3 August 2012
In this photo taken in 2000, Armenian Catholics pray during the Divine Liturgy.
(photo: Armineh Johannes)
In keeping with our mission to educate people in the West about their brothers and sisters in the East, ONE magazine has featured an article profiling one of the many churches of the East in each edition since 2005. In the September 2008 issue, we profiled the Armenian Catholic Church:
Armenia’s Christian roots run deep. According to tradition, the apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus first evangelized the kingdom, then a buffer state between the rival empires of the Persians and Romans. After years of persecution, Christianity took hold when Gregory, the “illuminator of the Armenians,” baptized King Tiridates III in 301. The king proclaimed Christianity the official religion of the state, making Armenia the first Christian nation.
Looking both east and west, the Armenian Church digested the philosophical positions and theological vocabularies of the great learning centers of the ancient world — Alexandria and Antioch, Athens and Rome, Constantinople and Seleucia, Edessa and Nisibis — and began the development of an alphabet for the Armenian vernacular even as an independent Armenian nation expired.
Though conscious of the great Christological controversies that rocked the universal church, the Armenians could not participate in these debates, especially the Council of Chalcedon (451). Appeasing Persian oppression, the leaders of the Armenian Church declared their civil allegiance to the Persian emperor, but stressed their spiritual submission to Christ.
To learn more, read our profile of the Armenian Catholic Church in the September 2008 issue of ONE.
2 August 2012
Tags: Armenia Prayers/Hymns/Saints Armenian Catholic Church
Earlier this year Msgr. Kozar met with CNEWA office staff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Tazanesh, a sponsorship clerk; Megnote, an accountant; Rahel, a receptionist; and Meseret, a sponsorship clerk. (photo: CNEWA)
We often describe CNEWA as a “family.” It is a very large family, which includes people in need in the regions we serve, church and community leaders throughout those regions, our benefactors and of course the hardworking individuals that staff our offices. We have introduced you to some special members of our New York staff on the blog before. Today, we would like to introduce you to a few dedicated workers from our office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Msgr. John Kozar had the opportunity to meet with them during his pastoral visit in April:
I also had a wonderful visit yesterday with our CNEWA family in Addis Ababa — that is, our staff. This group of very dedicated and dynamic workers welcomed me warmly. I took the opportunity to become better acquainted with them and to share with them how I value greatly not only their performance in the office, but their input in helping me to improve on the good works of CNEWA in Ethiopia. They very readily accepted this challenge as we journey together to discover more fully who we are, what we do and why we do it. We included in our visit a lovely lunch together at a local restaurant, a treat for them and also for me, as sharing a meal together is always the best way to heighten a visit.
To learn more about CNEWA’s work in Ethiopia, read Msgr. Kozar’s blog series, “An Ethiopian Odyssey.”
2 August 2012
Tags: Ethiopia CNEWA Africa Msgr. John E. Kozar
Relief efforts of CNEWA and partners highlighted (EWTN)
Rebel forces in Aleppo capture tank, shell military airbase (Reuters)
Egyptian President to swear in new Cabinet today (USA Today)
Greek government commits to new round of spending cuts (Huffington Post)
Revival of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine (Voice of Russia)
Patriarch Kirill blesses new church near Moscow's Federal Security Service (Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty)
1 August 2012
Tags: Syria Egypt Ukraine War Russian Orthodox Church
Fleeing violence, Syrian refugees make their way to the Jordanian city of Mafraq, 31 July.
(photo: CNS/Muhammad Hamed, Reuters)
CNEWA’s regional director for Lebanon and Syria, Issam Bishara, reports on efforts to supply emergency aid to families and children displaced by the civil war raging within Syria, especially in Homs and Al Qusayr.
With funds raised throughout North America and Europe, CNEWA is coordinating its efforts with partners on the ground, including the Melkite Greek Catholic and Greek Orthodox patriarchates in Damascus, the Good Shepherd sisters in Damascus and a Melkite Greek Catholic parish in Qaa, a village on the Lebanese-Syrian border.
To read the full report, click here. To learn how you can support CNEWA’s relief efforts in Syria, click here.
1 August 2012
Tags: Syria Refugees Relief CNEWA Pontifical Mission Issam Bishara
A Coptic priest celebrates the liturgy at a church in Deir Azra, a Christian village in Upper Egypt. (photo: Holly Pickett)
Last week, Trudy Rubin, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, reported on the reactions within Egypt’s Coptic community to the election of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi as president:
There were simmering tensions between radical Muslims and the Coptic community under the Mubarak regime, including attacks on the Copts' places of worship. To open new churches, Copts were required to get presidential permission, which was rarely forthcoming, forcing them to worship in “unlicensed,” and thus vulnerable, structures.
“We thought the revolution would solve our grievances,” Sidhom said, ruefully. “It took a lot of people by surprise that Islamists were able to take advantage of the revolution.”
Under Hosni Mubarak, she said, despite the problems, ultraconservative Salafi Muslims had no power. Now, young Salafis return from the cities to their home villages, where Copts and Muslims have lived side by side, and warn them against Christian “infidels.” She reeled off a list of churches that have been burned down since the revolution.
For more from this story, read Copts in Egypt are watching and worrying.
1 August 2012
Tags: Egypt Village life Coptic Christians Coptic Church
Center in Bethlehem provides care for those suffering post-traumatic stress (Catholic News Service)
Maronite bishops criticize Lebanese government (The Daily Star)
Fighting in Syria reaches Christian areas of Damascus (The Daily Star)
Irrigation technology to improve Ethiopian food security (News Dire)
Power restored in India, ending two-day blackout for more than half a billion (BBC)
Disavowed letter from Egyptian president pledges new peace efforts with Israel (Washington Post)
Tags: Syria India Egypt Lebanon Ethiopia