The Coptic Diocese in Los Angeles, Calif., which is headed by H.G. Bishop Serapion, vehemently condemns the attack that occurred at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo on Sunday, resulting in the deaths of several innocent people.
The first attack happened in the city of El-Khoso, in Qaliubiya, which left five Copts and one Muslim dead. The second attack took place during the funeral for those killed at St. Mark's Cathedral in Abbassiya on Sunday.
"It is with profound sadness that we watch the unfolding events in Egypt," Bishop Serapion said in a statement. "We pray for the souls of the martyrs and comfort of their family, speed recovery of the wounded and the peace of the Church and Egypt." more >>
In the wake of the unprovoked attack on mourners during a funeral service at Cairo's St. Mark's Cathedral, numerous leading political figures have come out and denounced such acts of violence and blamed complicit security forces for choosing who does and does not get protection under Egyptian law.
"What happened yesterday in El-Khosos City in Qaliubiya [Greater Cairo Governorate], and today in front of the St. Mark Cathedral in Abbasiya, is an unfortunate tragedy that points to the failure of the society and the state to deal with citizenship issues and protecting citizens' lives," Amr Moussa, a former presidential candidate, said in a statement.
Others denounced the rise in sectarian violence that has been fostered under Egyptian President Mahmoud Morsi, which is predominantly targeting Coptic Christians. more >>
One of Egypt's leading religous leaders, Dr. Mounir Hana Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Egypt and North Africa, has publicly condemned the attacks that targeted Cairo's St. Mark Cathedral and Khosos' church Sunday, leaving several dead and scores injured.
"Such attacks could lead the country into the abyss of sectarian sedition and deteriorate the social, economic and political conditions of the country. These actions could worsen the image of Egypt in front of the international community," Hana said in a statement.
Egyptian President Mahmoud Morsi had previously stated that all religious minorities in Egypt would be protected under the law while insisting that Egypt was a homeland for all. more >>
President Obama's recent charm offensive in Israel apparently had two aims: 1) lull Israel into forfeiting timely military action against Iranian nukes in the hope that Obama will stop them, and 2) convince Israelis that now is the time to revisit the land-for-peace formula. For years, the conventional wisdom – among Israel's peace camp and its proponents abroad (Obama included) – has been that if Israel just relinquishes enough territory to its enemies, peace will arrive. But on most of Israel's borders, history has revealed the naïve folly behind an idea that could just as aptly be called "land-for-war."
Consider Syria. From 1948 to 1967, the Syrians regularly fired artillery shells from their dominant positions on the Golan Heights down at Israeli border communities and Fatah used the territory to launch terrorist raids into Israel, until Israel captured it in 1967. But since the US-brokered talks between Israel and Syria began in 1999, peaceniks have posited that a full withdrawal by Israel from the strategic plateau in exchange for peace with Syria involved a risk worth taking. Their rationale was that – in an era dominated more by aerial threats (jets and missiles) than terrestrial ones (soldiers and tanks) – the territory was no longer vital to Israeli security and could be traded for a double boon: peace with Syria and elimination of Iran's greatest strategic ally.
Current events reveal the deeply flawed assumptions underpinning the land-for-peace-with-Syria paradigm. No Israeli territorial concession is needed for Iran to lose its only Arab ally; the Syrian civil war will ultimately accomplish that. Basher Assad's regime will eventually fall because the daily slaughter of one's own people (with over 70,000 dead) is unsustainable when each atrocity can be instantly uploaded to the Internet. Whoever replaces Assad will be no friend to those who armed, funded, and prolonged his massacres: Iran and Russia. Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have also been substantially involved in fighting the rebels on the ground, and thus will be distanced from post-war Syria far more than any Israeli-Syrian peace could have separated Iran and Syria. more >>
A U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief describes "Evangelical Christianity" and "Catholicism" as examples of "religious extremism," according to the Archdiocese for the Military Services and the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, who shared a copy of the documents with The Christian Post.
"The number of hate groups, extremists and anti‐govt organizations in the U.S. has continued to grow over the past three years, according to reports by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They increased to 1,018 in 2011, up from 1,002 in 2010 and 602 in 2000," reads the first page of the slide presentation labeled "Extremism & Extremist Organizations."
Listed alongside "extremist" groups and organizations like the Klu Klux Klan and al-Qaida, the U.S. Army slideshow has "Evangelical Christianity" as the first bullet, followed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and farther down on the slide, Catholicism. more >>
As North Korea's official news agency ramped up its rhetoric and declared on Thursday the possibility of war breaking out "today or tomorrow" with the West, Christians living in the oppressive communist country have verified that preparations for war are being made around the clock, and are asking fellow believers worldwide to pray.
"The military army, navy, air force troops, strategic rocket troops, the red guards and the red youth guards are already in combat mode. Urgent meetings are being held everywhere, regardless if it is day or night. At those meetings, officials make decisions on what needs to happen in case war breaks out and everyone, including women, needs to be combat ready," a local church leader has said of the situation, according to persecution watchdog Open Doors USA.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un said in a message to the people, according to Open Doors' sources, that "If war breaks out because of the actions of the U.S. and puppet South Korean's unpardonable behavior, they will end up with a disgraceful downfall, and our people will greet a brilliant new day of reunification. The day has come to show off the power of 'Military First' and our great nation to the whole world." more >>