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Russia rejects ‘the new society’ because it’s been there before

The Christians
Aug 16, 2013              
They don’t need the police to stop a gay parade – just 25,000 women carrying icons
A protest 'rainbow' crosswalk outside Russia's embassy in Sweden.
A protest 'rainbow' crosswalk outside Russia's embassy in Sweden.
             Gay groups and sympathizers across the world joined Canada last week in denouncing Russia’s new law that forbids the lionizing of sodomizing, but the Russian government appeared utterly indifferent to this cacophony. When homophiles in Stockholm, Sweden, painted the crosswalk markers outside the Russian Embassy with all the colors of the rainbow, it elicited no response from anyone inside. And where the exhibitionist pouring of Russian vodka down a sewer in New York might have reduced Russian vodka sales in Manhattan, it might just as likely have increased them in Texas.

In Russia a national petition urging that a well-known television journalist be fired for volubly defending the law, picked up a paltry 3,500 signatures and fizzled. One British journalist deplored the “creeping acceptability of homophobia in Russia.” He seemed unaware that the law passed Russia’s lower house by a vote of 436-0 – possibly a “sign” that Russian “homophobia” had done quite a bit of creeping already.
Metropolitan Hilarion: We Russians already went that way; we know where it leads.
Metropolitan Hilarion: We Russians already went
 that way; we know where it leads.
 That's why Russia is not likely to back down. When a popular transvestite comedian was fired because of the law, there was no public outcry. When Dmitry Kiselyov, a star television journalist, was discovered to have said in a debate that the Russian law did not go far enough the audience applauded heartily, and Kislyov has flatly refused to recant.

Canadians urged to defy the law

In Canada, the country’s self-appointed national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, urged attendees at next February’s Russian Olympics to openly defy the Russian law. It is “extremely unlikely” Russian police carrying truncheons will round up gay protesters, said the Globe. It's more probable, however, that the protesters would encounter no police at all, only some 25,000 Russian women carrying icons.

The Globe does not seem to understand that Russia's opposition to public acceptance of sodomy is not rooted in the government but in the people, led by the Russian Orthodox Church. The highly articulate Cambridge graduate and classical music composer, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, No. 2 man in the Russian ecclesiastical hierarchy, does not shrink from providing the rationale. Been there, done that Russia, he says, is usually portrayed as behind the West in accepting unchristian practices like homosexuality. In fact, he says, it’s far ahead of the West. These supposedly liberal "advances" are part of the process of secularization in which “the state sets a principle of secularity, independent of any outside authority,” including moral authority, and then “preconditions” the people to accept it.

See the rest at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/537&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=653bfd0475-TCH-Issue0094-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-653bfd0475-57142977

The Morality of Using Combat Drones

Posted: August 14, 2013
On August 6, the Associated Press reported a U.S. drone strike against a terrorist target in Yemen. It was the fourth such strike in a week. It destroyed a car, killing its four passengers, all believed to be members of Al-Qaida.

The strike came after credible intelligence reports indicated that a terrorist attack was likely to be carried out against U.S. targets to correspond with the end of Ramadan (August 7).

The U.S. military is increasingly relying on drones to fight its War on Terror. Drones were first used in the 1990s for surveillance and reconnaissance. Under Obama, they’ve become the outstanding aerial combat asset against foreign terrorists.

Drones are operated remotely via satellite. (Our Predator and Reaper drones are allegedly “piloted” from bases in the Nevada desert). One operator flies the machine, another monitors its cameras and sensors, and a third communicates with commanders in the combat zone half a world away. Drone operation costs a fraction of what conventional aircrafts cost, and they can stay in the air much, much longer. Consequently, operators can follow their targets for many hours, even days, before striking.

Ethical Arguments For and Against Drones

Since combat drones have only been used for a few years, the moral arguments for and against them are still developing. My own thoughts on the issue are developing. My purpose therefore is not to provide a conclusive answer to the moral question of drones, but to stimulate critical thinking.

Arguments For

Defenders argue that drones illustrate an evolution in aerial combat precisely fit for the unique circumstances of unconventional and asymmetrical 21st century warfare. Outside the Afghan theater, our enemy is non-localized, not overtly affiliated with any state, particularized to individuals (not armies), and can make himself effectively invisible. Terrorists train and operate from some of the most remote and inaccessible regions on earth, from the deserts of Somalia and Yemen, to mountain caves and walled compounds in Pakistan. Local governments often have little ability and even less will to reach into these places and strike. Ground operations, even small tactical strikes using Special Forces, are costly and extremely dangerous to our troops; and they rarely result in a terrorist capture.
Drones can penetrate the remotest locations, strike and take out high value targets with an extraordinarily high degree of accuracy, causing fewer civilian casualties, at a relatively low cost; and without a U.S. boot ever touching the ground....

Read more here:  http://www.culture-of-life.org/e-brief/morality-using-combat-drones

Arguments Against

In 2012, the Obama administration admitted that combat drones were being used for targeted killing operations. The President insisted that outside Afghanistan, the U.S. only targets al Qaeda and its associated forces; and he said he personally approves every new name on the terrorist “kill list.” Targeted killings are justified under the principle of “national self-defense.” Not all agree. Some of his opponents argue that targeted killings are not essentially different from assassinations or extrajudicial killings, which violate U.S. and international law.

The moral status of the human targets is obviously relevant here. Just war tradition sanctions the use of lethal force to prevent an imminent threat to innocent human life and in general to restrain unjust aggression, presuming it is not in excess of what’s needed to stem the aggression. Combatants on a battlefield are classically considered the paradigmatic legitimate target. Off the battlefield, they can also be legitimate insofar as they are still committed to and engaged in a wider conflict underway or being planned that itself is just to resist.

In our period of unconventional warfare, the lines of what is and isn’t a legitimate battlefield, and who is and isn’t a combatant, can be blurry. Nevertheless, the distinction—however difficult to apply—is always relevant: non-combatants are absolutely immune from intentional targeting.

In 2012, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration employs a disputed method for counting the civilian casualties that result from drone strikes. It designates all military-age males in a strike zone as “combatants” unless posthumous information exonerates them: “This counting method may partly explain the official claims of extraordinarily low collateral deaths.”

I would argue that commanders are under a grave obligation to refrain from deliberate attacks unless and until they secure moral certitude regarding the combatant status of a potential target. To order a strike based upon evidence that leaves reasonable doubt as to whether a target is a non-combatant would be immoral.

Following from this, many have expressed concern that the use of drones may make recourse to lethal options too tempting to resist. What happens when you remove from war all the conscious data of the battlefield? No explosions, no blood, no faces of dead soldiers, no graphic sensory feedback to stir your guts. The ugliness of human slaughter—however justifiable an instance of killing may be—is a salutary reminder that warfare and killing should never be the immediate option for social conflict: recourse to war should always be a last resort.

When killing can be planned and executed by operators sipping drinks in a quiet room, doesn’t opting for lethal force become much easier? If politicians don’t need to contend with the flagged-draped caskets of the young men and women resulting from their decisions to go to war, will they be quicker to adopt lethal interventions over cumbersome diplomatic bargaining? In other words, does the use of unmanned drones encourage unnecessary killing?

Read the rest here: http://www.culture-of-life.org/e-brief/morality-using-combat-drones

Catholic Relief Services’ Madagascar Aid Analyzed

August 17, 2013

Scandalous claims don’t appear to hold up: Part 1 of a Register Special Report.
WASHINGTON — A bombshell report from the Population Research Institute (PRI) alleging Catholic Relief Services’ involvement in population-control activities in Madagascar has not been substantiated, as Church officials in Madagascar and CRS’ own internal investigators say they have found no evidence to corroborate the charges.

The respected pro-life organization has also admitted that its allegations of CRS misconduct are nearly a year old and that it never followed up on its investigator’s findings with either CRS leaders or the Madagascar bishops.

PRI has a long-standing reputation for research into population-control activities conducted throughout the world, particularly by the United Nations and the People’s Republic of China. PRI’s president, Steven Mosher, first exposed China’s one-child policy, including forced abortions and sterilizations, and is a recognized expert on population-control activities.

On July 25, PRI alleged Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ international relief organization, was actively engaged in population control and compromising its Catholic identity and Catholic teaching in Madagascar.

“CRS is using funding from American Catholics to distribute contraceptive and abortifacient drugs and devices,” Mosher stated in a report co-written with Anne Morse, PRI’s media coordinator. Mosher added that the funding only ceased when the USAID-funded SantéNet2 program ceased....

Bishops Refute Report

PRI’s allegations sent shockwaves into both CRS and the USCCB — until the Madagascar bishops themselves denied that CRS was involved in any immoral activity in their dioceses.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the USCCB, spoke directly on Aug. 2 with Archbishop Tsarahazana, the president of Madagascar’s bishops’ conference, through a Malagasy (the native language of Madagascar) interpreter to see if the allegations were true. Bishop Gerald Kicanas, CRS board chairman, spoke similarly with Archbishop Odon Razanakolona of the Archdiocese of Antananarivo on Aug. 5 to investigate if he had any concerns.

Joan Rosenhauer, CRS’ executive vice president of U.S. operations, and Shannon Senefeld, director of program impact and quality assurance, both told the Register that they were present on both calls with the archbishops. Rosenhauer said both archbishops denied the allegations against CRS and authorized the U.S. bishops to make a press statement on their behalf affirming their support for CRS and its fidelity to Catholic teaching in Madagascar. The USCCB issued press releases to that effect on Aug. 2 and Aug. 5.

Both archbishops also told Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Kicanas that they never knew they had been speaking with a PRI representative, according to Rosenhauer.

Both Rosenhauer and Bishop Kicanas independently told the Register that the archbishops in their conversations said they were under the impression they were speaking with a CRS donor and felt their remarks as published lacked context.

But Mosher said that PRI’s investigator had “no reason for him to identify himself as PRI,” because he was a contracted investigator, not a member of the media or a PRI employee. Mosher said the interviews were “on the record,” because the investigator made clear that interviewees knew they were being recorded.

No PRI Follow-Up

Mosher told the Register that PRI made no follow-up with either the Madagascar archbishops or with CRS in the eight months between the investigation’s conclusion in December 2012 and the report’s release in July. Mosher said PRI did not follow up because it had “no more questions for the archbishops.”

PRI also did not reach out to CRS’ president, Carolyn Woo, or Bishop Kicanas before releasing the report because no changes in CRS’ methods of operation were evident, Mosher said. “They hadn’t issued any press releases, hadn’t admitted any wrongdoing and hadn’t mentioned any changes in the way they operate,” Mosher told the Register.

Mosher said he did try to contact Woo after releasing the initial PRI report, but the CRS president has not returned his calls.

“We’ve only released a fraction of what [PRI’s investigator] found, and this involvement in family planning was clearly a blatant violation of Church teaching,” Mosher said, indicating the complete report would be published soon.

‘Confusion’ Acknowledged

PRI’s allegations about CRS in Madagascar did not come completely out of left field, CRS acknowledges. Archbishop Tsarahazana did relay to Cardinal Dolan and CRS that there had been “some confusion,” Senefeld explained. “Some priests had thought CRS was involved in promoting abortion and contraception; things like the Depo Provera shots,” she said.

But Senefeld said Archbishop Tsarahazana told Cardinal Dolan and CRS representatives during their phone call that his diocese had already investigated the allegations and found them untrue.

According to Senefeld, Archbishop Tsarahazana said that, approximately one year ago in one community, some people went to their priest with information alleging CRS involvement in artificial family-planning practices. The priest then passed along this information to the diocese....

Charges Repeated

Even with the statements of the Madagascar archbishops released, PRI doubled down on the charge that CRS had been involved in artificial family planning through its participation in the SantéNet2 program.

Mosher told the Register that CRS was not engaged now in promoting abortion or contraception in Madagascar, but speculated that was only because the SantéNet2 program ended in July.

“It is true they are no longer involved,” he said. “But are they no longer involved because they realized it was wrong and got out of it, or are they no longer involved because the program simply ended? I think the answer to that question would tell us a lot.”

However, USAID’s own January 2013 report on the SantéNet2 program specifically states CRS would not cooperate with or supply artificial family-planning activities. It stated that informants in September 2011 reported CRS “excluded certain contraceptives, such as condoms, from its services due to religious beliefs.”

The USAID report did acknowledge that a “CRS informant” told USAID that some CRS community health workers in the Androy region would go behind CRS’ back to hand out condoms “after obtaining them from other sources.”

Senefeld told the Register that every CRS Madagascar employee is required to take an online training course called “Protecting Life” to educate them in the Church’s teaching on abortion, contraception and the sanctity of life.

“This goes to every single employee, whatever their position,” Senefeld said.

“CRS is very clear that we do not support or promote either abortion or contraception.”

She stressed that CRS investigates any reported employee violations of Catholic moral teaching and that violating CRS’ Catholic beliefs could result in termination.

“The first thing we do is contact the country program and get all of the facts,” Senefeld said. “Then we contact the person who is causing the problem and try to get all of the facts. We then review that in light of the guidance that we have regarding decisions.” She said CRS followed this protocol when made aware of PRI’s allegations.

Endorsement of CRS

Maronite Bishop Gregory Mansour of Brooklyn told the Register that he has served on CRS’ board for a full year and has not found any evidence that CRS was failing to live up to Catholic teaching.

He said CRS audits its own programs to make sure they are consistent with the Catholic faith. “When we audit, we audit for policy, not just financial,” Bishop Mansour said. “We audit in such a way to see if anything we are doing is inconsistent with our mission and reputation.”

“Other Caritas agencies want to be like CRS: with policy auditors, financial auditors, with Catholic-identity audits,” Bishop Mansour said.

“CRS is trustworthy,” he said. “And they are accountable.”

Peter Jesserer Smith is a Register staff writer.

Oklahoma’s ban on Sharia law thrown out by federal judge

By DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer on Aug 16, 2013, at 2:28 AM
Updated on 8/16/13 at 3:02 AM
Tulsa World

MARK SCHLACHTENHAUFEN | THE EDMOND SUN Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, at the podium, announces the filing of a lawsuit challenging State Question 755 during a Thursday afternoon press conference at the state Capitol
Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council
on American-Islamic Relations, at the podium, announces the filing of
a lawsuit challenging State Question 755 during a Thursday afternoon
press conference at the state Capitol.

An Oklahoma constitutional amendment that would bar the state's courts from considering or using Sharia law was ruled unconstitutional Thursday by a federal judge in Oklahoma City.

In finding the law in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the certification of the results of the state question that put the Sharia law ban into the state constitution.

"While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out, the Court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual's constitutional rights," the judge wrote.

Muneer Awad, a Muslim and American citizen who was executive director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations at the time, filed the lawsuit on Nov. 4, 2010, seeking to block the so-called "Save Our State" constitutional amendment that had been approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters two days earlier.

Awad claimed that State Question 755 violated the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Miles-LaGrange issued a temporary restraining order on Nov. 8, 2010, finding that enjoining the certification of the election results for SQ 755 would not be adverse to the public interest.

On Nov. 29, 2010, she issued a preliminary injunction, finding that Awad had legal standing and that SQ 755 likely violated both the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause.

Miles-LaGrange also found then that the balance of harms weighed strongly in favor of Awad, that the alleged violation of Awad's First Amendment rights constituted irreparable injury and that the public interest demanded protection of these rights.

On Jan. 10, 2012, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Miles-Grange's preliminary injunction ruling, and on July 29, 2012, the lawsuit was amended, adding four additional plaintiffs.

In her opinion Thursday, Miles-LaGrange noted that the 10th Circuit wrote in January 2012 that "when the law that voters wish to enact is likely unconstitutional, their interests do not outweigh Mr. Awad's in having his constitutional rights protected."

Miles-LaGrange found "that any harm that would result from permanently enjoining the certification of the election results is further minimized in light of the undisputed fact that the amendment at issue was to be a preventative measure and that the concern that it seeks to address has yet to occur."

She pointed out in a footnote that attorneys defending the amendment at the November 2010 preliminary injunction hearing admitted that "they did not know of any instance where an Oklahoma court had applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other nations or cultures."

Miles-LaGrange also rejected the argument that the amendment could be salvaged by severing certain language that specifically mentioned Sharia law. That option would have retained less precise wording saying that Oklahoma courts "shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures."

The judge wrote in her order that "it is abundantly clear that the primary purpose of the amendment was to specifically target and outlaw Sharia law and to act as a preemptive strike against Sharia law to protect Oklahoma from a perceived 'threat' of Sharia law being utilized in Oklahoma courts."

She added that the plaintiffs "have shown that the voters would not have approved the amendment without the unconstitutional provisions."

She noted that "the public debate, public discussions, articles, radio ads and robocalls" regarding SQ 755 all primarily and overwhelmingly focused on Sharia law. "Given this context, the court finds any reasonable voter would have perceived SQ 755 as a referendum on Sharia law," she wrote.

Awad moved to New York City in August 2012 to accept a position with another CAIR affiliate, according to Thursday's opinion.

On Thursday night, Adam Soltani, the current executive director of CAIR's Oklahoma Chapter and a fellow plaintiff in the lawsuit, issued a statement in which he said: "As Oklahomans, we are incredibly thrilled at the decision and applaud the judicial system for upholding our constitutional rights. This is a victory not only for Oklahoma Muslims, but for all Oklahomans and all Americans."

Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, issued a written statement saying: "This law unfairly singled out one faith and one faith only. This amendment was nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. We're thrilled that it has been struck down."

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in the wake of the appellate court decision in January 2012 that his office "will continue to defend" the state's position.

However, spokeswoman Diane Clay said Pruitt would have no comment on Thursday night.

Despite the legal setbacks for SQ 755, Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 1060 into law last April. Proponents said that without specifically mentioning Sharia law, the measure would prohibit the application of foreign laws when it would violate either the Oklahoma Constitution or the U.S. Constitution.

David Harper 918-581-8359
[email protected]
Source: http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Oklahomas_ban_on_Sharia_law_thrown_out_by_federal_judge/20130816_11_A1_CUTLIN219102

Statement by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom highlighting the increasing incitement and violence threatening and claiming the lives of Christians in Egypt.

The Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Thursday, 8 August 2013

In the recent weeks and months there has been an escalation of attacks against Christians in Egypt, with unfounded, dangerous, and unlawful incitement emerging from various fringe Islamist leaders spurring on more violent acts and illegal behaviour that continues to injure and claim the lives of many Egyptian Christians.

A number of Egypt-based human rights organisations, with Amnesty International UK, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), have spoken out regarding attacks on Christians since the ousting of the former president, expecting similar acts in the coming period if these matters are not sufficiently addressed.

Most recently a violent attack on the Church of St George was followed by the raising of an Al Qaeda flag on its premises while congregation members were locked inside the church building. Churches across Upper Egypt including Minya, Asyut, and Luxor have suffered violent and destructive attacks and serious vandalism, with Christian homes and businesses also set alight. Callers to current affairs programmes on certain television channels, using hate speech, have rallied for the attack on, and eradication of, Christians and Churches. These acts and threats all contribute to a very real risk upon the life of every Christian, especially in the increasingly polarised and inflamed climate in Egypt. As a result of these threats, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II has suspended weekly public events out of concern over potential attacks on congregations.

At a time where attempts are being made to move Egypt into a more unified state, and where there is opportunity for collaboration and reconciliation, we are instead witnessing, once again, a polarised society in which unprecedented acts against Egyptian Christians are being carried out without fear of reprisal.

Imbalanced media coverage depicts scenes of violence in one part of the community as victimisation, while ignoring or labelling the savage attacks against Christians, on what is developing into a daily occurrence, as ‘sectarian’.

Sectarianism: Post-Sit-in Dispersal

Note: This is a collection of posts from a blog which is documenting the current attacks on Christians in Egypt. The full listing with updates, news reports, statements and reactions, can be found at http://nilerevolt.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/1198/.

August 14, 2013 · by

This has been put together as aggregated information that was shared online about attacks on churches and their institutions, Christians and their homes, and other relevant information. We started collecting information on August 14 and not before but are adding anything after.
The list has been compiled and managed by Mai El-Sadany, Amir Beshay, and myself, Amira Mikhail.
Many people have participated in supplying links, information, and tweets. We appreciate their contributions and encourage continued and joint efforts to properly document these attacks.
Please note that this is a work-in-progress and is being updated on a regular basis. Information so far is unverified although most is backed up with tweets and photos. We are hoping to continue the efforts to verify details. If you have any corrections or updates to church names, photos, or details, please reach out to [email protected] or my twitter.
A similar project is Into Oblivion by @moftasa and @MaliciaRogue.
Churches Attacked
  1. St George Church | Hadeyek Helwan | Surrounded | Photo, AlMogaz (Arabic)
  1. St George Church | Kotshinz | Attempted attack | Shorouk (Arabic)
  2. Al Malak Church | Hekma Street | Attempted Attack | Shorouk (Arabic)
  1. St Mary Church | Burned
  2. Evangelical Church in Malawi | Targeted with mortar | Watani (Arabic), Ahram Online
  3. Good Shepherd’s School | Burned | Watani (Arabic), Ahram Online
  4. Catholic Church | Burned | Watani (Arabic), Twitter, Facebook (Video), Ahram Online, YouTube
  1. Abu Halqa Church, Tahta | Attacked by unknown assailants | AlMogaz (Arabic)

AUGUST 14-15

  1. Father Maximus Church | Attempted attack (stones thrown)
  2. St George Church | Bakos | Attempted attack (launching shots)
  1. St George Church | Burned | Source
  1. Good Shepherds Monastery | Nuns attacked
  2. Angel Michael Church | Surrounded
  3. St George Coptic Orthodox Church | Photo, Photo, Photo, YouTube
  4. Al-Eslah Church| Burned | Source
  5. Adventist Church | Pastor and his wife not kidnapped, were able to escape | Photo, Adventist News Network
  6. St Therese Church | Photo, YouTube
  7. Apostles Church | Burning | Source
  8. Holy Revival Church | Burning | Source
  9. Qusiya Diocese | MCN
  10. St John’s Church | Abnoub | Burning
  11. Coptic Orthodox Diocese | Abu Tig | Sieged
  12. St John Diocese | Qusiya | Attempted attack (stones)
Beni Suef
  1. The Nuns School | Photo
  2. St George Church | al-Wasta
  1. St Fatima Basilica | Heliopolis | Attempted Attack
  2. Virgin Mary’s Church | Hakim Village | Burned | Photo
Fayoum (Five churches)
  1. St Mary Church | El Nazlah | Gallery
  2. St Damiana Church | Robbed and burned
  3. Amir Tawadros (St Theodore) Church | EgyNews (Arabic), Twitter
  4. Evangelical Church | al-Zorby Village | Looting and destruction
  5. Church of Joseph | Burned | Source
  6. Franciscan School | Burned | Source
  1. Diocese of St Paul | Burned | Source
  1. Father Antonios
  2. Atfeeh Diocese/Bishoperic | Looted
  3. Church Archangel Michael | Kerdasa | Burned
  4. Church of the Virgin Mary | Sieged
Minya (Around twelve churches)
  1. Church of the Virgin Mary and Father Abram | Delga, Deir Mawas | Source, Photo
  2. St Mina Church | Abu Hilal Kebly, Beni Hilal | Source, photo
  3. Baptist Church | Beni Mazar | Source
  4. Monastery | Deir Mawas | Ahram (Arabic)
  5. Delga Church | Attacked (Previously attacked with fire)
  6. The Jesuit Fathers Church | Abu Hilal district
  7. St Mark Church | Abu Hilal district
  8. St Joseph Nunnery | Photo, photo
  9. Amir Tadros Church | Photo, photo, photo, album, photo, photo
  10. Evangelical Church | Photo
  11. Anba Moussa al-Aswad Church | Photo
  12. Apostles Church | Source
  13. Salvation of the Souls Church | Burning | Unverified
  14. St John’s Church | Burning| Unverified
  15. Coptic Secondary School for Boys | Burning | Unverified
  16. Diocese of Mallawi | Attempted attack (launching shots, molotovs, and stones) | Unverified
  1. St Mary’s Church | Attempted Burning
  1. St George Church |Photo album, photo, photo, video, source, source, video
  2. St Damiana | Attacked and burned | Source
  3. Virgin Mary | Attacked and burned | Source
  4. St Mark Church & Community Center
  5. Anba Abram Church | Destroyed and burned | Source
  1. St Saviours Anglican Church | Source
  2. Franciscan Church and School | Street 23 | Burned |Photo, photo, source/photos, photos
  3. Holy Shepherd Monastery and Hospital | Photo
  4. Good Shepherd Church (molotov cocktail thrown)- Relationship with Holy Shepherd Monastery unknown.
  5. Greek Orthodox Church | Photo, Photo
Christian Institutions
  • House of Father Angelos (Pastor of Church of the Virgin Mary and Father Abram) | Delga, Minya | Burned | CBN News, Ahram (Arabic)
  • Properties and Markets of Copts | al-Gomhorreya Street, Assiut
  • Seventeen Coptic homes | Delga, Minya | Burned | Source, Source
  • YMCA | Minya| Burned | Photo| Aug 14
  • Coptic Homes | Qulta Street, Assiut | Attacked
  • Offices of the Evangelical Foundation & Oum al-Nour | Minya
  • Coptic-owned shops, pharmacy, and hotels | Karnak and Cleopatra Streets, Luxor | Attacked and Looted
  • Dahabeya Nile Boat | Minya| Church-owned | Source, Photo, Photo
  • Bible Society bookshop | Cairo | Burned | Photo, Ramez Atallah
  • Bible Society | Fayoum | Photo
  • Bible Society | al-Gomohoreya Street, Assiut | Photo, Photo
  • Ezbet el Nekhl | Source, source, source (Arabic)
  • Soldiers of Christ Orphanage | Minya | Twitter, Photo

READ THE REST HERE: http://nilerevolt.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/1198/

‘Horrible': Christian churches across Egypt stormed, torched

By Sarah Sirgany and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 5:08 AM EDT, Fri August 16, 2013

Watch this video

Egypt's churches looted and torched

Kafr Hakim, Egypt (CNN) -- For 67 years, the Virgin Mary Church has been a peaceful refuge for Shenouda El Sayeh, much like the Giza province village of Kafr Hakim where it rests and where he has lived all those years.

But, as he swept its floors on Thursday, it was painfully obvious things had changed.
The night before, a mob -- chanting against Coptic Christians such as El Sayeh and calling for Egypt to become an "Islamic state" -- had torched and looted the Virgin Mary Church.
"I didn't expect this to happen," El Sayeh said.

He's not alone. Christians all around Egypt are cleaning up in the aftermath of a spate of attacks, which came on the country's deadliest day since the 2011 revolution that overthrew longtime President Hosni Mubarak.
Bishop Angaelos, the Cairo-born head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, said he was told by colleagues in Egypt that 52 churches were attacked in a 24-hour span that started Wednesday, as well as numerous Christians' homes and businesses.
Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, told CNN he had confirmed attacks on at least 30 churches so far, in addition to the targeting of church-related facilities, including schools and cultural centers.
Those churches reportedly set ablaze Wednesday included St. George Church in Sohag, a city south of Cairo on the Nile River.
And the new day brought new attacks. Prince Tadros Church in Fayoum, which is southwest of Cairo, was stormed and burned Thursday night, according to the official Middle East News Agency.
This and other attacks have been blamed by some on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement which backs recently deposed President Mohamed Morsy. Government efforts to clear the group's Cairo protest camps resulted in gruesome scenes in the capital: Egypt's health ministry says that at least 580 people were killed and more than 4,000 injured amid clashes involving security forces and Morsy supporters.
Against this backdrop, it may be some time before it's established what group, if any, is behind the church attacks, and how coordinated this violence has been.
Until then, Christians in Egypt are left to try to put things back together, as well as to attempt to make sense of what's transpired.
As Dalia Ziada of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, told CNN: "This is horrible to happen in only one day."
'A very dangerous game to play'
Egypt will have much to deal with if, and when, things do settle down. Once that happens, Angaelos says that a proper investigation of the church attacks should follow -- especially since, he feels, the sheer scale of incidents suggests they were orchestrated, rather than a byproduct of chaotic unrest.
"We would want the people who have done it to be brought to justice because I think they are trying to do something which is much more dangerous," he said.
"It's not just about burning churches, it's about burning churches to initiate a response that then spirals into even greater violence -- and that is a very, very dangerous game to play."
The targeting of churches and Christian properties was not unexpected, Angaelos said, given the tensions in Cairo and elsewhere and in light of escalating attacks on Coptic Christians in recent weeks.
The growing threat led him last week to issue a statement warning of "a very real risk upon the life of every Christian." Pope Tawadros II, the church's leader in Egypt, also suspended weekly public events for fear of attacks on Christian congregations.
But the warnings didn't prevent the violence, nor did security efforts to protect churches and Christian communities, according to Ibrahim.
Said Angaelos, "The ferocity and the speed with which it all happened ... was quite surprising."....
"This is an attack against the state by a violent minority in an attempt to destabilize the nation."
On it are sites in Alexandria, Arish, Assiut, Beni Suef, Cairo, Fayoum, Gharbiya, Giza, Minya, Qena, Sohag and Suez. They include churches and schools, as well as homes and businesses belonging to Coptic Christians. CNN has not been able independently to verify the reports.
Asked about the attacks on churches Wednesday, U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said the United States was deeply concerned. "We will continue speaking out against this and continue talking to all parties and all sides about renouncing this violence, about moving forward with a democratic process."
Daniel Sinclair, director of communications at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said the group was "deeply concerned at the unwarranted and continuing targeting of the Coptic community. We urge the government to ensure comprehensive security to all Egyptians, regardless of their religion."
Long history in Egypt
Egypt's Christian minority has been the target of a number of attacks in recent years. The bombing of a major church in Alexandria in January 2011 killed 21 people and sparked worldwide condemnation.
The situation has only become worse since Egypt's popular revolution overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, said Angaelos.
"In the past two-and-a-half years, we've had more deaths of people just because they are Christians than in the last 20 years," he said, adding that this had not triggered violent retaliation.
He hopes for forgiveness and reconciliation among all Egyptians going forward, to help build a unified country.
Christians have been in Egypt since the 1st century and were, for centuries, the majority. Some 90% of Coptic Christians still live in the country, he said, making up the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
Angaelos puts the proportion of Christians in Egypt at 15 to 20% of the population. The CIA World Factbook says 10% of Egypt's population is Christian, while the Pew Research Center, which says firm numbers are hard to come by, puts the figure at about 5%.
Back in Kafr Hakim, Atia Ghattas told CNN his family's houses were attacked on the same night the church was looted. There was incitement against the Coptic community through the mosques in the area, he said.
Father Boktor Saad, of Kafr Hakim's Virgin Mary Church, said he believes that a small group of extremists were responsible for inciting groups to attack his church.
But, he and other church staff said, not everyone participated, and some non-Christians prevented the situation in that village from getting worse.
They credited moderate Muslims with putting out the fire at Virgin Mary, and halting further attacks on Coptic Christians' homes and shops.
Journalist Sarah Sirgany reported from Hafr Hakim, Giza, and CNN's Laura Smith-Spark reported from London. CNN's Greg Botelho, Arwa Damon, Sarah Brown and Richard Allen Greene contributed to this report.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – August 16, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on August 16

4:00 - Why Catholicism Matters: How Catholic Virtues Can Reshape Society in the 21st Century: Now in Paperback!
In recent years the Catholic Church has gone through turbulent times with the uncovering of horrible abuse. As a result many positive aspects of what the Catholic Church teaches and practices are now being overlooked, not just by the media, but by people in and out of the pews. This is not only unfortunate, but detrimental to society at large. As Bill Donohue makes plain, the Church's teachings remain the best guide to good living ever adopted. Moreover, the content of these teachings defy today's typical ideological categorizations; the Church is decidedly conservative in matters of morality and compellingly liberal in social and economic affairs. Bill is here to tell us Why Catholicism Matters: How Catholic Virtues Can Reshape Society in the 21st Century.
5:00 - Consuming the Word: The New Testament and The Eucharist in the Early
Long before the New Testament was a document, it was a sacrament. Jesus called the Eucharist by the name Christians subsequently gave to the latter books of the Holy Bible. It was the "New Covenant," the "New Testament," in his blood. Christians later extended the phrase to cover the books produced by the apostles and their companions; but they did so because these were the books that could be read at Mass. This simple and demonstrable historical fact has enormous implications for the way we read the Bible. Dr. Scott Hahn is here to examine some of Christianity's most basic terms to discover what they meant to the sacred authors, the apostolic preachers, and their first hearers.

A jihadist sees the day approaching when Islam will conquer America

If the bad Muslims are just a tiny minority, why don’t the good Muslims get rid of them?

Aug 15, 2013
The Christians

Bombing this spring: Al Qaeda threatens total chaos in Iraq
Bombing this spring: Al Qaeda threatens total chaos in Iraq

An al Qaeda man in the Gaza Strip made modest headlines across the United States last week by warning Americans: “Islam is coming, and there is no other choice. This is something that no one can prevent. We will raise the Islamic flag on every point on earth where Muslims live, and we will chase all enemies of Islam wherever they are. Even in the West, in Europe, and in the United States.”

The speaker was Abu Saqer, a leader of the extremist Muslim group Jihadiya Salafiya, and he was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” over WABC in New York. While he did not suggest Islam would take America by violence, he did mention that when the jihadists finish off President Bashar Assad in Syria, they would next turn their anger on Israel and the United States because both are “enemies of Islam.”

Far from dying, al Qaeda is more alive than ever Several points are of interest here. He is, for one, evidence that al Qaeda is not quite so dead as was pronounced by the U.S. administration before last fall’s election. A year before that, Praveen Swami, diplomatic editor of London’s Daily Telegraph who covered Asian security issues for almost 20 years, assessed al Qaeda’s power as far greater than it had ever been before, and it has been steadily gaining strength ever since. Today it is at the center of violence in Pakistan and Syria and last week was described by the Washington Times as “driving Iraq towards chaos.”

Yet in August of 2008, Peter Bergen, a fellow of New York University’s Center on Law and Security, could confidently write: “Today al Qaeda in Iraq is dead.” Well, it wasn’t, and it is so far from dead now that it was named by the U.S. State Department as the chief reason for shutting down some 30 diplomatic posts in the Middle East this month. What becomes ever more unnerving, however, is the determination of the U.S. not to recognize the self-evident fact that they are in a religious war.

 See more at: http://thechristians.com/?q=node/532&utm_source=The+Christians+Book+Buyers&utm_campaign=12ea24451c-TCH-Issue0093-BB&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e2d8bf6d30-12ea24451c-57142977#sthash.bFJRt9BP.dpuf

St. Francis and Brother Duck

Posted on
Catholic Mom
With the election of Pope Francis, people are clamoring to learn more about his chosen namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. Paraclete Press has published a new way for children to familiarize themselves with St. Francis of Assisi in Saint Francis and Brother Duck. It is the first graphic novel adaptation of the real life of St. Francis of Assisi. The author, Jay Stoeckl, a secular Franciscan, was inspired to use his skills as a cartoonist in his first book.

You might be like me and thinking a graphic novel (comic book style) about St. Francis of Assisi and a Duck? Huh? And in truth, it is an adorable book that easily relates the story of Saint Francis in a colorful, visual way to young readers.
The description reads…

Saint Francis and Brother Duck
Saint Francis and Brother Duck
See Saint Francis come to life as never before in this colorful graphic novel set in the hill-towns of Italy. Francis saves the life of an innocent duck, the only fictitious character in the story, and the two become each other’s inspiration. As they grow in faith and friendship, Francis recognizes in Brother Duck everything that he desires in living the life of the gospel: humility, poverty and a childlike imagination.
When we received Saint Francis and Brother Duck, my nine year old son picked it up instantly due to his curiosity of a graphic novel about a Saint he was familiar with. The added bonus that made him sit down to read it immediately was the humor brought to the story by the fictional character of Brother Duck.

Read the rest here:  http://catholicmom.com/2013/08/15/st-francis-and-brother-duck/
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