifying the need for more mosques.

Athens is currently the only EU capital without one but that is now set to change.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Raymond Ibrahim: 'Can Quranism Save Islam?'

"Even if every single Muslim was to reject the Hadith and other “secondary books,” that wouldn’t change the fact that the Quran is saturated with violent and intolerant teachings that need little supplementation from secondary literature."

by Raymond Ibrahim, PJ MediaAugust 15, 2016:

Huffington Post recently published an article titled “The Source of Muslim Extremism” authored by Mike Ghouse (described as “a speaker, thinker, and a writer” who “offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day”).  He argues that all violence and intolerance committed “in the name of Islam is coming from a single source; the secondary books. The Quran is the only authentic book and we cannot go wrong with it.  Until we reject those other books, we don’t have a prayer.”

Among these “secondary books” Ghouse identifies the Hadith, which contains the words and deeds of Islam’s prophet Muhammad:  “As a first step towards fixing our problems, we need to rehabilitate the Hadith.”  By this he means that any hadith not “compatible with the statements that God is just and the Prophet is a mercy to the mankind” are to be expunged.

“Let’s stick to the Quran, we simply cannot go wrong,” concludes Ghouse.

What to make of this argument?

First, it should be noted that it is not original to Ghouse; this position belongs to a small sect of reformist/heretical (depending on who you ask) Muslims known as “Quranists.” Their movement, Quranism, goes back decades with echoes even earlier.  It holds “the Qur’an to be the only authentic source of Islamic faith. Quranists generally reject, therefore, the religious authority and authenticity of hadith, Sunnah, and reject traditional Sharia Law, with the assertion that they are false attributes to the Islamic Prophet Muhammed. This is in contrast to the Sunni, Shia and Ibadi doctrines, which consider hadith necessary for Islamic faith.”

Monday, August 15, 2016

Islam and the Rewriting of Biblical History and Theology

"Is the Qur'an and the Bible telling the same story? Or has the Qur'an deliberately undermined the biblical story by removing the promise of the coming Savior, the Fall, the atonement, and God's redemptive work through Jesus Christ?"

by Tony Costa, Answering Muslims, August 8, 2016:

The novelist George Orwell once remarked that, "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history." History is a collection and a record of the past. But if what if someone does not like a piece of history and wants to turn back time and change it? Since no one can go back in time and change the past as we see in science fiction movies and novels, one way is to rewrite the history of the past and with enough persistence people will believe the new version.

It has been done in the past. Adolf Hitler was able with enough rhetoric and repetition to convince many Germans that the Jews were responsible for all the world's ills. Hitler even created a school of his own academics who aimed to remove any and all Jewish elements from the Bible and Christianity. Some even advocated the view that Jesus was not a Jew, but rather an Aryan, the people group Hitler taught the German people were descended from. The apostle Paul was a Jew, but the Nazis taught that he had subverted the teachings of Jesus, much like many Muslim apologists claim today about Paul. Jesus, they taught, was an Aryan who sought and struggled to destroy Judaism and the Jews, but in the Nazi revised narrative, the Jews killed Jesus. Germans were now called upon to take up the cause of Jesus the Aryan and to carry on his fight and struggle by eliminating the Jews. For more on this see a summary of the book The Aryan Jesus by Susannah Heschel by going here.

This exercise in rewriting and revising history is very similar to the second century heretic Marcion who also wanted to eradicate the human and Jewish Jesus in place of a purely spiritual Jesus who had no body. Marcion did this by getting rid of the Old Testament, but he did't stop there. In his new version of the New Testament he kept only the gospel of Luke but not before removing the first two chapters because they were too "Jewish" and began his version of Luke with chapter 3. He also kept Paul's thirteen letters because he thought Paul was anti-Jewish which of course he was not as he was a Jew himself. Marcion discarded all the other New Testament books. The Church of course remained steadfast and maintained all of the inspired books in the canon including the Old Testament.

"The Qur'an rewrites and sabotages the biblical story... to show that Islam has been the religion of God from the beginning and that all the prophets were Muslims."

Now what does this all have to do with Islam? Quite a bit. When someone reads the Qur'an they are struck by the fact that many of the stories seem at first to resemble the biblical stories (the Flood, the exodus from Egypt, etc) but upon closer inspection we quickly see that the stories are quite different in many respects. They seem to be copied from other sources like the apocryphal gospels, the Jewish Talmud and Mishnah, Zoroastrian writings, etc. Certainly, if the author(s) of the Qur'an knew the Bible how could he / they have recorded all these stories incorrectly? First of all it seems clear that there was no Arabic Bible in Muhammad's day and he had no access to such a Bible. Even if he was illiterate which some scholars dispute, would he not have been able to remember these biblical stories if they were dictated orally?

When we look at the Qur'an as a whole, what we discover is that there is a carefully planned plot from the very beginning. The Qur'an rewrites the biblical story and actually sabotages it. For what purpose? To show that Islam has been the religion of God from the beginning and that all the prophets were Muslims.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Turkish Authorities Ban Christian Liturgy in Panagia Sumela Monastery

The doors of the Sumela Monastery reopened in June 2010, after 88 years. The Turkish government had given permission to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to have a patriarchal liturgy for the Feast of the Assumption every year. That permission has been suddenly revoked.

That the Greek Orthodox need special permission to celebrate divine services in any of their churches in what is now Turkey is a dark reminder of Islamic oppression of Eastern Christians from the mid-7th century, and especially from 1453 through the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.

From my article, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Assassination Plot in Historical Context:

Ever since the Fall of Constantinople to the Muslim armies in 1453, Christians in what is now Turkey have been reduced to second-class citizens (and persecuted nearly to extinction) through the institution of the dhimma, the contract of protection which subjugates Christians to Muslim rule under humiliating, demeaning terms. 
Under the dhimma, Christians have to pay the exorbitant jizya tax, cannot build new churches, cannot repair existing ones, cannot share their faith outside their church buildings, cannot convert Muslims, etc. One aspect of the dhimma most terrifying is the concept of "collective punishment." If one Christian violates the dhimma contract, Muslims may attack any or all Christians...
Important to keep in mind is the role played not only by the faithful Patriarch Martyrs, but by other clergy and even monastics in the eventual liberation of Greece... Eventually, the Serbs and Bulgarians threw off the Muslim yoke as well. 
It was this series of humiliating defeats during the nineteenth century, and losses in the Balkan Wars of the early twentieth century, which enraged the Turkish Muslims, who turned on the weakest elements of their Christian population, precipitating their infamous genocide against the Christians of Armenia, Greece, Pontus, and Syria, massacring over 3.6 million men, women and children (some dying from starvation, disease and the forced deportations) from 1894 to 1922. 
Sporadic persecutions against remaining Christians extended well into the 1950s, perhaps the worst example being the Istanbul Pogroms of 1955, which dealt a crushing blow to the Orthodox Christian community in Turkey. 
The Greek population of Turkey had already been reduced to about 120,000 in 1927 (following the main period of the Orthodox Christian Genocide); by 1978 it had collapsed to only 7,000. According to the Human Rights Watch, by 2006 there were only 2500 Greeks in Turkey.