Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Forced Exodus: Christians in the Middle East | World Affairs Journal

Roland Flamini in "World Affairs", from the American Peace Society

In September, senior clerics from a dozen different Christian denominations all over the Middle East met in Amman, Jordan, for a conference organized by King Abdullah II. The subject was the crisis facing Christianity in the region, and what to do about it. Missing from the meeting were two prominent Arab prelates from Aleppo: Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, the city’s Syriac Orthodox bishop, and Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi, his Greek Orthodox counterpart. Both had been abducted by unidentified gunmen somewhere between Aleppo and Antioch in April, and their whereabouts were still unknown.

The Assad regime and the Syrian rebels predictably blamed each other for the high-profile abduction. But Turkish intelligence sources were quoted as saying that it had been the work of Islamic Chechens who operate in the opposition-held territory in northern Syria. Refugees in Jordan and Turkey have told Christian humanitarian groups that jihadist revolutionaries have declared a caliphate in areas they control and imposed sharia law, with Saudi judges brought in to administer it. (Saudi Arabia and Qatar finance the rebellion in Syria, and the West supports it—but that’s another story.) Non-Muslims are only tolerated if they pay jizya, a heavy tax imposed on dhimmini, or nonbelievers, under Islamic law. Those who refuse to pay have two choices: they can quit their homes and have their property and most of their possessions confiscated, or they can face execution.

Syria today is a country of blurred facts and wild rumors, but the abduction and in some cases murder of Christian clerics is real enough. The Jesuit missionary Paolo Dall’Oglio was kidnapped in July and may have been executed in al-Raqqah, a northern town said to be an al-Qaeda stronghold. Dall’Oglio, had gone to al-Raqqah in an attempt to negotiate the release of Christian hostages, relying—foolishly, as it worked out—on his reputation as an outspoken critic of the Assad regime to guarantee his safety. In June, the Franciscan priest François Murad was killed in a convent in Gassanieh by members of the Syrian jihadist group Nusra Front. The Vatican had initially reported that Father Murad was one of three men shown being beheaded with a kitchen knife in a viral video online, while the crowd chanted “Allahu akbar,” but later issued a correction saying that Murad had actually been shot.
Today, the religious ecology of the Middle East looks more fragile than ever, as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, warned in the British House of Lords. “The presence of Christians there is a deep-rooted reality,” the archbishop said. “We are not talking about a foreign body, but about people who would see their history and their destiny bound up with the countries where they live, and bound up in local conversations with the dominant Muslim culture.”

Read the full essay here:
Forced Exodus: Christians in the Middle East | World Affairs Journal
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