Unidentified assailants vandalize graves in Greek Orthodox cemetery

Several grave stones in a Greek Orthodox cemetery in the Aegean island of Gökçeada were vandalized on the night of Oct. 28, according to a press release sent to Today’s Zaman by the Foreign Ministry.

The release added that the incident was made public upon a criminal complaint filed at a prosecutor’s office by the Gökçeada Municipality. An immediate investigation was launched into the incident. Efforts are ongoing to catch the perpetrators of the attack.

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The last Orthodox patriarch in Turkey?

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the living embodiment of an ancient tradition. From his historic base in Istanbul, Turkey, the 270th Patriarch of Constantinople claims to be the direct successor of the Apostle Andrew.

Today he’s considered «first among equals» in the leadership of the Greek Orthodox church, and is the spiritual leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians around the world. But few of them are in his own home country.

«We are a small Christian minority,» Bartholomew laments.

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Jerusalem Power

To spend the past few days in the crowded, narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, among the multilingual throngs marking Passover or Easter, was to get an unforgettable sense of the power this place has over the minds of millions. It also gives an insight into some of the ways Jerusalem, and control of access to its holy sites, plays into global power politics.

For the majority of Palestinians who are Muslim, as well as for the Islamic world beyond, the Jewish state of Israel’s hold on the city since its capture from Jordan in the 1967 war is a deep grievance. Sporadic violence around the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque has flared again this year.

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The Life of the faithful Christian is a continuous Feast

A Homily of the Late Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens

Translated and edited by Protopresbyter George Dion. Dragas, PhD, DD, DTh

 Note: This year’s Celebration of the Feast of Christmas and the Feasts of the Twelve Days of Christmas, invite us to reflect on the important meaning of the Feasts which the Church has instituted for our life. All the church Feasts are connected with the Divine Economy, i.e. with the becoming man of the Son and Word of God, the Mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ, which constitutes the basis and the perspective of our salvation and the salvation of the world. This great and vital matter is the subject of the present Homily of Archbishop Christodoulos of blessed memory who fell asleep in the Lord on 28 January 2008.

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Turkey’s Forgotten Islamist Pogrom

By: Alyssa A. Lappen

In 1955, a little-known war was launched on the Greek population of Istanbul.

For 50 years, historians, diplomats and state department officials have touted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a great secular leader in a predominantly Muslim region, whose policies modernized and democratized Turkey, shaping it into a Western-style state. But Ataturk was western only insofar as he implemented the Turkification of Gobineau, wherein he substituted the Turks for the Aryans, whose ideology had terrible results in the rise of European Nazism. Regardless, in 1955, barely 17 years after the dictator’s death, a little-known pogrom, driven primarily by Islamic fanaticism, targeted the Greek population of Istanbul, with the intent of driving non-Muslims from Turkey. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Protests rise as Turkish renovation work turns church into mosque

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Istanbul – Restoration work that would result in an historic Greek Orthodox church being recognized as a mosque has caused uproar in Turkey, reported the daily Milliyet newspaper on Tuesday. At issue is the 178-year-old St Dimitrios church in the northern Turkish village of Silivri.

The village was once a Greek settlement but, after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, ethnic Greek residents had to leave in a forced resettlement that swapped 1.5 million ethnic Greeks from Turkey for 600,000 ethnic Turks living in northern Greece. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Greek Orthodox patriarch blocks East Jerusalem land confiscation

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Jerusalem – Ma’an – Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III blocked a recent attempt by Israel’s Jerusalem municipality to confiscate 43 dunums of church property near Beit Safafa village, officials said Saturday.

A Palestinian lawyer representing the patriarch said he presented an appeal against a decision taken by an Israeli regional planning committee within the municipality to confiscate Greek Orthodox property in order to expand streets and build public facilities. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »