A World Council of Churches delegation led by the WCC's general secretary Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit is visiting Ukraine from March 17 to 20 to explore supporting peace initiatives in the country.
"We hope that this visit can be seen as an expression of how the whole ecumenical family prays and acts together for justice and peace for the people of Ukraine," said Tveit.
"We go together to see, to listen and to discern what our future steps together can be," he said, the WCC said in a statement avialable on March 17.
Approximately ten miles from the Alanya city center, near the resort town of Antalya and within the limits of the village of Hacı Mehmetli is the Greek Orthodox Agios Georgios Church, now being restored by municipality.The Alanya municipality is supervising the TRY 138,000 renovation. The church will be used as house of worship, cultural center and multi-purpose hall.
ISIS has posted pictures, on its twitter accounts, of its members destroying the St. George Monastery in Mosul. The pictures show ISIS members using sledgehammers to smash crosses and icons, and removing the cross from the dome and replacing it with the black ISIS flag.
In late February, “unknown persons” invaded Mar Elias, an ancient Maronite church in Bekaa, Lebanon. Along with damaging one of the church’s windows, they destroyed a portion of the flooring, as they dug a large hole near the altar (see pictures below).
According to Maronite Bishop Joseph Mouwad, much of the church’s sacred items were left intact and not stolen. Instead, “they broke the tiles and dug the ground, apparently looking for something, though we do not know what.”
Fingerprints and cigarette butts were found.
The European Parliament has passed a non-binding resolution calling for the establishment of an Assyrian safe haven in north Iraq. Citing the attacks by ISIS on Assyrians in Iraq and Syria, including the abduction of nearly 300 Assyrians, the killing of dozens of Assyrians in the attacks on their villages in Syria, the destruction of Assyrian cultural heritage such as the city of Nimrud, the resolution “is shocked and saddened at the brutal actions by ISIS/Da’esh extremists against the Assyrians in Syria…” and “Strongly condemns ISIS/Da’esh and its egregious human rights abuses that amount to crimes against humanity…”
Islamic State (ISIS) has burned 1,500 historical manuscripts in Iraq and sold Assyrian sculptures on the black market, the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities revealed yesterday.
The Undersecretary of the Minister of Tourism Qais Hussein Rashid said that the province of Nineveh in northern Iraq, which is under ISIS control, is at the forefront of Iraqi provinces that contain the largest number of archaeological sites.