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On the Sunday of All Saints of America

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Last week the Church celebrated the great feast of All Saints—in which every Saint, known and unknown is commemorated—and this Sunday we commemorate specifically all the Saints of Russia, while especially in America is celebrated the Feast of All Saints of North America. We have been blessed with several great Saints in our land—St. Herman who first brought Holy Orthodoxy to this continent from Russia in the 1700's, St. Tikhon, the Patriarch of Moscow who founded our St. Tikhon's Monastery, St. Nikolai Velimirovich, who taught and reposed at our Seminary, and St. John Maximovitch, the wonderworking bishop of San Francisco, among several others. But there is one person in particular that I would like to talk about today—the monk and priest Fr. Seraphim Rose.

Christian Monks, Students Refuse to Flee 4th-Century Monastery Near ISIS-Controlled Mosul; 'God Protects Us'

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.

ISIS Kidnap 88 Eritrean Christians in Libya

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 closing Christian schools because of their “missionary work”

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.

Islamic militants announce plan to transform Mosul church into mosque

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.

Five church primates appeal for peace in Damascus

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.