One of the worst Christian massacres—complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches—recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi "rebels"; and the U.S. government and its "mainstream media" mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters).
The massacre took place in Sadad, an ancient Syriac Orthodox Christian habitation, so old as to be mentioned in the Old Testament. Most of the region's inhabitants are poor, as Sadad is situated in the remote desert between Homs and Damascus (desert regions, till now, apparently the only places Syria's Christians could feel secure; 600 Christian families had earlier fled there for sanctuary from the jihad, only to be followed by it).
In late October, the U.S-supported "opposition" invaded and occupied Sadad for over a week, till ousted by the nation's military. Among other atrocities, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several tortured to death; Sadat's 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for "subhuman" Christians).
The jihadis even made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam's victory-cry, "Allahu Akbar" (which John McCain equates to a Christian saying "thank God"). Another video, made after Sadad was liberated shows more graphic atrocities.
What happened in Sadad is the most serious and biggest massacre of Christians in Syria in the past two years and a half… 45 innocent civilians were martyred for no reason, and among them several women and children, many thrown into mass graves. Other civilians were threatened and terrorized. 30 were wounded and 10 are still missing. For one week, 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields. Among them children, the elderly, the young, men and women…. All the houses of Sadad were robbed and property looted. The churches are damaged and desecrated, deprived of old books and precious furniture… What happened in Sadad is the largest massacre of Christians in Syria and the second in the Middle East, after the one in the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Iraq, in 2010.
In the Iraqi attack of 2010, al-Qaeda linked jihadis stormed the church during service killing some 60 Christian worshippers (see here for graphic images of the aftermath).
While the archbishop is correct that this is the "largest massacre of Christians in Syria," it is but the tip of the iceberg of the persecution the nation's Christian minority has suffered—including beheadings, church bombings, kidnappings, rapes, and dislocation of hundreds of thousands of Christians—since the war broke out (see Syria entries in monthly persecution series).
A month before Sadad, another ancient Christian region, Ma'loula, one of the world's very few regions that still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus, was besieged by the jihadis, its churches bombarded and plundered, its inhabitantsforced to convert to Islam or die. The last words of one man who refused were: "I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me for this, I do not object to it."
The archbishop concluded his statement concerning Sadad by asking: "We have shouted aid to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers? I think of all those who are suffering today in mourning and discomfort: We ask everyone to pray for us."
Serge Trifkovic—who hails from a European region especially acquainted with Islamic jihad—responds to the archbishop as follows:
That no "human consciousness" is to be found in the White House, or in the editorial offices of the leading Western media, is now a matter of well-established record. Just try searching for "Sadad" (or alternatively "Saddad") on the websites of the Department of State orThe New York Times. Ditto the leading European dailies, the CNN/BBC/RTF, the human-rights defending "NGOs" et al.
The problem, of which Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh appears unaware, is no longer in the Western elite's mereindifference to the impending demise of Christianity in the lands of its birth, but in its active, ongoing, and open contribution to that demise. Cyprus (1974) and the Balkans (1991-9) provided the test, Iraq (2003-today) the conclusive proof. In Syria the Obama administration remains committed to supporting the rebels—ah, yes, only the "moderate" ones, like the Christian-murdering "Free Syrian Army"(discretion advised again), not "even though" the result will be the same, but precisely because it will be.
In one of the Arabic videos documenting the aftermath of the Sadad massacre, as the mutilated bodies of one family are drawn from a well (around :30 second mark), a middle-aged male relative, in tears, says:
The most precious in the whole universe [his family], are now gone, leaving me alone, but thank God I am still surrounded by these loving people who remain. I want to say, let people [the jihadis] return to their minds. The problems of the world can only be solved by knowledge and brains. Enough insanity, the nerves of the people are shredded. Enough, enough—return to your minds; you people, you humans—return to your humanity, enough crimes.
As a sign of the times, here is a Syrian, an "easterner," evoking rationalism and humanity, products of the Christian West, at a time when the post-Christian West is governed by anything and everything—propaganda, emotionalism, mindless indoctrination—but the twain.
Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (Regnery, April, 2013) is a Middle East and Islam specialist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Is Putin One of Us? December 17, 2013 - 5:05 AM - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/putin-one-us#sthash.IfS72HE1.dpuf
Is Vladimir Putin a paleoconservative? In the culture war for mankind's future, is he one of us?While such a question may be blasphemous in Western circles, consider the content of the Russian president's state of the nation address.With America clearly in mind, Putin declared, "In many countries today, moral and ethical norms are being reconsidered.""They're now requiring not only the proper acknowledgment of freedom of conscience, political views and private life, but also the mandatory acknowledgment of the equality of good and evil."Translation: While privacy and freedom of thought, religion and speech are cherished rights, to equate traditional marriage and same-sex marriage is to equate good with evil.No moral confusion here, this is moral clarity, agree or disagree.President Reagan once called the old Soviet Empire "the focus of evil in the modern world." President Putin is implying that Barack Obama's America may deserve the title in the 21st century.Nor is he without an argument when we reflect on America's embrace of abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values.Our grandparents would not recognize the America in which we live.Moreover, Putin asserts, the new immorality has been imposed undemocratically.The "destruction of traditional values" in these countries, he said, comes "from the top" and is "inherently undemocratic because it is based on abstract ideas and runs counter to the will of the majority of people."Does he not have a point?Unelected justices declared abortion and homosexual acts to be constitutionally protected rights. Judges have been the driving force behind the imposition of same-sex marriage. Attorney General Eric Holder refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.America was de-Christianized in the second half of the 20th century by court orders, over the vehement objections of a huge majority of a country that was overwhelmingly Christian.And same-sex marriage is indeed an "abstract" idea unrooted in the history or tradition of the West. Where did it come from?Peoples all over the world, claims Putin, are supporting Russia's "defense of traditional values" against a "so-called tolerance" that is "genderless and infertile."While his stance as a defender of traditional values has drawn the mockery of Western media and cultural elites, Putin is not wrong in saying that he can speak for much of mankind.Same-sex marriage is supported by America's young, but most states still resist it, with black pastors visible in the vanguard of the counterrevolution.In France, a million people took to the streets of Paris to denounce the Socialists' imposition of homosexual marriage.Only 15 nations out of more than 190 have recognized it.In India, the world's largest democracy, the Supreme Court has struck down a lower court ruling that made same-sex marriage a right. And the parliament in this socially conservative nation of more than a billion people is unlikely soon to reverse the high court.In the four dozen nations that are predominantly Muslim, which make up a fourth of the U.N. General Assembly and a fifth of mankind, same-sex marriage is not even on the table. And Pope Francis has reaffirmed Catholic doctrine on the issue for over a billion Catholics.While much of American and Western media dismiss him as an authoritarian and reactionary, a throwback, Putin may be seeing the future with more clarity than Americans still caught up in a Cold War paradigm.As the decisive struggle in the second half of the 20th century was vertical, East vs. West, the 21st century struggle may be horizontal, with conservatives and traditionalists in every country arrayed against the militant secularism of a multicultural and transnational elite.And though America's elite may be found at the epicenter of anti-conservatism and anti-traditionalism, the American people have never been more alienated or more divided culturally, socially and morally.We are two countries now.Putin says his mother had him secretly baptized as a baby and professes to be a Christian. And what he is talking about here is ambitious, even audacious.He is seeking to redefine the "Us vs. Them" world conflict of the future as one in which conservatives, traditionalists and nationalists of all continents and countries stand up against the cultural and ideological imperialism of what he sees as a decadent west."We do not infringe on anyone's interests," said Putin, "or try to teach anyone how to live." The adversary he has identified is not the America we grew up in, but the America we live in, which Putin sees as pagan and wildly progressive.Without naming any country, Putin attacked "attempts to enforce more progressive development models" on other nations, which have led to "decline, barbarity and big blood," a straight shot at the U.S. interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Egypt.In his speech, Putin cited Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev whom Solzhenitsyn had hailed for his courage in defying his Bolshevik inquisitors. Though no household word, Berdyaev is favorably known at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal.Which raises this question: Who is writing Putin's stuff? - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/putin-one-us#sthash.IfS72HE1.d
Wife of American pastor held in Iran blasts Obama administration for not doing enough to free him
Published December 12, 2013
The wife of an American pastor imprisoned for his faith in Iran said she was shocked to learn the U.S. government had been conducting secret negotiations with Iran even as State Department officials told her they could do little to free her husband because the nations have no diplomatic relations. Naghmeh Abedini, whose husband, Saeed Abedini, is serving an eight-year prison term in Iran after being arrested more than a year ago while visiting his homeland, told FoxNews.com she felt betrayed when she later learned U.S. diplomats were negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran even while claiming nothing could be done for her husband. "Initially, when I went to the U.S. government, they said we don't have a direct relationship with Iran," Naghmeh Abdeini said, moments after telling a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee her husband's health is failing in prison. "Here we were sitting across table from Iran. It was our best leverage. It should have been a precondition." The Boise, Idaho, mother of two said her husband's relatives in Iran have been able to meet with him sporadically, and have given her grim news about his condition. She said the imprisoned American's father saw Abedini 10 days ago and reported that has internal bleeding from repeated beatings at the hands of guards and fellow inmates and was covered with lice. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who chairs the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, said "time is running out" for Abedini, who experts believe would be unlikely to survive eight years in Iran's brutal prison system. Smith said Abedini and two other Americans being held in Iran should have been the first order of business when U.S. and Iranian diplomats sat down for talks, sometime earlier this year. "You begin every conversation with it; it should be center of every conversation and every conversation should end with it," Smith told FoxNews.com. "How can we have a discussion with any regime when they are torturing our citizens?" Earlier, lawmakers on the panel heard the distraught wife detail her fears for her husband and the heartbreak she and their two children feel due to his absence. "His condition has worsened and the kids and I fear his life," she said, before holding up a photograph of her children on their first day of school. "Tears were streaming down my face as I got the kids ready for school with their father missing." Abedini "went to Iran to build an orphanage for Iranian children last year" and "remains in an absolute hell-hole prison," Smith told the committee. "We continue to have serious concerns about the fate of a dual national U.S.-Iranian detained in Iran Saeed Abedini," the official said. "As we noted previously, President Obama raised Mr. Abedini's case in his Sept. 27 phone call with President [Hassan] Rouhani and we continue to urge the Iranian government to release Mr. Abedini so that he may be reunited with his family. "We have been repeatedly clear that we are calling on Iran to release all detained U.S. citizens and we will continue our efforts until Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Robert Levinson all return home," the official added. Abedini converted from Islam to Christianity more than a decade ago, and was previously sanctioned for evangelizing in Iran. But the 34-year-old father of two claims he had only returned to his native land to help establish an orphanage when authorities pulled him off a bus in August of 2012 and threw him into the notorious Evin prison in Tehran.He was later sentenced to eight years and has since been moved to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, a prison known to house Iran's most violent criminals. His supporters say he has been beaten and tortured in the prison. According to reports, Rajai Shahr Prison was built to accommodate 5,000 inmates, but at present houses about 22,000, which has led to severe overcrowding and inhumane conditions. Hekmati, a U.S. Marine who went to Iran to visit his grandparents, was charged with spying and sentenced to death. Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in March, 2007, while investigating cigarette smuggling on the Kish Islands. Iran has said they are not holding Levinson, but U.S. officials believe otherwise.
Letter to "Christian History Magazine"
Dear Mr. Curtis,
I would like to recommend a topic for "Christian History" Magazine.
I think that you should devote a magazine to Aramaic Christianity. The story of the Aramaic Christians is an important story that needs to be told.
According to their ancient traditions, the Aramaic churches were founded by Saint Thomas and Saint Thaddeus. The communities are important in that they use and still speak the Aramaic language, the language that was spoken by Jesus Christ.
Several of the early church fathers such as Tatian the Assyrian and Ephraim the Syrian were Aramaic Christians. The Aramaic Christians produced the Syriac Peshitta, the first translation of the New Testament into any language. Important spiritual leaders such as Saint Isaac of Nineveh were also Aramaic Christians.
Another fascinating aspect of the Aramaic Christians is the fact that they were able to plant churches in Mongolia, China, India and the Isle of Socotra, while Europe was in its so-called "Dark Ages." Marco Polo saw Aramaic Churches all across the east during his travels to the orient. These eastern churches endured for centuries and the church of India is with us still.
The Aramaic Churches include the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Syriac Rite Catholic Churches, which includes the Maronite Church. The Assyrian Church was called the Nestorian Church in the past and the Syrian Orthodox Church was called "Jacobite." These names referred to Nestorius and Jacob Baradaeus s who were figures in the Christological debates of the early Byzantine Era.
I have researched the history of Aramaic Christians and have visited their communities in the Middle East and have contacts with the Aramaic Christian community in the United States.
I think this is a very important subject and it is an important part of the world history of Christianity.
I hope that the subject interests you and please contact me if you need further information.
Thank you, Stephen Missick 281-592-4101
Is President Obama 'too big to jail?'
A Chinese proverb says, "May you live in interesting times." We certainly do. Historians will look back on this time as "the Obama criminal years." How lawless is the Obama administration? Many of the dirty deeds and scandals of Obama & Co. are public knowledge. Let's start with the most astonishing. Many citizens are aware that because of ObamaCare, millions of Americans are losing their health care coverage. Is this incompetence, or criminal fraud? One thing is certain: it would be fraud if a private sector CEO knew that millions of customers would lose their insurance, yet repeated the same lie over and over -- "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it. Period." Why would we not hold a politician to the same standard? That brings up the question "IS THIS PRESIDENT TOO BIG TO JAIL?" But this fraud isn't just about money and power. It's about cancer patients, our fellow citizens who may lose their lives as well as their health care coverage because of ObamaCare. Even innocent children with cancer are among the victims of ObamaCare.Yes, it turns out ObamaCare is one big death panel. With their policies being cancelled, these sick Americans are losing the very doctors, hospitals and treatments that have kept them alive. What if some of them die from the stoppage of treatment? What if some die from stress and worry? What if some commit suicide from depression? These are complicated questions. But isn't the person whose lies and misrepresentations harmed them, at least partly responsible for their deaths? So, IS THIS PRESIDENT TOO BIG TO JAIL?This president has no shame. How many Americans know that a cancer patient merely discussing the disastrous ramifications of ObamaCare in public (thereby embarrassing Obama), is now being persecuted by the IRS? Yes, it's true. Bill Elliott is that terminally-ill cancer patient. He was audited by the IRS within days of an appearance on Fox News. The IRS scandal is far more widespread than the American public knows. It is not just about Tea Party groups. The IRS was used by Obama to go after any citizen daring to criticize him in the national media. I'm one of those victims. These actions by a president are absolutely criminal. Richard Nixon's articles of impeachment included the exact same charge of using the IRS to punish critics and silence free speech. But terminally ill cancer patients?Obama has sunk to new lows. I'm a big boy. What he did to critics like me is disgusting and un-American. But what he did to a terminally ill cancer patient is disgraceful and unimaginable. This president is an out-of-control bully, pure and simple. Will anyone show the courage to investigate and prosecute Obama? "IS THIS PRESIDENT TOO BIG TO JAIL?" But wait (as late night infomercial pitchmen like to say), "There's more." When the citizens went to the "state of the art" ObamaCare web site for help, to try to save themselves, they found it defective. It turns out the website was built so poorly, the personal information of consumers can be easily stolen. And it's not just online scam artists we're worried about. The "Obama navigators" themselves might do the stealing -- after all, it turns out many of them have criminal records. Rather than hiring one of many highly-qualified American high tech Internet companies, why would Obama give a NO BID contract for hundreds of millions of dollars to a firm with less than stellar credentials? Surely the reason couldn't be that it's the firm of one of Michelle Obama's Princeton Black Alumni Association buddies? Don't you wonder how many of those millions of taxpayer dollars are committed to Democrat causes, or are now sitting in a Swiss bank account? Can you imagine if this happened at a private sector company? Can you imagine the outrage and criminal accusations coming from consumer protection advocates? Can you imagine how quickly the federal government would shut down the business? The criminal would have been "perp walked" out of his office in front of waiting journalists and photographers. He'd be facing a lifetime in prison. So, "IS THIS PRESIDENT TOO BIG TO JAIL?" As bad as it is, ObamaCare is just another of the nonstop scandals of this administration. Any one of these scandals would have already forced a Republican president out of office. Obama owns all of them. Benghazi. More absurd lies than ObamaCare, a possible arms deal with rebels gone bad, and the cover-up of murder. Fast and Furious. Another government arms deal gone bad, responsibility for the murder of a U.S. border guard, another blatant cover-up. The NSA scandal. Obama listens into all of our calls and communications. I hope he's listening to mine. He'll hear the word IMPEACHMENT come up in every sentence. The AP scandal. Obama and paranoid buddies like Attorney General Eric Holder are even illegally spying on their adoring Kool-Aid drinking friends in the media. The IRS scandal. It's not just about targeting his political opposition. It's about the much more serious scandal of using the IRS to change the outcome of the election. Obama's goal was to neutralize the powerful Tea Parties to prevent a repeat of the 2010 GOP landslide. Guess what? It worked. Obama used the IRS to kill conservative momentum, intensity, and enthusiasm, silence criticism in the media, and starve conservative fundraising. These guys put the "thug" in Chicago. The Census Bureau scandal. It appears government employees faked the unemployment numbers in the weeks leading up to the election to re-elect a president who wouldn't know what a job looked like, if it hit him in the face. How could one leader be involved in this many lies, frauds, scandals, and cover-ups? There's enough here for a century of presidents! Forget impeachment, it's time for criminal prosecution. There's enough here to put a CEO away for multiple life sentences. Bernie Madoff would blush at what Obama has pulled off (so far). The question is, "IS THIS PRESIDENT TOO BIG TO JAIL?"
Wayne Allyn Root is capitalist evangelist, entrepreneur, and Libertarian-conservative Republican. He is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. Wayne's latest book is "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: Secrets to Protecting Your Family, Your Finances, and Your Freedom." For more, visit his website: www.ROOTforAmerica.com. Follow him on Twitter@WayneRoot.
Egypt turns once again to pigs, Copts as garbage mounts
Overwhelmed by garbage, Egypt is turning once again to two marginalized parties for help: Christians and pigs.
For years, pigs raised and handled by Egypt's Zabaleen, or "Garbage People," were the linchpins of an extremely effective, if primitive, system of processing garbage in cities including Cairo and Alexandria. The Zabaleen were paid to collect garbage and haul it to the outskirts of town, where pigs they tended picked out and ate the organic matter. Even the pigs' waste was recycled in many cases, dried and burned to provide heat.
But in 2009, at the height of the swine flu epidemic, the regime government in Egypt ordered hundreds of thousands of pigs killed. The Coptic community bitterly believed the swine flu fear was a mere pretext for Muslim Brotherhood elements within the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak regime to rid the nation of an animal held as offensive to Islam. An estimated 300,000 pigs were confiscated and killed.
"It was the only source of income for these people," Michael Meunier, president of the U.S. Copts Association, told FoxNews.com. "The swine flu was used as an excuse. This was about something seen from a religious eye. It was not a health issue."
While can never be known if the pig cull was driven by religious or health concerns, it was not the only aggressive measure Egypt took. Schools were closed for weeks, and in some cities hookahs, the communal smoking pipes used by men in dens, were even banned. With 90 percent of Egypt's 80 million population crammed into an area the size of Denmark, public health officials feared an outbreak, which never came.
Some 2.5 million Zabaleen throughout the nation were left without their meal tickets, and Egypt's cities were quickly overrun with huge piles of rotting garbage – and the rodents that came with it. Cairo's Zabaleen, who live in a slum on the outskirts of town, were plunged into poverty. Pig farms run by wealthy Copts were shut down, as were slaughterhouses. The Zabaleen were typically paid 10 cents on the dollar for their pigs, which were buried alive in landfills and then doused with acid.
The pig massacre came before Mubarak's ouster, but the ban was solidified when the Muslim Brotherhood-linked regime of Mohammad Morsi rose to power a year ago.
Now, following the military's ouster of Morsi in July, and with no other solution to the nation's growing garbage problem, the military-led provisional government is embracing the Zabaleen.
"Over the years the Zabaleen have created an efficient ecosystem that is both viable and profitable, with a recycling capacity of almost 100 percent," Leila Iskandar, the new minister of the environment, said recently. "It provides work for women and young people who are the first to suffer from Egypt's unemployment. We need to use this local organization."
A recent report from Voice of America said the Zabaleen's pigs have quietly returned to the place just outside Cairo known as Garbage City, where Cairo's garbage is brought by truck. The pigs once again, though discreetly, are picking through the massive mountains of garbage and winnowing out organic matter. The remaining garbage, reduced by as much as 80 percent, is then taken to landfills.
This time, the government is not seizing the porcine processors. Zabaleen advocates say the system is safe, and always was.
"The management of the central laboratory of the Ministry of Health examined the pigs before and after slaughtering, and did not find any evidence of any pigs carrying the swine flu virus, but there was a deliberate intention to eliminate the pigs and the trade," Eshak Mikhael, the head of the garbage collectors association in Mokattam, told MidEast Christian News.
Back at work, even if not officially, the pigs have a massive backlog. And the Zabaleen can once again feed their families.
"They didn't choose to be trash collectors," Meunier said. "They do it because they have no income."