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 9th September, 4pm

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.

"It's Now or Never: The Return of the Eastern Christians to Iraq and Syria" - John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need gives the annual Christopher Morris Lecture in the Society's 90th year. Monday 27th November at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 pm Divine Liturgy, 7-15 pm Lecture, 8-15 pm Reception. £10 donation requested. RSVP to johnchrysostom@btinternet.com







Thursday, 31 July 2014

France offers Iraq Christians asylum - Orthodox Patriarch resents,says "stay"

France offers Iraq Christians asylum after Mosul threat, BBC 28 July 2014

The French government says it is ready to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians forced to flee by Islamist militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. 

Many fled Mosul after the Islamic State (IS) group which seized much of northern Iraq told them to convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death.

Iraq is home to one of the world's most ancient Christian communities. Two top ministers said, "We are ready, if they so desire, to help facilitate asylum on our territory." It was a joint message from Laurent Fabius and Bernard Cazeneuve, respectively foreign minister and interior minister in the Socialist government.

A senior Christian cleric in Iraq, Patriarch Louis Sako, estimated that before the advance of IS, Mosul had a Christian community of 35,000 - compared with 60,000 prior to 2003. 

According to the UN, just 20 families from the ancient Christian minority now remain in the city, which Isis has taken as the capital of its Islamic state. "Islamic State" was previously known as Isis (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant).

Source: BBC News - France offers Iraq Christians asylum after Mosul threat



Eastern church shuns France's asylum offer, The Lebanon Daily Star, July 30 2014

BEIRUT: The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Levant has strongly criticized France’s offer to grant Iraqi Christians political asylum, describing the move as an attempt to empty the region from the adepts of Christ.

In a statement Wednesday, the church said “helping the people of the Levant, Christians and Muslims, can be done by uprooting terrorism from their land and stop nurturing the takfiri groups.”

The church charged that Muslim extremists persecuting Christians were being supported logistically and militarily by states through undeclared alliances.

“We are keen to emphasize that the difficult phase through which the Levant is going does not justify attempts to portray the conditions of the Christians in the Orient similar to that of religious and racial minorities in other parts of the world,” the statement said.

“The best way to help the Christians of the Levant as well as Muslims is through pushing for peace through dialogue and political solutions, and curbing all reasons that fuel extremism, notably the injustice done to the Palestinian people."

It stressed that the only place to be for Christians was their home and land.

The French government said it was willing to facilitate asylum to Iraqi Christians who fled persecution by the Al-Qaeda-inspired jihadist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

After seizing control of Mosul and other areas in northern Iraq in mid-July, ISIS, which renamed itself the Islamic State, ordered those Christians who had not yet fled to either convert to Islam, pay a religious tax levied on conquered non-Muslims or face death.

In a related development, Future Movement MPs expressed solidarity with Iraqi Christians Wednesday and called for providing them with aid similar to that given to Syrian refugees.

“We came here to express our solidarity with our Christian brethren in Iraq who were persecuted and displaced at the hands of terrorist groups that committed the ugliest crimes against them, amounting to crimes against humanity,” MP Atef Majdalani said, after a meeting with Chaldean Archbishop Michel Kassarji.

Majdalani, who headed a seven-person Future delegation, called for extending all types of assistance needed by Iraqi refugees, revealing that the parliamentary committee for health would meet in a week to discuss the issue of Christian refugees from Mosul with the health, interior and social affairs ministers.

The majority of Iraqi Christians belong to the Chaldean Church, which has representation in Lebanon.

Source: The Daily Star :: Lebanon News
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