Russia heeds ‘the Inner Voice of Conscience’–Patriarch Kirill

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Several days ago I posted a video of an interview with Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church conducted over Russian TV. The interview aired live on January 7–Russian Orthodox Christmas Day. What I posted was only a four and a half minute segment that had been translated into English–this of an interview which ran on for more than half and hour–but in that segment Kirill expressed the view that “evil is not viable,” and that “systems where the evil is dominant cannot survive.”

“If evil drives away good from human society, then the end will come,” he added.

The video I am posting above is an additional segment from the same interview and that has now also been translated into English. In it Kirill talks about how Russia “is a country which pays heed to the inner voice of conscience.”

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Russian Patriarch Discusses Good, Evil, and the End-Times

The feature image that Russia Today selected when i uploaded this video is quite cheesy, but the comments by Russian Patriarch Kirill are actually quite powerful and relevant.

VIDEO: Palestinian Christians Protest Patriarch Who Sold Church Land to Israel

January 7, 2018 4:27 AM 

 IMEMC News & Agencies

07 JAN 4:27 AM

Palestinian Christians from around the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Israel came out in harsh opposition, Saturday, to a visit by Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, to the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Theophilos III, along with several other religious and political figures, were visiting Bethlehem as part of celebrations for Greek Orthodox Christmas Eve.

Despite an intense presence of Palestinian security forces who attempted to open roads near Bethlehem’s Manger Square, for the patriarch’s car, angry protesters swarmed around the procession, holding signs, Palestinian flags, and chanting slogans against Theophilus III.

According to Ma’an News Agency,  some people threw stones and smashed windows of the car that the patriarch was riding in as they demanded he be stripped of his titles and removed from the church.

Theophilos III is accused of orchestrating the sale of more than 500 dunams (123.5 acres) of Palestinian land belonging to the Arab Orthodox Church in Jerusalem to Israelis belonging to Zionist and settler groups.

The protest was not the first of its kind in Bethlehem — visits by Theophilus III to the biblical town have been boycotted in the past.

On Saturday, heads of the municipalities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour boycotted the reception, along with several religious organizations affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Church.

The church has been accused numerous times, over the years, of selling its leasing rights over land in Jerusalem to Jewish Israeli investors, with Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist revealing late last month that the Orthodox Patriarchate had sold the rights to 500 dunams, in August 2016, for 114 million shekels ($32 million), a move to be effective in 2050, when the Jewish National Fund’s lease of the land is set to expire.

Detractors have accused the patriarchate of contributing to Israeli plans to “Judaize” Jerusalem by selling or leasing off large amounts of land to Israeli authorities and business people, betraying the church’s responsibility to protect Palestinian lands that were handed under its care during the Ottoman period.

In 2015, a patriarchate spokesperson denied that the church was selling off lands in Jerusalem — a claim that did not convince many members of the faith, at the time.

Related story:

12/07/17 Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour Engage in “Christmas Blackout” to Protest US Jerusalem Decision

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Merry Christmas! Orthodox Christmas Service in Moscow

Source

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From Sputnik:

Orthodox Christians in Russia celebrate Christmas on January 7. There is a 40-day Lent preceding Christmas Day. On the eve of the significant event, orthodox observers attend liturgies in churches all over the country that last well into the early hours of the morning.
The main mass in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior is led by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Commentary is provided by Sergei Brun, academic fellow at the Museum of the Russian Icon in Moscow, and RT journalist Daniel Bushell.

Putin Wishes Russian Children a Happy New Year

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A time of mounting excitement in Moscow as the city gets set for the holidays–in Russia, New Year is celebrated before Christmas, rather than after it. The Russian Orthdox Christmas will be observed on January 6-7, 2018. What I find most striking about the video is the extent to which the Russian children seem to idolize Putin–almost as if he’s a rock star or something. I would find it hard to imagine any group of American children displaying such frenzy and adoration upon the appearance of a US president.

You’ll note also that some of the children in the video are from Sevastopol. The city is located in Crimea, and for many of them it’s their first trip to Moscow. Obviously they are quite impressed!

A little bit about Russian Orthodox Christmas:

People in Russia celebrate Christmas Day with activities such as having a family dinner, attending a Christmas liturgy and visiting relatives and friends. There is a 40-day Lent preceding Christmas Day, when practicing Christians do not eat any meat. The Lent period ends with the first star in the night sky on January 6 – a symbol of Jesus Christ’s birth. Many Orthodox Christians go to the church to attend a Christmas liturgy that evening. (Source).

Saker Man of the Year 2018: all those who gave their lives for Syria

December 25, 2017

[Note: this post of mine is temporarily located in the ‘guest section’ because of the current fundraiser.  Once the fundraiser is over, I will place it back in the correct section.  The Saker]

I have been doing this “pretend I am Time mag” thing for a couple of years now, but this year I had no clear candidate(s), at least now an original one.  I could re-list names already listed, but somehow I wanted to find somebody truly inspiring.  And then today I saw this photo on Colonel Cassad’s website:

 

The photo shows what Col. Cassad called “a Syrian version of the Immortal Regiment” event in Russia.  As soon as I saw this, I knew I had my answer.  So the 2018 Saker Men of the year are:

All those who sacrificed their lives to save Syria

The man and women who gave their lives to save Syria did not just die fighting against arguably the most evil, maniacal and deranged terrorist insurgency in history (Daesh aka ISIS aka al-Qaeda aka al-Nusra and aka all the other rebrandings), but also against the AngloZionist Empire, against CENTCOM, against NATO, against the degenerate Gulf States and against the Zionist Entity.  That is truly a formidable list of enemies and a truly abominable one.

I have never had the chance to visit Syria, but I have had Syrian friends and I know how beautiful the Syrian people are.  Make no mistake, these people faced total annihilation, no less, irrespective of whether they were Christian, Muslim or secular.  For the shaitans of Daesh everybody who is not with them deserves to die.  That is the extend of their pseudo theology.

I am not so naive as to believe that in wars things are always black and white.  But in this case, I would argue that the evil which was unleashed against Syria was truly exceptionally vile and that those who died resisting it deserve a special place of honor in world history.

Runner up:

At a time of quasi universal hatred, deception, betrayal, cowardice and lies, lies everywhere and in everything, I think that I want to honor a man who has (and still is) taking a great degree of risk in living according to the words of Christ “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9). I am referring to Sheikh Imran Hosein who has shown immense courage in trying to forge an alliance between Muslims and Orthodox Christians.  For having done so, he has been the object of numerous attacks and slander which brings to my mind another Beatitude “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven“.  I therefore nominate my friend

Sheikh Imran Hosein as peacemaker of the year

 

I feel that honoring those who died in a righteous struggle and those who struggle for peace are really one and the same – they all are standing up against the worst evil in our world and that they therefore belong together.

Now, as always, it is your turn: whom do you see as man/woman of the year?

The Saker

Russian Church Vows to Rebuild Christian Syria

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[ Ed. note – The video above contains Russian Christmas music. I thought it very fitting to post given the news which appeared yesterday on the Russian Faith website–namely that the Russian Orthodox Church has vowed to help Christian communities in Syria rebuild. The war in Syria has in some respects been a war against Christianity.

We should remember that the terrorists who targeted Syrian Christians in brutal and bloody attacks over the past six years, kidnapping nuns and beheading priests, plundering and ransacking churches and monasteries–we should remember that these terrorists were equipped, trained, and funded by foreign backers who knew full well that attacks on Christians were the likely result of their backing. And yet they went ahead and provided them with support and backing anyway. Those who view the Syrian conflict as solely an effort at regime change I think are seeing only part of the picture.

At any rate, below is the the report from the Russian Faith website on Patriarch Kirill’s pledge to help support the rebuilding effort in Syria…and beneath that you will find a Russian-to-English translation of the video description, including the artists and song titles.

Also down below you’ll find a bit of breaking news from the Syrian conflict itself. Tensions seem to be escalating between the US and Russia, or at least between the US and Russian Air Forces. It seems there are some particularly “close encounters” between fighter jets taking place now. ]

***

By Matfey Shaheen | Russian Faith

December 8, 2017

The leader of the Russian Church, Patriarch Kirill promised that the Russian Church will help Syria to cope with post-war problems in every way possible, Interfax Religion reports.

His main concern is to help reestablish ancient Christian communities, many of which were ravaged by western-backed terrorists fighting the legitimate Syrian government. Many monasteries and Churches were damaged, for example, the Mar Taqla Monastery in Maaloula, where they speak the same language which Jesus spoke – Aramaic.

Orthodox priests and believers were cruelly persecuted. My mother’s family is distantly related to  Father Fadi Haddad, a priest martyred by extremists in Qatana, a village within sight of the biblical Mount Hermon.

Continued here

***

From the video description:

***

A list of songs and artists at the end of this text.
I’ve been looking for a series of Christmas songs online … Individual video clips, audio … You are welcome… But I wanted a collection of good Christmas songs in Russian. There are many assemblies in English. And I thought, why not do something like that. A couple of weeks collected Russian audio, and then the pictures. And finally, this is a nice musical assembly. Especially for his friends and everyone-everyone who loves New Year as much as I do! I’d love it if you like it! 40 minutes of Christmas and winter songs in Russian.

1. Julia Savicheva-New Year
2. Group of shiny-Tic Tac Clock
3. Choirs Arkady and Natalie-Christmas toys
4. Olga the Christmas snowflake (song from C/F Paradise)
5. Andrei Derzhavin-Christmas
6. Future visitors-Christmas song
7. Fire-Snow is spinning
8. The Christmas singer is unknown
9. History of Romance
10. Alexei Glyzin-New Year
11. Oscar Kucera-New Year
12. Stas Pieha and Pavel Christmas

By the way, the latest news on the Syrian front is that US and Russian aircraft are having encounters in the skies that in some respects resemble aerial dog fights. An article published December 9 at RT says that the Russian Ministry of Defense has “blasted” the US Air Force for the actions of “rogue” US fighter jets that have interfered with Russian military operations against ISIS. An incident that occurred on November 23 involving a US F-22 seems particularly to have vexed the Russians, and the article includes an interesting quote Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov.

“The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight,” Konashenkov said. He added that the US jet ceased its dangerous maneuvers only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes.

The major general went on to say that “most close-midair encounters between Russian and US jets in the area around the Euphrates River have been linked to the attempts of US aircraft to get in the way [of the Russian warplanes] striking against Islamic State terrorists.” He also said that the US military officials provided no explanation for the November 23 incident as well as other, similar encounters.

You can access the full article here. I would also recommend, for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, a newly-published article by Vanessa Beeley regarding the organization Reporters Without Borders–a Western-backed NGO that supposedly defends freedom of the press but which recently attempted to shut down a conference in Geneva, Switzerland at which Beeley was slated to be one of the speakers. It’s a topsy-turvy world when organizations ostensibly dedicated to free speech attempt to interfere with free speech, but that seems to be what happened.

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