Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Muslim Prayers at Hagia Sophia - A Sign Calling Us to Repent

Islamic prayers were recently held at the Hagia Sophia in former Constantinople in a televised event attended by Turkish officials and strongly condemned by the Greek Foreign Ministry. 

This is yet another highly symbolic event inked to this great and ancient church building, which we Orthodox Christians must respond to...




There has been a growing movement within Turkey for several years demanding the re-conversion into a mosque of Hagia Sophia — for centuries the greatest church in all of Christendom. The great church was turned into a mosque in 1453 after the Muslim Turks conquered Constantinople and subjugated the surviving Christian inhabitants. Following the defeat of the Ottoman empire in World War I, the new leader of the secular state of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, in 1935 put a stop to Islamic prayers in Hagia Sophia, and had it converted into a museum.

Ever since Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in Turkey in 2003, calls for turning Hagia Sophia back into a functioning mosque have been steadily increasing. Following one such occurrence in May 2014, I wrote the following:


Muslim Prayers at Hagia Sophia - A Sign Calling Us to Repent 

Erdogan has set his sights on Hagia Sophia, to turn the once luminous church structure into a dark and oppressive mosque again. Such a symbolic achievement would appear to Muslims as a second conquering of Christendom, bolstering Erdogan's push to reinstitute the Islamic caliphate, with Turkey at its head. 
Islam must have such temporal victories and exert political and military domination in order to justify its existence, as Muhammad's successes in battle, culminating in his retaking of Mecca ten years after being driven out in weakness and disgrace, forever set the example for Muslims to follow. 
But worldly success and temporal victories and kingdoms are not the Christian way. 
Christians follow Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who "had no place to lay His head," who emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and who submitted Himself fully to the divine will of the Father, even to the point of death on the cross. Here we have no city, but are called to be pilgrims and aliens, journeying to our heavenly homeland. In the radical words of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to take up our cross and follow Him. As Fr Seraphim Rose put it:

"Let us not, who would be Christians, expect anything else from it than to be crucified. For to be a Christian is to be crucified, in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. 
"His life is the example—and warning—to us all. We must be crucified personally, mystically; for through crucifixion is the only path to resurrection. If we would rise with Christ, we must first be humbled with Him—even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world. 
"And we must be crucified outwardly, in the eyes of the world; for Christ's Kingdom is not of this world, and the world cannot bear it, even in a single representation of it, even for a single moment."

If the Muslims convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque a second time, then we Christians must see in this God's providential will. If God allows the enemy to reconquer Christian symbols, then we must take it as a warning to not place our trust in mere symbols, but in the Real and True Son of God Himself. We must allow such calamities to spur us on to ever deepening faith and ever more fervent repentance.  
As Islam and the other forces of evil wage open warfare against Christ and His Church in these last times, we are called to be faithful to the end. And if we remain faithful, then, like the Lord, we shall find our victory mystically concealed in our Golgotha.

Scroll down for the latest news story in this drama which extends back to the early Islamic sieges of Constantinople...

FGM and Islam’s Mutilation of… Everything

Rather than an outlier Muslim practice held over from its pagan desert origins, female genital mutilation must be seen in its wider context of Islam's view of women, and as an especially shocking indicator of the true nature of the 'god' of Islam.


This is my first original essay on Islam in some time. Let me remind all my readers, while we must always stand for Christ the Way, the Truth and the Life, and stand against Islam and every lie and heresy which denies Him, we must at the same time love and approach our Muslim neighbors and invite them to come to know the true Jesus that they may have eternal life. Those whom the Father draws will come to Him, and we must be open-hearted and ready to help them in their journey.

Put another way, respect for a lie shows contempt for the Truth. Respect for our neighbor shows love for the Truth.


This is the final installment in a 7-part series on Islam and FGM: 


FGM and Islam’s Mutilation of… Everything.

by Ralph H. Sidway, June 26, 2017:




1. Introduction


The recent Federal Department of Justice case in Michigan against a pair of Muslim doctors — one as perpetrator, the other providing access to his clinic — accused of performing female genital mutilation against several young girls, has suddenly put FGM into the spotlight.

A recent statement from the DOJ indicates their investigation leads them to believe that “up to 100 girls” may have had their genitals cut by the Michigan FGM ring. There are even accusations a Michigan mosque paid for genital cuttings. In a related story, a Muslim imam at a mosque with multiple terror ties is recorded as endorsing FGM.

Most recently, two Oakland County Muslimas have been arrested and charged with subjecting their young daughters to the Islamic practice of genital cutting, bringing the total number of arrests in the federal case to six. And the attorneys for the Muslim doctors have indicated they will be defending their clients based on religious liberty. If they win, female genital mutilation will be a protected practice of the Islamic religion.

Robert Spencer distills the main Islamic sources which established FGM in Muslim culture fourteen centuries ago:

“Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) (by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the bazr ‘clitoris’ [this is called khufaadh ‘female circumcision’]).” — ‘Umdat al-Salik e4.3, translated by Mark Durie, The Third Choice, p. 64

Why is it obligatory? Because Muhammad is held to have said so:

“Abu al- Malih ibn Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: ‘Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.’” — Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75
“Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her: ‘Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’” — Abu Dawud 41:5251
“Do not cut severely,” but not “Do not cut.”

That’s why it is so common around the world, and why it is certain to become increasingly common in the United States…

2. Children of Islam


There is a classic saying, “A civilization is judged by how it treats its weakest members.” Needless to say, for taking a razor blade to its daughters’ most tender and vulnerable parts, Islam should be judged quite harshly.

But there is a bit more to Islam’s tendency to mutilate than only FGM. Mutilation is a disturbing psychological thread which is woven throughout the entire tapestry of Muslim culture.

Consider how many Muslim societies rob children of their childhood, teaching them to hate, to kill, even to behead infidels. Organizations like Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) report and archive Muslim hate broadcasts such as these:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

American Christianity declines as Martyrs of the Middle East bear Powerful Witness to Christ

"Perhaps some today find Christianity irrelevant to their lives because they have never seriously encountered the Orthodox experience of Jesus Christ."

American Christianity declines as the Martyrs of the Middle East bear Powerful Witness to Christ

Homily for the Sunday After the Ascension in the Orthodox Church
by Fr Philip LeMasters, Pravoslavie, June 2, 2017:



A recent survey of Americans about religion is getting a lot of attention, especially because it shows that fewer people now identify themselves as Christians and more consider themselves unaffiliated with any religion. Perhaps at least part of the reason for these declines is that many people have not found something worth living and dying for in the churches with which they are familiar.

Their experience reflects the failure of so much Christianity in our culture to embody with integrity the good news that we celebrate during this season of the Ascension, which invites us to participate personally in the fulfillment of our humanity in the risen and ascended Savior. The Lord went up into heaven forty days after His resurrection. In Him, humanity and divinity are united in one Person; He rises into heaven as the God-Man. His Ascension shows that the Son shares in the glory that He had with the Father and the Holy Spirit before the creation of the world.

"The power of the risen and ascended Son of God continues in the Church, especially in the witness of the martyrs to this day who share in a victory that is not of this world."

And He brings us into that glory with Him. The Ascension is a brilliant icon of our salvation, for it makes clear that our Lord has raised us in all dimensions of our existence—not only from the tomb, not only from Hades—but into the eternal life of the Holy Trinity. In the ascended Christ, we truly become participants in God, partakers of the divine nature by grace even as we live and breathe in a world that so often forgets the One Who spoke it into existence.

Friday, June 23, 2017

VIDEO: 'Was Islam ever a religion of peace?'

While it is still possible to post theological refutations of Islam on the internet, let us not hesitate to do so, for the day is fast approaching when Truth will be banned from the public square, as seen in the recent sharia law enacted in Minneapolis, and in the new resolution criminalizing free speech put forth in the US Senate.

Was Islam ever a religion of peace?

Excerpted from the writings of St Sophronius of Jerusalem and St Gregory Palamas
From the YouTube Channel of Gregory Decapolite, February 22, 2015.

Follow these links for more on the writings of St Sophronius and St Gregory Palamas on Islam...




Let us repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Minneapolis Installs Sharia Hotline to report criticism of Islam, declares Muslims 'protected class'

Under the Pact of Omar, the dhimma contract, and Sharia law, conquered Christians are not allowed to criticize Islam, and are even forbidden from teaching their families and congregations about Islam. 

Looks like Minneapolis has just accepted the terms of the dhimma, surrendered to Islam, and is paying her jizya up front with this unconstitutional law.




Those who have been following the global jihad threat and Muslim extremism in America know that Minneapolis is a cesspool of Islamic terrorism and jihad activities.

Watch for a mass exodus of wise Christians from Minneapolis, now that it is in the dar al-Islam.

Minneapolis installs Shariah hotline for ‘hate speech’ snitches

by Leo Hohmann, WND, June 21, 2017:

The city of Minneapolis has set up a hotline for residents to report suspected hate crimes, including “speech and actions,” according to statements on the city’s website.

The city, which will operate the “service” through its 3-1-1 helpline, is targeting any “harassing behaviors motivated by prejudice,” according to a press release. Those wishing to report a hate crime from outside the city may dial 612-673-3000.

According to the local newspaper, the Star-Tribune, “the announcement comes amid signs of a recent surge of such incidents affecting Muslims and Jews across the country, many of which go unreported.”

The city’s Department of Civil Rights clearly states on its website that it only enforces hate crimes against certain “protected classes.”

Friday, June 16, 2017

New Documentary on Muhammad and Islam - VIDEO

'Through the Lens of Muhammad's Life' by William DiPuccio, presents a clear and straightforward survey of Islam. 

Suitable for viewing and sharing with any age group from mid-teens and older, this professionally produced video benefits from a sober, academic presentation style devoid of polemics or agenda. Rather, it's agenda is to present the truth about Islam and Muhammad from Islam's own primary sources, yet without obscuring the unpleasant facts about the founder of Islam.

A seven page, descriptive chronology of Muhammad’s life is also available with the video.

This documentary (and the supplemental chronology) is a serious teaching tool which can also be shared with Muslims, many of whom may not have been given the full picture Muhammad's life, actions, and directives. Seeing Islam through the lens of Muhammad's life is essential for anyone seeking to understand Islam in the 21st century.




As I watched this video, I was struck by how, without ever stating it, Bill DiPuccio manages to perfectly convey the truth of Jesus Christ's words:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Symposium and Services venerating today's Christian Martyrs under the Sword of Islam

St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary has announced a landmark event for its annual Orthodox Education Day, October 7, 2017:


MODERN MARTYRS
- Christians of the Middle East and North Africa -

Orthodox Education Day - October 7, 2017
  • 10AM - Divine Liturgy
  • Public Lectures, Children's Activities
  • Coffee, Ethnic Food, Icon Display, Book Sale
  • Akathist Service  to the New Martyrs
  • Free Admission to SVS Grounds

Click to enlarge for event info.

We look forward with hope that this gathering truly honors the heroic New Martyrs and Confessors of Jesus Christ, who refuse to submit to or worship a false god and false prophet, but faithfully witness — even unto death — to Jesus Christ as Lord and God.  These 'Modern Martyrs' — men, women and children — are a powerful sign of faith and light in our age of lukewarmness, apostasy, darkness, and insanity.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Samia the Confessor of Egypt

"We very well know our path, we know our place very well is in faithful hands. Our God is a strong God. He is a God of love. He gave us to love and not to hate."

Samia the Confessor

Translated by M.G., Coptic Orthodox Scientist, May 29, 2017 (Thanks to Fr Steven):

English transcript of an interview with one of the survivors of the shooting that occurred on May 26, 2017 in Minya, Egypt against the Coptic Christians. Samia lost most of her family and she continues to reflect the light of Christ, confessing her faith and love.




(0 minutes to 10:03 minutes):

Interviewer: I want you to tell me your name.

Samia: Samia Adly Ibrahim

Interviewer: Madam Samia, this isn’t easy, right?

Samia: Thank God. Believe me, we are comforted. I am not upset about those who went to heaven, believe me. I placed them in safe hands, better than the world and the problems of the world, all the bad things in the world. They left on the feast of the Ascension. And their dad came from America to have them around him.

Interviewer: Tell me first, where are you from?

Samia: I am from Nazlet Hanna in Fashn.

Interviewer: Fahn is in Bani Suef?

Samia: Yes

Interviewer: So that day, tell me from the beginning what happened?

Samia: what happened is that we were going to the monastery of Anba Samuel. We headed out in the faithfulness of God, singing with joy. And we were about to arrive and they attacked us. The blessing came to us.

Interviewer: “the blessing”?

Samia: Mm, blessing.

Interviewer: These criminals, these terrorists, you call them “the blessing”?

Samia: Yes, may God bless them and protect them.

Interviewer: bless who?

Samia: Bless the demons, to show them His way. Of course, God will reveal Himself for these people and He will show them His way one day. Because they are absent-minded. They do not know the strong faith. If they know the strong faith, they would not have seen the people who are faithful, the ones who know God, and hurt them. We were going to a holy place, we were going to pray in a holy place, to become comforted and joyous by it. So, they don’t want us to be joyful in the world. We don’t have a place in the world, believe me. We have a place in heaven. This world has no use. Plants, and at the end we will go to Paradise. We very well know our path, we know our place very well is in faithful hands. Our God is a strong God. He is a God of love. He gave us to love and not to hate.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

MASS JIHAD in the UK: Muslims screaming 'this is for Allah' murder 7 at FIVE locations in London

"Jihadi terrorists shouting ‘this is for Allah’ have reportedly killed seven people after mowing down up to 20 with a white van on London Bridge and stabbing revellers with 12-inch hunting knives."

The 'Same God Heresy' becomes increasingly difficult to defend, as followers of the bloodthirsty Allah seek to please him through yet more jihad mass murders — as commanded in the Quran and in imitation of Muhammad. 


Further reporting on the London Attacks:



Jihadi terrorists shouting ‘this is for Allah’ kill seven in knife frenzy at ‘FIVE’ locations in the capital:
Hunt for men with 12in blades who began the rampage by mowing down revellers on London Bridge 
by Ekin Karasin, Mailonline, June 3, 2017 (thanks to Jihad Watch):



Jihadi terrorists shouting ‘this is for Allah’ have reportedly killed seven people after mowing down up to 20 with a white van on London Bridge and stabbing revellers with 12-inch hunting knives.

The men, described as being ‘of Mediterranean origin’, reportedly drove the van at 50mph across the bridge, then jumped out and began ‘randomly stabbing people’ along Borough High Street in central London at 10pm.

One woman said she saw three people with what appeared to be their throats cut at London Bridge. There are also reports that a bystander was shot in the head in the crossfire and at least seven people have been stabbed.

One person has been killed at London Bridge – and one of the casualties is reportedly a police officer.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Coptic Martyrs and their Forgiving Families - Seeds of the Church in Egypt

“When people see this attitude [of forgiveness] from Christians and the church, they ask themselves, ‘What kind of power is this?’” he said. “But with this witness we must also declare the message of Christ, which we are fulfilling—literally. We may not see the response immediately. But we will in the near future.”

The Lord's grace is present and real among the Coptic faithful, as they persevere through the valley of the shadow of death, bearing their heavy cross of mass martyrdom, following Christ to their own Golgotha. Their profound faith — and their forgiveness of their Muslim persecutors — may be planting seeds for a new Orthodox Christian harvest in Egypt. May it be so!

Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable

Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
by Jayson Casper, ChristianityToday, April 20, 2017


Coffins are carried to the funeral of Egyptian Christians killed in Palm Sunday bombings. (Photo: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP)

Twelve seconds of silence is an awkward eternity on television. Amr Adeeb, perhaps the most prominent talk show host in Egypt, leaned forward as he searched for a response.

“The Copts of Egypt … are made of … steel!” he finally uttered.

Moments earlier, Adeeb was watching a colleague in a simple home in Alexandria speak with the widow of Naseem Faheem, the guard at St. Mark’s Cathedral in the seaside Mediterranean city.

On Palm Sunday, the guard had redirected a suicide bomber through the perimeter metal detector, where the terrorist detonated. Likely the first to die in the blast, Faheem saved the lives of dozens inside the church.

“I’m not angry at the one who did this,” said his wife, children by her side. “I’m telling him, ‘May God forgive you, and we also forgive you. Believe me, we forgive you.’

“‘You put my husband in a place I couldn’t have dreamed of.’”

Stunned, Adeeb stammered about Copts bearing atrocities over hundreds of years, but couldn’t escape the central scandal.

“How great is this forgiveness you have!” his voice cracked. “If it were my father, I could never say this. But this is their faith and religious conviction.”

Millions marveled with him across the airwaves of Egypt.

So also did millions of Copts, recently rediscovering their ancient heritage, according to Ramez Atallah, president of the Bible Society of Egypt which subtitled and recirculated the satellite TV clip.

“In the history and culture of the Copts, there is much taught about martyrdom,” he told CT. “But until Libya, it was only in the textbooks—though deeply ingrained.”

The Islamic State in Libya kidnapped and beheaded 21 mostly Coptic Christians in February 2015. CT previously reported the message of forgiveness issued by their families and the witness it provided.

“Since then, there has been a paradigm shift,” said Atallah. “Our ancestors lived and believed this message, but we never had to.”