Posted by: DanutM | 25 April 2015

Overcoming A Century of Pain

Turkish Christians take first step toward embittered Armenians

Turkish and Armenian Christians circle the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia, on April 11. NOTE: faces have been blurred to protect identities.
Turkish and Armenian Christians circle the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan,
Armenia, on April 11.
NOTE: faces have been blurred to protect identities (photo, Ricardo P
essoa)

“We came to share your pain,” Turkish Christians declared in early April, standing before TV cameras at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan.

“We have come here to apologize for what our ancestors did, to ask for your forgiveness,” two spokesmen for the Turks went on to say.

Shocked viewers across Armenia watching the Azdarar TV news channel on April 11 could hardly believe their eyes and ears.

Turks, claiming to be Christian? And laying wreaths at the nation’s genocide memorial? How could Turks, of all people, come to Armenia to honor the memory of more than a million Armenian Christians who had been slaughtered 100 years ago by their own forefathers, the Ottoman Turks?

Gathered around the monument’s eternal flame, the more than twenty Turkish citizens spoke out simply, and repeatedly: “We plead with you, if you can, to forgive us and the crimes of our forefathers.” Read More…

DanutM:

Do we have eyes for refugees?

Originally posted on The Institute of Middle East Studies:

By Ashley al-Saliby

How long has it been since anyone has really seen her?

I can’t help but wonder her name and her story as I navigate the sidewalk parallel to the one she’s traveling, both of us with market bags in hand. I’m new here, and by “here” I mean new to my neighborhood, new to this country, new to married life. Everything and everyone are being taken in with sometimes frantic, always curious, eyes and mind that are trying to understand, categorize, evaluate, and make sense of all the “newness.” And so, as I seek to absorb all the data, I can’t stop watching her.

By her I mean the countless migrant, domestic workers doing their chores or errands or childcare or pet care in my neighborhood and all over Beirut. Maybe I feel a connection with them, a desire to know them and understand their stories, because…

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The State Commission on the Coordination of Events Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in consultation with its regional committees in the Diaspora,
– expressing the united will of the Armenian people,
– based on the Declaration of Independence of Armenia of 23 August 1990 and the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia,
– recalling the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948, whereby recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
– guided by the respective principles and provisions of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96(1) of 11 December 1946, the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide  of 9 December 1948,  the United Nations Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity of 26 November 1968, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966 as well as all the other international documents on human rights,
– taking into consideration that while adopting the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the United Nations specifically underlined the importance of international cooperation in the struggle against that criminal offence,
– emphasizing the inadmissibility of impunity of the constituent elements of the crime of genocide and the non-applicability of statutory limitation thereto,
– condemning the genocidal acts against the Armenian people, planned and continuously  perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire and various regimes of Turkey in 1894-1923, dispossession of the homeland, the massacres and ethnic cleansing aimed at the extermination of the Armenian population, the destruction of the Armenian heritage, as well as the denial of the Genocide, all attempts to avoid responsibility, to consign to oblivion the committed crimes and their consequences or to justify them, as a continuation of this crime and  encouragement  to commit new genocides,
– also considering the 1919-1921 verdicts of the courts-martial of the Ottoman Empire on that grave crime perpetrated “against the law and humanity’’ as a legal assessment of the fact,
– appreciating the joint declaration of the Allied Powers on May 24, 1915, for the first time in history defining the most heinous crime perpetrated against the Armenian people as a “crime against humanity and civilization” and emphasizing the necessity of holding Ottoman authorities responsible, as well as the role and significance of the Sevres Peace Treaty of 10 August 1920 and US President Woodrow Wilson’s Arbitral Award of 22 November 1920 in overcoming the consequences of the Armenian Genocide: Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 24 April 2015

Baptist Pastor in Ohio Baptises Infant

infant baptism

Unlike Catholics and Orthodox, or Anglicans for that matter, usually Baptists baptise adults, or at least teenagers. It is, for most of them, a mere external sign, kind of a a semiotic devise pointing to the much more important spiritual reality of conversion and new birth.

Because of this conviction, for Baptists, the proper ordo salutis is first new birth, then baptism. That is why most baptists re-baptise as adults people who have been baptised as infants, even if this was done in the name of the Holy Trinity. At the same time, it is true that many Orthodox priests, for instance, re-baptise Baptists and other evangelicals, if they convert to Orthodoxy, although, according to the principles established from Patristic times, baptism performed in the name of the Trinity should be considered as perfectly valid. But, of course, that is not sufficient enough for fundamentalists.

Being a former Baptist, turned Anglican, I am fully comfortable with the covenantal, and sacramental, theology of infant baptism, although I am aware of its limitations, which made, for instance, one of the greatest theologians of the 2oth century, Karl Barth, to prefer adult baptism, in spite of him being a member of the Reformed Church, which practices paedobaptism. At the same time, adult baptism has its own problems, both theologically and practically. No form, however perfect that might be, is safe when touched by human hands.

For many theological and hermeneutic reasons, and in spite of the strong convictions of Baptists, and others, the issue of the proper age for baptism cannot be decided by quoting Bible verses. Nor could such quotations decide the proper form of baptism: by immersion –  a simbol of death to sin, and rebirth for new life in God (strongly advocated by many evangelicals and by the Orthodox), by pouring – symbol of the coming of the Spirit over the disciples at Pentecost, or by sprinkling – symbol of the later rain of the same Spirit over believers.

The Bible simply does not prescribe explicitly a certain age or form of baptism. There are biblical differences even concerning the liturgical formula used for baptism: ‘in the name of Jesus’ (the earlier practice) or ‘in the name of the Trinity’ (as the established later formula in virtually all fully Christian traditions).

These may have been the reasons why, in spite of his own established denominational practice,  a Baptist pastor in Ohio decided to respond positively to the request of a family to baptise their infant.

You may read below this unusual story, as reported by Jeff Brumley for Baptist News Global. Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 24 April 2015

24 April – 100 Years from the Armenian Genocide

In commemoration of the Armenian genocide, where about 1.5 million Armenians were killed to the Turks of Ataturk – a criminal act that was never admitted by the Turkish government, I invite you to watch (or watch again) the movie Ararat, directed by Atom Egoyan.

Posted by: DanutM | 23 April 2015

St. Basil the Great – Care for Creation Prayer

Yesterday was Earth Day, Caught up with posts related to the Armenian Genocide Centennial, I did not mark this important day. So. here is a great prayer for creation from the great Eastern Father St Basil the Great.

O God, enlarge within us the sense of
fellowship with all living things,
our brothers the animals to whom thou
gavest the earth as their home in
common with us.

We remember with shame that in the past
we have exercised the high dominion
of man with ruthless cruelty
so that the voice of the earth,
which should have gone up to thee
in song, has been a groan of travail.

May we realize that they live not for
us alone but for themselves and for
thee, and that they love
the sweetness of live.

 

 

Romania este tara din Europa cu cel mai mare procent de copii, de 15 ani, analfabeti functional | Prof. Liliana Romaniuc.

Foarte trist si extrem de periculos pentru viitorul Romaniei.

100 bells

April 23, 2015

Armenian genocide victims
A picture released by the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute dated
1915 purportedly shows soldiers standing over skulls of victims from the
Armenian village of Sheyxalan during the First World War

We are living strange times. Although both Nazi and communist ideologies have made tens of millions of victims, we still have Nazi and communist adepts on one side, and Gulag and Holocaust deniers on the other. Besides, we have the fanatics, on both sides. Even today, Lavrov, the Russian (I almost said Soviet) foreign minister, was vehement about the (unproven information) that Americans instigated one of the East European countries to tear down one of the monuments dedicated to the (supposedly heroic) Soviet Army, while at the same time denying that they are the natural heirs of the Soviet empire, that Putin in foolishly and violently trying to rebuild, as we can see these days in Ukraine.

Things are not different with the Armenian Genocide that we are commemorating these days. One one side we have the Middle Ages-like Turkish regime of Erdogan, which continues to deny the primes of the Young Turks in 1915, while of the other side we have fanatic Armenian nationalists, who are trying, at any cost, to oversimplify things and to present the whole matter as merely anti-Christian persecution, denying the role played in these tragic events by the Armenian insurgents, who followed the example of various Christians nations in the Balkans who obtained – in most cases by violence, their legitimate independence from under the oppression exercised by the Ottoman Empire. Armenians in Eastern Turkey, a territory which for many centuries, even before the time of Christ, belonged to Armenia, until it was occupied by force by the Turks.

No surprise then that Armenians (in an absolutely legitimate way, I believe) tried to obtain their independence, if needed by the use of force, while Ataturk’s Young Turks, tried to hold on at any price – even that of genocide – to the leftovers of their damned empire.

This is, more or less, the argument of a well written article published by Nick Danforth in Foreign Policy. Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 22 April 2015

Map of the Armenian Genocide

Armenian genocide map

(Source, HERE. It worth also reading the article.)

You may find HERE more maps of this tragedy.

Posted by: DanutM | 22 April 2015

Armenian Genocide Timeline

Ottoman Armenians are marched to a prison in Kharpert, Armenia, by armed Turkish soldiers in April 1915. Up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed in what is now recognized as the 20th century's first genocide.<br />

Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were massacred under the Ottoman Empire. But the most horrifying event was to come in 1915.

1913: Coup brings the ultranationalist Young Turks to power in Constantinople (Istanbul). Three ruling figures were Grand Vizier Mehmed Talat Pasha, Minister of War Ismail Enver Pasha and Minister of the Navy Ahmed Djemal Pasha: principal architects of the genocide.

October 1914: After signing a secret treaty with Germany, Turkey launches attack on Russian ports and enters war on German side. Armenians considered “internal enemies.”

February 1915: Talat Pasha tells the German ambassador it is time to conclude the “Armenian question.” The ruling Ottoman Central Committee discusses plans to “eliminate the Armenian people in its entirety.”

April 24, 1915: Talat Pasha orders arrest of more than 200 Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople, and about 2,000 others follow. They are deported and many of them killed.

April 1915 to May 1918: Ethnic cleansing of Armenians launched on vast scale with murders, looting, burning of villages, rapes, deportations. Western observers estimate more than one million are dead at the campaign’s end.

October 1918: Turkey signs armistice with the Allies, Ottoman Empire is subsequently dismantled.

1923: Turkey becomes republic under Kemal Ataturk.

(Source, HERE.)

Posted by: DanutM | 22 April 2015

A Celtic Blessing – For Those in Need

WN Pope - Celtic Motif

May God give you

For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.

For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

The interview begins at minute 4.55. It is interspersed with other short statements and video presentations on the Christians in the Middle East, with commentaries unfortunately only in Arabic.

Canonisation

LIVESTREAM of the Canonisation of the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide – April 23, starting at 17:00 Armenia Time Zone (UTC+04:00) [4PM Romania time], will be streamed in different media services from the Open Air Altar at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

The canonization marks a major event in the history of the Armenian nation, as no elevation to sainthood has taken place in the Armenian Apostolic Church since the fourteenth century.

Stream the ceremony at www.agbu.org, www.agbu.am or www.armeniangenocide100.org at the times below:

Yerevan: 5:00 PM
Beirut: 4:00 PM
Paris: 3:00 PM
New York: 9:00 AM
Los Angeles: 6:00 AM

* * *

Source, HERE.

Posted by: DanutM | 21 April 2015

Finding Paradise on The Bahamas’ Paradise Island

DanutM:

For those passionate about travel

Originally posted on Brittany From Boston:

The Bahamas is a chain of 300 islands, stretching alongside the southeast rim of Florida in the Caribbean Sea. Each island offers a uniquely beautiful experience in paradise. Many of these islands are private, uninhabited, or inhabited by a small population. Several islands though draw a large crowd, either for their natural offerings or for their infrastructural support. And the population of any island can swell when a cruise ship pulls into port.

IMG_3108

Perhaps the most-visited and best known of the islands is Nassau. It is the country’s capital and it has a bridge over to Paradise Island, where The Atlantis Resort sits. Famed for its coral pink towers and waterpark, The Atlantis sits on the shore of the Caribbean Sea, offering stunning views. It’s no coincidence that the island is named Paradise. Visitors always swoon, and have a hard time leaving this island that is perfectly paradisiacal.

 IMG_3098

Paradise…

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The brilliant Anglican theologian, N. T. Wright, in his two-volume study of St. Paul, concludes that we have largely missed Paul’s major theme. After Luther, many thought Paul’s great idea was justification by faith (Protestants) versus “works righteousness” (Catholics). It makes a nice dualistic split that fundamentalists just love. But Wright says it missed Paul’s much more foundational point. He believes the great and supreme idea of Paul is that the new temple of God is the human person. In this insight, he offers us a superb example of thin-slicing the texts and finding the golden thread. Once you see it, you cannot not see it. Read More…

It’s Rare That I’m Speechless…My Photographs From Lebanon » Executing Ideas.

You have to see these incredible photos.
Pray for Lebanon, and for Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

Posted by: DanutM | 21 April 2015

Armenian Genocide Centenial – 1915-2015

Armenian Genocide Centenial

On 24 April the democratic world commemorates 100 hundred years from the Armenian genocide, when about 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the troops of the Young Turks government. Turkey denies, even today, its responsibility in this horrible criminal state act.

Shamefully, because of pathetic political and economic calculations, Romania has not yet recognised this historically established fact.

You may find HERE a website dedicated this this commemoration and to the facts related to this tragic moment in Armenian history.

Casa de Cultură a Studenţilor din Iaşi invită publicul la prezentarea filmului documentar “7 Cuvinte – Povestea unui biruitor”. Evenimentul va avea loc luni, 20 aprilie, ora 19.00. Filmul, realizat de regizorul american de origine română Andu Negoiţă, este un documentar artistic despre viaţa şi pătimirile părintelui Gheorghe Calciu. Cu participarea regizorului Andu Negoiţă, avându-i invitaţi speciali pe academicianul Alexandru Zub şi scriitorul Marcel Petrişor. Intrarea este liberă.
O viaţă tumultoasă
Cunoscut prin activitatea sa anticomunistă, părintele Calciu a fost deţinut politic timp de 21 de ani în cele mai cumplite închisori comuniste – Piteşti, Gherla, Jilava şi Aiud. În 1977, pe când era profesor la Institutul de Teologie din Bucureşti, a ţinut şapte predici în săptămânile Postului Mare, după care a fost arestat şi încarcerat din nou. În 1984 a fost eliberat şi expulzat în SUA, la presiunea lui Ronald Reagan şi a Papei Ioan Paul al II-lea. Din 1985 şi până în 2006, părintele şi-a continuat activitatea misionară în Alexandria, Virginia, Washington DC. S-a stins din viaţă în 2006, fiind înmormântat, conform dorinţei sale, la Mănăstirea Petru Vodă din Neamţ.

(Sursa, AgoraPress.)

Urmariti mai jos un trailer al documentarului.

Islamic State militants stand behind what are said to be Ethiopian Christians along a beach in Wilayat Barqa, in this still image from an undated video made available on April 19, 2015.

Statement by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, following the murder of Ethiopian Christians in Libya

20 April 2015

The confirmation of the murder of Ethiopian Christians by Daesh (IS) in Libya has been received with deep sadness. These executions that unnecessarily and unjustifiably claim the lives of innocent people, wholly undeserving of this brutality, have unfortunately become far too familiar. Once again we see innocent Christians murdered purely for refusing to renounce their Faith.

The Christians of Egypt and Ethiopia have had a shared heritage for centuries. Being predominantly Orthodox Christian communities with a mutual understanding of life and witness, and a common origin in the Coptic Orthodox Church, they now also share an even greater connection through the blood of these contemporary martyrs.

This sad news came on the day that His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury visited His Holiness Pope Tawadros II in Egypt to personally express his condolences following the similar brutal murder of 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians in Libya by Daesh in February of this year.  Read More…

Posted by: DanutM | 20 April 2015

‘God is dead’. What Nietzsche meant.

Originally posted on BARTHOLOMUSINGS:

It’s true. Nietzsche did say ‘God is dead’, but contrary to the way he is too often quoted (even by popular apologists!) Nietzsche was NOT referring to a being called God who had experienced death. He believed no such thing, and therefore was not making a theological statement. Rather, more subtly, he was observing that “the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable”. Here’s the full quote: “‘‘The greagod_is_deadtest recent event – that ‘God is dead,’ that the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable – is already beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe. For the few at least, – the suspicion in whose eyes is strong and subtle enough for this spectacle — some sun seems to have set and some ancient and profound trust has been turned into doubt.” (Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, trans. Walter Kaufmann <New York: Random House, 1974>…

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Domnule Presedinte,

Pe 24 aprilie se implinesc 100 de ani de la teribilul genocid caruia i-au cazut victime circa 1,5 milioane de armeni.

Din pacate, Romania, din pricina unor calcule politice meschine, legate de interesele turcesti in Romania, si de interesele romanesti in raport cu Turcia, nu a recunoscut acest act criminal sub presedintii anteriori.

Cred ca a sosit vremea unui act de dreptate istorica, oricit de mult am pierde economic ca urmare a acestuia.

Daca victimele acestei crime oribile ar fi fost romani, nu ne-am fi asteptat ca armenii, si altii, sa fie solidari cu noi?

Sper ca intelepciunea si simtul dreptatii vor prevela, macar de data aceasta, asupra pragmatismului politic si economic ce domina cel mai adesea destinul poapoarelor mici si le face sa nu conteze in istorie.

Cu sincera pretuire,

Danut Manastireanu

* * *

Am transmis astazi presedintelui Iohannis, pe contul sau de Facebook, mesajul de mai sus. Sper ca voi primi un raspuns. Sau, si mai bine, voi vedea un act public de dreptate. Sa dea Dumnezeu!

Posted by: DanutM | 19 April 2015

despre lumina Învierii și Ierusalimul nostru

DanutM:

Lumina pascala de la Edinburgh e la fel de buna ca cea de la Ierusalim, daca nu chiar mai bune, pentruca sigur e autentica, iesita din inima unui preot cu har si integritate.
Sa ne traiti, Pr. Florescu!

Originally posted on JURNAℓ SCOȚIAN:

îmi cer iertare dacă am tulburat pe cineva cu articolul meu despre lumina de la Ierusalim. chiar îmi pare rău, serios. Scuza mea este că eu spun ce gândesc, așa cum respir: altfel m-aș sufoca. Sigur, ar trebui să tac măcar uneori, așa ar fi cel mai înțelept. cum zicea un părinte din Pateric, tare mi-a mai plăcut asta: că am vorbit, mereu mi-a părut rău, că am tăcut, nu mi-a părut rău niciodată. e foarte adevărat. Dar cine a zis că eu sunt un înțelept. Mie-mi place foarte mult să vorbesc, nu mă pot dezbăra de obiceiul ăsta. frate, chiar vorbesc foarte mult, au ajuns să-mi spună și copiii: vezi, mergem la omul ăla în vizită, poate începi iar să vorbești numai tu. Nu mă prinde înțelepciunea, nu se așază pe mine, arăt ca un caraghios când vreau să mă port ca un înțelept. la fel de caraghios mă…

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Paul Tudor Jones II loves capitalism. It’s a system that has done him very well over the last few decades. Nonetheless, the hedge fund manager and philanthropist is concerned that a laser focus on profits is, as he puts it, “threatening the very underpinnings of society.” In this thoughtful, passionate talk, he outlines his planned counter-offensive, which centers on the concept of “justness.”

Posted by: DanutM | 18 April 2015

Mykhailo Cherenkov – ‘Orthodox Terrorism’

Donetsk-Christian-University
Building of Donetsk Christian University,
occupied now by pro-Russian terrorists

Long before Russia’s annexation of Crimea and unproclaimed war in the Donbass, Ukraine had become a religious battleground. Despite the warning of Yurii Chernomorets, Cyril Hovorun, and other observers, none of the leading Ukrainian and Western politicians foresaw the threat posed by an increasingly aggressive form of Orthodox Christianity being promoted by Moscow. As events in Ukraine have now shown, Orthodox fundamentalism is no less aggressive than Islamic fundamentalism, and the “Russian Spring” is no less bloody than its Arab counterpart.

The facts speak for themselves: Greek Catholics and Kiev-patriarchate Ukrainian Orthodox churches have become de facto ­il­legal entities in the annexed Crimea; in the Donbass region, an “Orthodox army” is active; dozens of Protestant ­churches have been seized; there have been cases of kidnapping, torture, and killing of pastors; ­Moscow-patriarchate priests openly bless terrorists and refuse to pray over deceased Ukrainian soldiers; Patriarch Kirill of Moscow predicts the downfall of Ukraine as a “kingdom divided against itself.”

Russia’s war against Ukraine has exacerbated a series of international, interethnic, and interconfessional conflicts. It is the religious aspect of the conflict that may prove to be the most significant, because Moscow Orthodoxy has been presented as the thing holding the “Russian world” together, and thereby as the main actor in the bloody Russian Spring.

Putin has justified the annexation of Crimea by saying that it has “sacred meaning for Russia, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for Jews and Muslims.” He calls it “the ­spiritual source of the formation of the ­multifaced but monolithic Russian nation. . . . It was on this spiritual soil that our ancestors first and forever recognized their nationhood.”

Read More…

Evangelicals, LGBTQ+, and the Bible: What’s (Been) Going On? | The University of Chicago Divinity School.

John Stackhouse, from Regents College Vancouver, expresses in this article a very critical position towards evangelicals supporting a LGBT lifestyle.

Finding My Place in The Gospel Coalition | Her.meneutics | Christianitytoday.com.

Jen Pollock Michel discusses in this article about the (unconfortable) place of women in the neo-reformed Gospel Coalition.

Billy Graham | The University of Chicago Divinity School.

Martin Marty on Billy Graham.

Rachel Held Evans Returns to Church | Christianity Today.

Lots of articles these days about Rachel Held Evans, probably related to her publishing her latest book.

This one, in CT, talks about her moving theologically from evangelicalism to Anglicanism.

The Dawkins effect on religious debate – an appraisal | Lapido Media – Centre for Religious Literacy in World Affairs.

An appraisal of the current debate on religion and atheism in Great Britain.

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