Thursday, April 30, 2015

Once magnet for Foreign Mujahedeen’, Bosnia now exports them

Thousands of Bosnian Muslims "have adopted the ultraconservative Salafist brand of Sunni Islam... and their ranks are suspected of supplying scores of fighters to the wars in the Middle East…"

by Rusmir Smajilhodzic, AFP, April 29, 2015
h/t Jihad Watch

Church in Kosovo destroyed by Bosnian Muslims
A magnet for foreign jihadists during its 1990s war, Bosnia is now grappling with the threat from home-grown extremists wooed by the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

While most Bosnian Muslims are moderates, a few thousand have adopted the ultraconservative Salafist brand of Sunni Islam introduced by the fighters who flocked to Bosnia from North Africa, the Middle East and Asia during the 1992-1995 conflict between Serbs, Muslims and Croats.

Most of those foreign fighters, or “mujahedeen”, left Bosnia when the war ended.

But the seed had already been sown. Twenty years on, the radical preachers giving fiery sermons in “mesdzids”, or improvised prayer halls, are no longer foreigners.

Those taking up arms are also local men.

On Monday, a gunman shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest” in Arabic) opened fire on a police station in the eastern town of Zvornik, killing one officer and wounding two others before being killed in a shootout.

Islamic State bombs Assyrian, Armenian churches in Syria

300 Assyrians captured in February attacks, entire villages emptied of Christians, expected never to return. Islam's endless war and genocide against Christians continues.

AINA, April 29, 2015

St. Odisho Assyrian Church in Tel Tal, Syria, after the ISIS bombing on April 28.

(AINA) — According to reports from Syria and also the Turkish press, ISIS has bombed two churches in Syria, the St. Odisho Assyrian Church in Tel Tal and the St. Rita Tilel Armenian Church in Aleppo. The churches were bombed yesterday.

ISIS using Children and even Infants for Propaganda

Shocking images horrify Westerners, but inspire and recruit Muslims from Western countries.

Notice the birth certificate in the photo below, which confirms the Islamic State's status as a sovereign state.

“This baby is dangerous for you, not only for us” - a photograph's title reads.

ISIS using Children and even Infants
Pravoslavie — April 29, 2015

Children who were born on the territory controlled by “the Islamic State” are becoming objects of propaganda by the terrorist organization. The recent cases of “black PR” of ISIS have shocked internet users all over the world, report news agencies.

Specifically, the first reels that were uploaded in the internet by the takfirists at the turn of last year, showed the horrific pictures of combat training of children of preschool, primary school, and secondary school ages.

Russia's Chechnya becomes Biggest Contributor of Jihadists to ISIS

An important perspective and analysis which gets little reporting in the West. Russia herself seems very strong in responding to internal Islamic jihadi threats, especially considering her relatively large Muslim population (approximately 15% according to some estimates), in one operation alone rounding up 300 Muslim extremists. 

  • Russia’s Chechnya becomes biggest contributor of jihadists to ISIS
  • Chechen youth from Georgia’s Pansiki Gorge joining ISIS in droves
by John J. Xenakis, Breitbart News — April 18, 2015

Umar al-Shishani (center), ISIS’s military emir in Syria,
is a Kist Chechen from Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge (RFERL)
For years, I have been writing about the very stupid policy of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin of sending money and heavy weapons to Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s genocidal attack on innocent Sunni women and children. By 2012, reports made it evident that young Sunni men from around the world were traveling to Syria to fight al-Assad, and this included young men from the North Caucasus (Russia’s southern provinces). I wrote repeatedly that those young men were going to get terrorism training and return to their home countries, in this case Russia.

Since then, those predictions have been coming true with a vengeance. We have seen al-Assad’s genocidal acts, supported by troops and weapons from Russia, bring about the creation of several jihadist groups, most recently the Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

Although countries around the world have supplied young jihadists to ISIS, the biggest non-Mideast contributors are not America or European countries. The biggest contributor is Russia. The number of Russian nationals fighting with ISIS has roughly doubled over the past year. Russia’s own Federal Security Service (FSB) estimates that 1,700 militants from Russia have joined ISIS, but that figure seems too low to be plausible. Other estimates range from 3,000 to 5,000.

Many of these are runaway teen Chechens who grew up during Russia’s wars in Chechnya during the 1990s, saw their relatives and friends killed by the Russian military, and are now seeking an opportunity for revenge.

What is an Armenian Christian?

An introduction to the First Nation to adopt Christianity, in 301 A.D.

See also: 

What is an Armenian Christian?
by Anton C. Vrame, Ph.D.
Director, Department of Religious Education
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
April 25, 2015

The Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum

On April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. They were sent to Chankri and Ayash (cities in central Anatolia), where they were later slain. For this reason, April 24 marks the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, where it is estimated between 1 and 1.5 million people were killed ( Many American cities, especially those with sizeable Armenian populations such as Boston, will be marking the 100th anniversary with prayer and vigil, but also the continued effort to have these mass killings recognized around the world as the first genocide of the 20th century ( 

Today (April 24, 2015) in Yerevan, Armenia, the Armenian Church canonized the victims as saints.

The Ottomans also singled out other minority communities at this time, including the Greek Orthodox and Assyrian Christian. Many Greek Orthodox readers of this article may trace their roots to Anatolia and the population exchanges in the 1920s between Greece and Turkey.

Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity, in 301 AD, but Tradition holds that St. Thaddeus, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, preached there in the first century. The Armenian Church did not accept the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon, 451, (the Fourth Ecumenical Council) and subsequent councils. This early schism in Christianity has yet to be reconciled, although great progress has been made in the last fifty years.

What do Armenian Christians believe? Space prohibits a detailed examination, but some brief statements (From Welcome to the Armenian Church, published by St. Vartan Press of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Eastern), we find the following:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

CNN: American Muslims Linked to ISIS

A straightforward report which at least attempts to document the growing numbers of American Muslims joining the Islamic State to wage or support jihad. 

Not addressed in any way is the connection to these Muslims' local mosques, their imams, their connections, what they teach, what materials they promote, whether they are funded by Islamic governments overseas. These are not only valid, but essential questions, as four separate studies since 1999 have shown that upwards of 80% of mosques in the United States promote jihad.


Americans linked to ISIS
CNN — Updated April 23, 2015 (Thanks to Anita)

It's unclear how many Americans have been caught attempting to join or help ISIS, but National Intelligence Director James Clapper has said 180 Americans have tried to go fight in Syria. Experts say most of them are disillusioned young people trying to find purpose or make their mark. While that's largely true, there are outliers. Below are details about some of the cases that have been made public.

Donald Morgan, age 'unknown' —Salisbury, North Carolina
U.S. authorities arrested an American man returning from overseas who they say is a sympathizer of the terrorist group ISIS. Morgan was arrested on August 2 on arrival at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport from Frankfurt, Germany, according to federal court documents.

Mufid Elfgeeh, age 30 —Rochester, New York
A man who owns an upstate New York food store funded ISIS, tried to send jihadists to Syria to fight with the terrorist group and plotted to do some killing himself -- by gunning down U.S. troops who had served in Iraq -- federal authorities alleged Tuesday. Elfgeeh, 30, was arrested for trying "to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization" (namely, ISIS), one count of attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, two counts of having an unregistered firearm silencer and one for possessing guns or silencers "in furtherance of a crime of violence."

After Fresh Tragedy, Syrian Christian Leader Warns: 'We Could Disappear'

"We read in the Bible that [the Devil] is the father of lies, the master of money, and the lord of blood and death. We see all three in this war...  I think perhaps ultimately this is a Satanic work, because it’s almost impossible to understand otherwise." —Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Archparchy of Aleppo

By John L. Allen Jr. April 28, 2015

One of the many dozens of Orthodox churches destroyed in Syria
by ISIS and its affiliates. (Photo: OrthodoxyToday)
While most of the world celebrated Easter 2015 with church services and family get-togethers, Christians in the Syrian city of Aleppo spent the holiday digging through rubble to locate the bodies of 15 people who died after a ferocious round of rocket bombs rained down on a Christian neighborhood.

It was merely the latest assault on Christians in the city, which has seen some of the most intense fighting between jihadists and Syrian forces.

Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Archparchy of Aleppo, was on the scene immediately afterwards. Among the lost was an entire Melkite Greek family of four, crushed to death when a section of their apartment building collapsed. One of Jeanbart’s grim responsibilities was to find a suitable spot for their burial, since the cemetery used by his Church for centuries is now a battle zone ringed by snipers.

It was hardly the 72-year-old prelate’s first taste of tragedy.

In October 2012, his own priest secretary and protégé, the Rev. Imad Daher, was nearly killed when a bomb exploded near the archbishop’s residence. Daher had to be helicoptered to Beirut for the first of seven surgeries, which, among other things, cost him one of his eyes.

Not long ago, Jeanbart himself was driving to Beirut when an armed band shot out the tires of his car and forced it from the road, perhaps with the aim of either killing or kidnapping him. (Abducting Christian clergy has become a cottage industry.) Jeanbart and his driver escaped when a military convoy happened to pass by, prompting the assailants to flee.

Prior to the war, Christians were 10 percent of Syria’s population, but faced with such carnage, scores have fled. The roots of the faith in the country reach back to the age of the apostles, but today Jeanbart warns ominously, “We could disappear.”

Despite it all, Jeanbart vows he will “never stop fighting” to keep the Church alive. (The Melkite Greek church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See.)

Jeanbart sat down for an exclusive interview with Crux on April 25 during a tour of the United States sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic group supporting persecuted Christians. Among other topics, he discussed calls for an international military response to ISIS, charges that Christian clergy in Syria are too close to the Assad regime, and the role played by Pope Francis on the Syrian conflict.

The following are excerpts from that conversation.

* * *

Crux: How many Christians are left in Aleppo?

Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria
Jeanbart: Before the war we were around 170,000. We don’t have reliable statistics today, but we may be around 100,000, maybe less. Most [who have left] aren’t very far away, in the southern part of the country or in Lebanon. On the other hand, some have gone to Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia, Sweden, and so on. We worry about these people, because we’re not sure they’ll ever come back.

After what happened on Easter, people don’t know what to do. They’re afraid we’ll have the same scenario as Mosul. (Mosul is an Iraqi city under ISIS domination where virtually all Christians have been driven out, and where militants destroyed Christian gravesites over Easter in an effort to eradicate remaining symbols of the faith.)

ISIS Posting Pics of Targets in Rome and Milan via Social Media

Photos of handwritten notes in front of landmarks read, “We are on your streets, we are locating targets.”


Handwritten ISIS notes ‘in front of Rome, Milan monuments'
ANSA, April 28, 2015

(ANSA) – Rome, April 27 – ISIS supporters are tweeting photos of handwritten pieces of paper signed by ISIS being held in front of well-known locations and monuments in Rome and Milan, intelligence and counter-terrorism expert Rita Katz said on the website of her organisation SITE. “We are on your streets, we are locating targets,” the signs reportedly say.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Raymond Ibrahim: 'The Islamic Genocide of Christians: Past and Present'

"There is no denying that religion — or in this context, the age-old specter of Muslim persecution of Christian minorities — was fundamental to the genocide of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians... This is daily demonstrated throughout the Islamic world today, where Muslim governments, mobs, and jihadis persecute Christian minorities — minorities who share the same ethnicity, language, and culture as Muslims, but not religion."

by Raymond Ibrahim — April 26, 2015

Last Friday, April 24, we remembered how exactly 100 years ago the last historic Muslim caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, tried to cleanse its empire of Christian minorities — Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks — even as we stand by watching as the new caliphate, the Islamic State, resumes the genocide.

And in both cases, the atrocities were and are being committed in the name of Islam.
In November, 1914, during WWI, the Ottoman caliphate issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, proclaiming it a “sacred duty” for all Muslims to “massacre” infidels — specifically naming the “Christian men” of the Triple Entente, “the enemies of Islam” — with promises of great rewards in the afterlife.

The same Koran verses that the Islamic State and other jihadi outfits regularly quote permeated the Ottoman fatwa, including:  “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them — seize them, besiege them, and be ready to ambush them” (9:5) and “O you who have believed! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are but friends of each other; and whoever among you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them” (5:51) — and several other verses that form the Islamic doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity.

Pictures from the Ceremony held at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex

Courtesy of OCP Media, April 24, 2015

Many more photos and links to additional sources at OCP Media.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Christians Pay Islam’s Price for Freedom: Muslim Persecution of Christians, January 2015

Following the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris, Muslims around the Islamic world avenged Muhammad over the satirical magazine's cartoons of the false prophet by attacking Christian minorities in the context of “collective punishment.”

by Raymond Ibrahim — April 19, 2015

The New Year began with Muslim gunmen killing a dozen people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7.  The attack was motivated by the publication of unflattering caricatures of Islam’s prophet Muhammad.

Lesser known is that, all throughout the Islamic world, the magazine’s caricatures of Muhammad were blamed on Christianity by Muslims who seem not to realize that the magazine habitually pokes fun at Christ, Moses, and all other religious figures.   In Palestinian territories, for example, protesters held up a sign with images of the Muslim killers behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre; the caption below said “Expect more from the champions of Islam, O you slaves of the Cross” (bold in original Arabic).

Accordingly, Muslims around the Islamic world attacked Christian minorities in the context of “collective punishment.”

In Niger, Muslim mobs, reportedly spurred on by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, torched approximately 45 Christian churches, a Christian school and orphanage, two nuns’ convents, and pastors’ homes in response to the Muhammad cartoons.  At least 10 people were killed in the clashes; pastors in the capital Niamey said anyone associated with churches—anyone exposed as Christian—was targeted.

According to a nun who escaped the violence, “the intention was to torch all the churches with us inside them” and thus “burn us alive!”  Added the nun: “Boko Haram students believe they must kill Christians in order to take their place in paradise but we won’t surrender to fear because love must prevail over hatred.”

In Pakistan, some 300 Muslim students armed with iron bars and sticks and shouting anti-Christian slogans, attacked a Christian boys’ school in “retaliation” to the Muhammad cartoons, leaving four Christian students injured.  According to eyewitnesses, the three officers deployed to guard the school stood by and watched.

Regarding this attack, Nasir Saeed, director of the NGO Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement, said: “It is very sad that Islamic radicals attack Pakistani Christians because of Charlie Hebdo. Christians condemn the blasphemous cartoons. It is a shame that even after 67 years since the birth of Pakistan, Christians have not yet been considered Pakistani citizens, but are seen as “Western allies”….  Whenever incidents occur in western countries, the faithful Pakistanis are attacked. Christians, who are already living under constant fear for their lives, become even more vulnerable.”

In fact, from an Islamic perspective, peoples are not classified according to nationality but religion.  It is irrelevant that those who insult the prophet of Islam are French, or European, or American.  To Muslims around the world, all those terms are synonymous with “Christians.”  Thus, years before the world heard of “ISIS,” Christian minorities in Iraq were being targeted and killed “over their religious ties with the West.”

The rest of January’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.

Islamic State Warns Those Who Refuse Islam Will Die like Ethiopians in Libya Video

"The latest recording [is] a treatise on persecuting Christians. Using numerous citations from the Koran and the Sunnah (the sayings and actions of Muhammad), along with quotes from a consensus of Islamic scholars, IS labels Christianity a false religion and calls persecution of Christians a 'fundamental' aspect of Islam."

Morning Star News — April 24, 2015

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – In a video showing the cruel execution of 28 Ethiopian Christians, the militant Sunni terrorist group Islamic State (IS) says persecution of Christians is fundamental to Islam.

In the video released late Sunday night (April 19), IS (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) warns that if Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere refuse Islam, they also will be slain. An IS spokesman gives Christians three options – convert to Islam, submit to the rule of Islam and pay the Jizya (tribute) or be killed.

“We say to Christians everywhere, the Islamic State will expand, with Allah’s permission,” a spokesman identified as Sheik Abu Malik Anas An-Nashwan says. “And it will reach you even if you are in fortified strongholds. So whoever enters Islam will have security, and whoever accepts the Dhimmah contract will have security. But whoever refuses will see nothing from us but the edge of a spear. The men will be killed and the children will be enslaved, and their wealth will be taken as booty. This is the judgment of Allah and His Messenger.”

The statement comes after the execution of 28 men identified by IS as, “The worshipers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian Church.” IS shows the 28 Christians divided into two groups of men being marched to their place of execution with their arms bound behind their backs. One group is held at a coastal area identified as “Wilayat Barqa” (Barqa State) in Libya, and the other is located inland in the desert scrub brush of “Wilayat Fazzan” (Fazzan State), also in Libya.

The men in both groups are lined up and then forced to kneel in the sand. After a man who appears in at least one other IS video gives a statement, the men in the desert are shot in the back of their heads. The video switches seaside, where the men there are pushed down into the sand and their throats are slit. Then all the men are beheaded.

The segment ends with close-ups of the heads of several victims being stacked onto their bodies as blood flows into the sea. Then the screen goes blank, and An-Nashwan appears.

'Sacrificing and Sacrificed for the Faith' — Martyrdom a Hundred Years Ago and Today

"...The history of the Christians in the Middle East is a story whose roots go back to creation, to the account in the Book of Genesis about the first crime committed in history, Cain’s murder of his brother Abel..."

Here is a striking theological look at Islam's unending war against Christians. It is clear that symbolically, Righteous Abel represents the humble, pious and forgiving Christians, who offer "a more excellent sacrifice" than the degenerate Cain, who represents Islam and Muslims, who "attack true worship and brotherhood." In Metropolitan Siluan's words,
"Cain irremediably attacks both existential dimensions of his life, the vertical and horizontal when he attacks true worship and brotherhood. On the other hand, in his person Abel saves, “offering up and offered by faith,” true worship and sacrifice to God. Furthermore, God accepts Abel’s offering and receives him as a sacrifice."


by Metropolitan Siluan of Buenos Aires and All Argentina
Notes on Arab Orthodoxy via Pravmir — April 26, 2015

“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4)

The Christian East continues in the footsteps of its Master, sacrificing and in turn being sacrificed upon the altar of martyrdom, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master” (Matthew 10:24). This offering-martyrdom is the cup from which many of our brothers have drank and currently drink, confirming the words of the Lord to James and John on the threshold of His passion, “You will indeed drink My cup” (Matthew 20:23).

It is clear that the history of the Christians in the Middle East is at once painful and glorious. It is painful on account of the great pain and suffering that they experience on earth and glorious on account of the dignity and grace that they receive in heaven. It is a story whose roots go back to creation, to the account in the Book of Genesis about the first crime committed in history, Cain’s murder of his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8). From his point of view, Cain sacrifices on the altar of his degeneracy God and his brother. Thus, Cain irremediably attacks both existential dimensions of his life, the vertical and horizontal when he attacks true worship and brotherhood. 

On the other hand, in his person Abel saves, “offering up and offered by faith”, true worship and sacrifice to God. Furthermore, God accepts Abel’s offering and receives him as a sacrifice. Later, when he recalls this episode, the Apostle Paul highlights Abel’s faith and its impact even until today: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4)

Today the voice of Abel echoes loudly as the Christians of the East in general and the Middle East in particular commemorate the atrocities perpetrated against their communities at the end of the Ottoman Empire, from 1915 onward. According to historians, a policy of methodical extermination, without precedent in history, was carried out at the hands of the Turks, causing the martyrdom of some five million Christians – Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Armenians and Orthodox: men, women and children. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Boston University to host Millennial Studies Conference on Islamic Eschatology, May 3-4

Boston University is hosting a conference on Mahdism, May 3-4, entitled 'Apocalyptic Hopes, Millennial Dreams and Global Jihad' with some impressive speakers, including Islamic history and eschatology scholar Timothy R. Furnish, whose articles are often featured here at Facing Islam.

The two other speakers with whom I am familiar are:
If you are able to attend, by all means make every effort, as this promises to be a significant event. Anyone attending, I would be very interested posting your review, summary and impressions of the conference. Contact me through my profile listing in the left-hand column.

Tim exuberantly shares, "My paper is entitled 'Rejecting Millennial Time: The Ottoman Empire's 700-year War against Mahdism in its Realm'.  I'm honored to be sharing the stage with the likes of the august folks listed above!"  

Read more of Tim Furnish's preview of his talk at his website,  MahdiWatch.

Below are the highlights from the Boston University Event Listing:

Churches in Turkey on the Verge of Extinction

"Turkey... has largely succeeded in destroying the entire Christian cultural heritage of Asia Minor."


by Uzay Bulut
Gatestone Institute via Raymond Ibrahim — April 21, 2015

While Eastern Orthodox Christians recently celebrated their Easter holy week, a historic church in Istanbul — the once magnificent Christian city of Constantinople — is witnessing yet another abuse at the hands of its current authorities.

“The historic Istanbul cathedral and museum, Hagia Sophia, witnessed its first Quran recitation under its roof after 85 years Saturday,” reported the state-run Anatolian News Agency of Turkey. “The Religious Affairs Directorate launched the exhibition “Love of Prophet,” as part of commemorations of the birth of Islamic Prophet Muhammad.”

Even though Christians are a tiny minority in Turkey today, Christianity has a long history in Asia Minor, the birthplace of many Christian Apostles and Saints, including Paul of Tarsus, Timothy, Nicholas of Myra, and Polycarp of Smyrna.

All of the first seven Ecumenical Councils were held in what is today Turkey. Two out of the five centers (Patriarchates) of the ancient Pentarchy — Constantinople (Istanbul) and Antioch (Antakya) — are also situated there. Antioch was the place where, for the first time, the followers of Jesus were called “Christians.”

Turkey is also home to the Seven Churches of Asia, where were sent the Revelations to John. During the centuries that followed, countless churches were established throughout the region.

One of them, Hagia Sophia, was once the grandest cathedral in the Christian world — until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans on May 29, 1453, followed by a three days of unbridled pillage.[1]

Hagia Sophia was not exempt. Pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors. Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became spoils to be divided among the Ottoman invaders.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pictures of Armenian Genocide Centennial Rallies Throughout the World

Photographic coverage of global commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Visit our special Armenian Genocide Resource Page...

Flags of the victims of the genocide:
Armenian, Assyrian, Greek (L to R)
AINA — April 25, 2015

"We have made a clean sweep of the Armenians and Assyrians of Azerbaijan" -- Those were the words of Djevdet Bey, the governor of Van Province in Ottoman Turkey, who on April 24, 1915 lead 20,000 Turkish soldiers and 10,000 Kurdish irregulars in the opening act of the genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks.

Between 1915 and 1918 750,000 Assyrians (75%), 500,000 Greeks and 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks and Kurds in a genocide that aimed at and nearly succeeded in destroying the Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire.

Kurds acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and their role in it

Obama sides with the Turks who "have been trying to erase the genocide from history, shortly after they gave up trying to erase the Armenians from history."

Visit our special Armenian Genocide Resource Page...

by John Hayward, Breitbart News — April 24, 2015

Mourners at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum (REUTERS)
The hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide caused many world leaders to blink, notably President Barack Obama, who abandoned his old campaign promises–and fiery criticism of the Bush administration–by refusing to acknowledge it. Much of this moral cowardice emanates from Western politicians who wish to curry favor with the Turkish government. The Turks have been trying to erase the genocide from history, shortly after they gave up trying to erase the Armenians from history.

Kurdish leaders, however, have been frank in acknowledging the genocide, and the role their own people played as soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut took a long look at the Kurdish recognition, and the desire of Turkish writers to break ranks with their government and acknowledge the past, for International Business Times.

The growing list of Muslim Student Association (MSA) terrorists

MSA was founded in the United States in 1963 by members of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood seeks a global Islamic state and has spawned leaders of a series of Sunni terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and ISIS. See

Anwar al-Awlaki, former MSA member,
and the mosque he led in Falls Church, VA.
“Jihad against America is binding upon
myself as it is binding on every
other able Muslim.”
There are some high-profile, Muslim terrorists on this list, whose names you will probably recognize,  such as Anwar al-Awlaki and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and whose targets you certainly will (including 9/11 and the Fort Hood jihad massacre).

Why is it important to be aware of these connections?

For one thing, the number of Orthodox Christians in the United States is roughly equivalent to the number of Muslims. How many Orthodox Christian terrorists have we seen over the last twenty years or so?

Secondly, the recent case of Hoda Muthani the Mujahideen, a quiet, moderate Muslim student in a business school in Alabama, who fled to join ISIS in Syria, reminds us how strong is the jihadist pull, even for young, affluent, well educated, American-born Muslims.

These are hard facts to accept for some, but there is clearly a link between Islam and terrorist activity, and that link starts right with the Koran and Muhammad, which is one reason I wrote my book, Facing Islam, as a primer on Islam from an Orthodox Christian perspective.

The growing list of Muslim Student Association (MSA) terrorists
Posted by Creeping Sharia, April 25, 2015

The MSA has a growing list of terrorist alumni as noted in this post, Why Muslim Student Group Concerned the NYPD:

The list is extensive, but among the MSA alumni who went on to terrorist involvement are:
  • Anwar al-Awlaki, an influential American-born al-Qaida cleric who recruited a series of homegrown jihadists before being killed by a U.S. drone strike;
  • Aafia Siddiqui, convicted of attempted murder and assault on U.S. officers and employees in Afghanistan;
  • Zachary Chesser, convicted of attempting to provide material support to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab and soliciting attacks on “South Park” producers for an episode in which the prophet Muhammad was shown in a bear suit;
  • Jesse Morton, convicted with Chesser of threatening the South Park producers with murder;
  • Adam Gadahn, an al-Qaida spokesman who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for treason and material support to al-Qaida;
  • Waheed Zaman, who was convicted of plotting to blow up transatlantic flights;
  • Adis Medunjanin, who is awaiting trial for plotting to bomb New York subways;

Joint Statement on the Second Anniversary of the Kidnapping of Archbishops Paul and John

"Paul and John are on trial; the Christian persecution for Evangelization of the first century has now returned to this land."

April 25, 2015

A Joint Statement Issued by the two Patriarchates of Antioch and of All the East: The Greek (Roum) Orthodox Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church

On the occasion of the second anniversary of kidnapping the two Metropolitans of Aleppo: His Eminence Paul (Yazigi) and His Eminence John (Abraham) on April 22, 2013

Damascus April 22, 2015

“It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” (Acts 23:6)

Paul and John are on trial; the Christian persecution for Evangelization of the first century has now returned to this land. Such persecution is not common in the East or in modern times. The consequences of this trial are not only earthly but heavenly. In this struggle, the Great Judge will prevail, for His judgement is both the case of True Man and True God.

Maybe this trial is unfair, most probably because the kidnapped are not able to plead their case. But their testimony resounds ceaselessly by their spirit and life, and echoes in the wilderness of this world.

O brethren of the Word, you are our children in Aleppo; in you and among you we planted the seeds of the true word, the word of witnessing and of ministry. Behold, the plant is growing! We see this growth in you and we are proud of its fruit. We are astounded by your perseverance, which strengthens our perseverance. We exalt your steadfastness which sustains us. We esteem your patience, which recompenses our patience. How not? You are the crown of our glory and pride (1 Thess 2.19,20) in this trial against evangelization.

O brethren of Faith, we are on trial because of what we believed in and evangelized and we served by the hand, heart and conscience. We live today on earth so that we can live thenceforth in Heaven. Man has the right to believe in the True God, and to faithfully minister with this faith his neighbor as himself. Our belief in the True Man, leads us to serve Him anywhere we are, but we will continue to be citizens where we are today. We will not deviate one iota from this determination. It deserves every sacrifice in defense of human dignity. Man is oppressed and dehumanized by the contemporary human market which offers people as a commodity in a wicked commerce. The sting of dehumanization shall be broken in this trial against dignity.

(VIDEO) Refugee Resettlement of Muslims to America - Taxpayer Funded Hijra

This is accurate and honest. Watch and share -- Notify your elected representatives.

Also check out the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog, and the Center for Security Policy.

Thanks to Creeping Sharia.

Metropolitan Tikhon: The Kingdom of Heaven is attained by living the difficult and sacrificial way of the Cross

Here is a powerful and challenging 'word' on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA. His Beatitude's message reminds me of the famous quote from Alexandr Solzhenitsyn:
"It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts...  Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil. 
… If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

For a related article, please see 'Let Us Forgive All, By The Resurrection'

Visit our special Armenian Genocide Resource Page...


Metropolitan Tikhon addresses Global Forum on Armenian Genocide
OCA, Syosset NY — April 23, 2015

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, addressed the participants in the Global Forum on the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan, the Armenian capital. The text of his address appears below.

Yerevan, Armenia
April 22, 2015

Metropolitan Tikhon at far right.
Your Holinesses, Your Eminences, Your Graces, Reverend Fathers and Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops, the clergy and the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America, I wish to thank His Holiness, Patriarch Karekin II, for his kind invitation to participate in today’s Global Forum and tomorrow’s Canonization of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide. It is a blessing to be with so many brothers and sisters from diverse Churches and organizations for this important commemoration, which touches the hearts of all who would consider themselves human beings.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Armenian Church canonizes victims of Ottoman genocide

See the Facing Islam Armenian Genocide Resource Page.

Interfax via Pravmir — April 24, 2015

Yerevan, April 24, Interfax - The Armenian Apostolic Church canonized all Armenians murdered during the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire a century ago.

Between 1 million and 1.5 million people were killed in the massacres, but the Armenian Church stated neither the number nor the names of those it canonized, calling the genocide collective martyrdom.

The canonization ceremony finished at 19:15 hours local time, symbolizing the year 1915, when the killings began.

Italian police round up terror suspects in failed Vatican plot

"Italian officials have made clear they take seriously the threat of the Islamic State group to conquer Rome..."


Italian police round up terror suspects in failed Vatican plot, deadly Pakistan attack — April 24, 2015

Italian security forces were rounding up 18 Islamic extremists Friday who prosecutors said were behind a failed 2010 plot to attack the Vatican as well as a bombing at a Pakistan market that killed more than 100 a year earlier.

Prosecutor Mauro Mura told reporters in Cagliari, Sardinia, on Friday that wiretaps indicated the suspected terrorists, including two former bodyguards for Usama bin Laden, planned a bomb attack at the Vatican and went as far as to send a suicide bomber to Rome. Mura said the attack plans never went further and that the suicide bomber left Italy, though it wasn't clear why.

“We don’t have proof, we have strong suspicion,” Mario Carta, head of the police unit leading the investigation, said when asked for more details on a possible attack against the seat of the Catholic church.

Obama Breaks Promise on 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

"It is no marvel that Obama denies the genocide of Armenian and other Christian minorities at the hands of Muslims from a century ago, when one considers that he denies the rampant Muslim persecution of Christians taking place under—and often because of—his leadership today."

by Raymond Ibrahim — April 23, 2015

Armenian Genocide protest, Times Square NYC, 2014.
As the world continues to look on in dismay at the barbaric atrocities committed against Christian minorities by the Islamic State—the self-proclaimed new “caliphate”—today, April 24, marks the genocide of Armenian and other Christian minorities by Turkey’s Islamic Ottoman Empire—the last caliphate.

Most American historians who have examined the question agree that what the Armenians experienced was a deliberate, calculated genocide:
More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse.  A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [that is, 2,500 years before the Islamic Turks invaded and occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century.  At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000.

One-and-a-half million Armenians were eradicated.  If early 20th century Turkey had the apparatuses and technology to execute in mass—such as 1940s Germany’s gas chambers—the entire Armenian population could well have been annihilated.

The atrocities suffered by Armenian and other Christian minorities are too long to list.  As occurs under the current caliphate—the Islamic State—the Muslims of the Ottoman caliphate abducted, raped, and slaughtered or sold countless Christian women and children on the Muslim slave markets.

100 bell rings worldwide symbolize Armenian Genocide centennial

OCP Media — April 23, 2015

The ceremony of canonization of the Armenian Genocide martyrs at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin concluded at a symbolic hour, 19:15. Bells in all the Armenian churches (except for those in Turkey) rang for 100 times, symbolizing the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. A moment of silence was announced afterwards. Lord’s Prayer reading and performing the Armenian chant Surb-Surb in different corners of the world by various choirs concluded the ceremony.

It is noteworthy that many non-Armenian Christian churches across the globe joined the ceremony.

Boko Haram Re-Brands as Islamic State in West Africa

"As Boko Haram (now Islamic State in West Africa) is forced to shift tactics, Boko Haram’s pledge to IS will pay off."

By Nicholas Hanlon, Center for Security Policy
April 23, 2015

There is a lot of relatively good news on the progress of the Nigerian army in it’s efforts to defeat Boko Haram.  Here is where all of the nit-picking about the differences between IS and Boko Haram will mean even less.  

Boko Haram was lionized for it’s ability to take and hold territory.  However, because of it’s primary driver as an internationally connected Islamist group that is ideologically driven, it will adapt to a new menu of tactics that resemble Al Shabaab.  This is where the relationship beetween IS and Boko Haram becomes significant.

New Resource Page on Armenian Genocide

To commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, I have just posted a new page gathering together extensive resources and articles on the Armenian Genocide, its historic place within the wider Orthodox Holocaust of 1894-1923, and its importance for us today, who are living through a new era of Islamic genocide against Christians and mass Christian martyrdom throughout the Middle East and Africa.

The Armenian Genocide Page will continue to be updated over time with new articles and links. Please visit, use, and share widely.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Christian Genocide in the Middle East and Public Apathy in America: Looking Back on 2014 and Before

The question of lack of American care and response to genocide against Christians in the Middle East and Africa has been raised on this blog, as well as elsewhere. Timothy Furnish recently shared this excerpt from a piece by blogger Matt Walsh in which, as Tim puts it, Walsh "nails this -- NAILS it":

I’m sure there would be outrage of epic proportions if over 100 black Christians in Georgia were gunned down for their faith like they were in Africa just a few weeks ago. I’m sure that if black American Christians were persecuted, we would care. If Chinese Americans or Korean Americans or Arab Americans or any other kind of American Christians were killed for their beliefs, there would be marches in the street and candle light vigils outside their homes. But for the ones dying and suffering in silence far away from our borders? We have concern, yes. But do we have that deep, seething, righteous anger at the pit of our souls? Do we cry out for justice? Do we shed tears? Do we? It doesn’t seem like it, and I don’t know why.

In an early 2014 article by Michael Brendan Dougherty titled, 'The World’s Most Ancient Christian Communities are being Destroyed — and No One Cares', I was struck in particular by this brief quote, which also seems to "nail it":
“The victims are ‘too Christian’ to excite the Left, and ‘too foreign’ to excite the Right.” —French philosopher Regis Debray
I might amend Debray's observation to read that the Christian victims are "too Eastern" to excite American Protestant/Evangelical Christians to action.

It is precisely the deeply traditional, liturgical, Eastern form of Christianity which has been preserved in the Orthodox, Coptic, Assyrian and Chaldean communions which is under renewed attack by the forces of Islam, and which is simultaneously, for the most part, ignored by American Christians who, as a general rule, are so iconoclastic nowadays as to regard Eastern Christians as being somehow sub-Christian or even non-Christian altogether.  If you wish to explore my reasoning on this point, I invite you to read my article, 'Islam's Hatred of Holy Icons — and what that means for Persecuted Eastern Christians' from July 2013.

In any case, the apathy of Americans in general, and American Christians in particular, is part of the deeper meta-narrative revealing itself in our new era of Mass Christian Martyrdom. Dr. Kyrou's outstanding article below is a welcome historical analysis and stirring challenge to us all, and comprises part of this blog's coverage of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and the Glorification of the Armenian Martyrs as Saints taking place this very day.

Christian Genocide in the Middle East and Public Apathy in America: Looking Back on 2014 and Before

by Dr. Alexandros K. Kyrou - January 14, 2015

One of the last diplomats to leave Smyrna after the Turks set the great Anatolian port city ablaze in September 1922 was the United States’ Consul General, George Horton. Reflecting on the carnage and depravity of the Turkish forces tasked by Mustafa Kemal to destroy Smyrna’s Greeks and every physical semblance of their three-millennial presence in the magnificent city on the western littoral of Asia Minor, Horton wrote that “one of the keenest impressions which I brought away from Smyrna was a feeling of shame that I belonged to the human race.” The shame that Horton expressed stemmed from his shock and disgust, both as a witness to the Turks’ genocidal frenzy and as a diplomat aware that several Western governments, including his own, had contributed to the horrors that took place in Smyrna.

'The Smyrna Catastrophe', by Vasilis Bottas

One of the chief reasons that Turkey escaped responsibility for its crimes against humanity was the complicity, albeit indirect, of several of the Western powers in those crimes. 

Over 600 Russian Cities to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

“Russia is fraternally sharing this sorrow with us.” —Ara Abramyan, Union of Armenians of Russia 

Pravoslavie — April 6, 2015

(Moscow) Several hundred events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide will be held in the Russian Federation, reports TASS. This information was received on Monday by the journalists from head of the Union of Armenians of Russia Ara Abramyan.

“Hundreds of events will take place in 640 Russian cities and towns. They will include a memorial concert at the Column hall of the House of the Unions, round tables with participation of politicians, members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Civic Chamber, the State Duma,” he noted. “Russia is fraternally sharing this sorrow with us,” Abramyan added.

The mournful anniversary will be marked on April 24.

Orthodox Patriarchs attend Opening Ceremony of ‘Against the Crime of Genocide’ Global Forum

His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon represents the OCA at historic, symbolic event.

OCP Media, April 22, 2015

Pope Tawadros II addresses gathering; Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA at far right.
His Holiness Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the Opening Ceremony of “Against the Crime of Genocide” Global Forum. His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, the President of Armenia Mr. Serzh Sarkissian, Mr. Thornborn Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, and Prof. Daniel Feierstein, President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars spoke in the High Level Segment of the Opening Ceremony. 

The Opening Ceremony was also attended by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Coptic Patriarch and Pope of Alexandria, His Beatitude Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Raii and many representatives of Churches particularly from Russia, England, Jerusalem, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and Cyprus.


Historic Canonization Service set to become one of the most powerful Christian symbols of the 21st Century.

See also: Armenian Orthodox Church to canonize all victims of the Armenian Genocide

OCP Media - April 23, 2015

Historic Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia

We invite the Armenian faithful world-wide to view the Canonization of the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. Services will be offered on 23 April, starting at 17:00 Armenia Time Zone (UTC+04:00), from the Open Air Altar at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. There are several ways to watch the event: