Christian Monks, Students Refuse to Flee 4th-Century Monastery Near ISIS-Controlled Mosul; 'God Protects Us'15. June 2015 - 13:35
Three monks and six students have taken refuge in the ancient monastery of Mar Mattai in northern Iraq, just 12 miles from the Islamic State-occupied Mosul City, not willing to flee, and expressing "their faith that this is a secure place."
Erbil's Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda said a small unit of the Kurdish military is protecting the nine Christians but that's not why they believe they are safe in the shrine, also known as St. Matthew's Monastery.
Several international human right’s groups and media have reported that the terror group ISIS have captured around eighty eight Eritrean Christians in Libya. This has been confirmed by some U.S. officials as well. ISIS captured one of a smugglers Caravan. Later they separated Christians from Muslims.Some of the attempted to flee where three of them escaped. Fate of the rest of the Christians remian uknown.
Turkish authorities are more and more frequently encroaching on Christian educational institutions on the territory of Turkey. In the officials’ view, such schools do not have a right to promote Christian values, reports the Linga news portal.
Christian charitable organizations in Turkey have for the fifth year now been assisting refugees from Syria, providing them with accommodation and work; the refugees’ children also can afford to continue their education in specialized schools. Among such schools until recently were volunteer educational institutions belonging to the Association of Churches of Jerusalem in the city of Gaziantep. At the beginning of the next academic year, they were ready to accept hundreds of children aged between 8 and 12.
One of the largest churches in Mosul, Iraq, will be transformed into a mosque.
According to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Islamic State militants posted notices throughout the city announcing that the Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Ephrem, which they emptied last fall, will reopen soon as the “mosque of the mujahideen” or jihad fighters.
It is with great emotion that the Maronites of Damascus welcomed Patriarch Bechara al-Rahi Sunday, who arrived today despite some obstacles at the request of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X Yazigi for the annual meeting of Eastern patriarchs.
The event has brought together all the patriarchs of Antioch: Greek Orthodox John X Yazigi, Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem Karim II, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan and Maronite Card Bechara Boutros al-Rahi.
Coming to a country whose national anthem has no lyrics because its bickering ethnic groups cannot agree on them, Pope Francis on Saturday called for greater religious reconciliation and an end to the sectarian conflicts that still threaten Bosnia and proliferate around the world in “a kind of third world war being fought piecemeal.”
Some in Bosnia and around the world continue to foment “conflict between different cultures and societies” for their own political purposes, others to make profits on arms sales, he said. They ignore the human price paid in lives lost, refugees uprooted and property destroyed.