Tag: Middle East

The TikTok “Bishop”
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

The TikTok “Bishop” The Stabbing of Mar Mari Emmanuel in Sydney, Australia

On April 16, “Bishop” Mar Mari Emmanuel survived a stabbing in his church by a 15-year-old in a “terrorist attack,” according to New South Wales Police. Mar Mari is a charismatic Christian apologist and social media influencer who is anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown and who has attacked Islam, LGBTQ people, and governments and churches that protect…

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Orthodox Christians in Gaza City
Religion and Conflict

Orthodox Christians in Gaza City

In his fight against those in Gaza whom he called “human animals,” the Israeli defense minister on October 8 vowed to act “accordingly” by cutting off fuel, food, water, and electricity to the impoverished strip of land. With this explicit policy of collective punishment (which has gotten even more collective and punishing in the last…

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What about “The Songs of Zion” (Ps. 137:3)?
Religion and Conflict

What about “The Songs of Zion” (Ps. 137:3)? The Orthodox Church and the Conflict in Gaza

Until 2023, before I left the Russian Orthodox Church, I was a priest of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. Thus, I have spent four years in Israel, and on the one hand, and I’m familiar with the context, but on the other I cannot be impartial, still feeling anxious about my friends there. Assessing…

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Christians in the Middle East: Towards Renewed Theological, Social, and Political Choices
Documents, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Public Life

Christians in the Middle East: Towards Renewed Theological, Social, and Political Choices

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски We Choose Abundant Life is a document issued by Christian intellectuals and theologians who met together in Beirut on September 29, 2021 to launch their vision for Christians in the Middle East. A stark choice for these Christians is presented in this document, to…

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Jerusalem Belongs to All of Its Creeds
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Religion and Politics

Jerusalem Belongs to All of Its Creeds

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски It’s been a brutal week for Palestinians in the city of peace. As hardline Israeli groups prepared a provocative parade through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, Israeli security forces turned their guns on peaceful Palestinian protesters and worshipers performing Ramadan prayers at…

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Hagia Sophia’s Status as a Mosque Mocks Prophet Muhammad’s Covenant with Christianity
Culture and Arts, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Religion and Conflict

Hagia Sophia’s Status as a Mosque Mocks Prophet Muhammad’s Covenant with Christianity

In 2019, I had the pleasure of immersing myself in the history of both Christianity and Islam, where they are woven together in the beautiful and magnificent architecture of the Hagia Sophia. During my trip, numerous Christian icons, which were plastered over during the Ottoman Empire, were being uncovered and restored, bringing back to life…

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Hagia Sophia and the Challenge of Religious Freedom
Culture and Arts, Religion and Politics, Uncategorized

Hagia Sophia and the Challenge of Religious Freedom

ελληνικά | српски Christian leaders and secular governments around the world have condemned, with good reason, the recent decision of a Turkish court to reconvert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Indeed, this ruling is just the latest step in a century-long effort by the Turkish government to erase both the history and presence of Christianity…

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The Hagia Sophia: A Museum or a Place of Worship?
Culture and Arts, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

The Hagia Sophia: A Museum or a Place of Worship?

I categorically refuse to pay an entrance fee for a church, out of principle. When I was in Bratislava, and the Catholic cathedral charged a very small fee, I did not enter. When I returned to the wonderful Cathedral Church in Trogir, Croatia, two years ago, it was selling entrance tickets—so I relied on my…

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Government Report Highlights Policy Priorities for Middle Eastern Christians
Documents, Religion and Politics

Government Report Highlights Policy Priorities for Middle Eastern Christians

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently released its 2020 Annual Report. As Christian persecution intensifies across the globe, the report provides much needed data and findings from high-persecution regions, such as the Middle East. Importantly, it also recommends the worst violators of religious freedom at the governmental level to the Department…

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The Divided House of Middle Eastern Christians
Church History, Public Life

The Divided House of Middle Eastern Christians

The current situation is bleak for Christians in the Middle East, largely split between the Oriental and Byzantine rites.  They are hemmed in by dictatorships, sidelined by political Islam and exploited by militia groups while their pleas for aid are generally disregarded by Western powers. Yet despite their dwindling numbers and waning influence, petty squabbles…

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The Armenian Patriarchate and the Sanasaryan Han
Culture and Arts, Religion and Conflict

The Armenian Patriarchate and the Sanasaryan Han

Last month, the Court of Cassation in Turkey ruled that the historic and contested Sanasaryan Han will be the property of the Turkish state. Built in 1895, the Han (“Inn”) was bought by the foundation established by the philanthropist Mkrtich Sanasaryan to support the Sanasaryan College in the city of Erzurum in eastern Anatolia. It…

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Orthodox Christians in the Middle East
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

Orthodox Christians in the Middle East

  Orthodox churches in the Middle East are facing their gravest existential threat since the Arab Conquest. The church communities in Christianity’s historic cradle are faced with shrinking flocks due to the lure of immigration, threats of sectarian violence, and increasing societal marginalization. With fewer members and less clout, church leaders have bet their waning…

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Christians of Holy Land and the Jewish State
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Public Life

Christians of Holy Land and the Jewish State

Amid the growth of Islamist persecution in the last few years, a variety of think tanks and politicians have sought to bring the plight of Christians in the Middle East to the forefront of American politics. Amid such fervor, Israeli leaders have also claimed their role in the defense of Christians. Prime Minister Netanyahu recently…

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Chrétiens d’Orient, 2000 Ans d’Histoire: A Major Exhibit in France
Church History, Culture and Arts

Chrétiens d’Orient, 2000 Ans d’Histoire: A Major Exhibit in France

I spent over an hour there, in that small rotunda, about twenty feet across. Display cases of manuscripts in Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, and Armenian encircled me, the only one of the museum’s patrons to linger so long in that spot. The rest of the exhibit, outside this temporary cloister, was equally worthy of attentive study,…

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Western Intervention and Mideast Christians
Uncategorized

Western Intervention and Mideast Christians Lessons from the Nineteenth Century

ελληνικά  |  ру́сский  |  српски This post is a shortened version of an earlier article by the author, “The Price of the Ottoman Failure,” Oasis, Vol. 7, No. 14, December 2011, at 55. The history of Christian persecution in the Middle East – which, sadly, is quite long, though not unmitigated – should inform the strategies we use…

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Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq
Culture and Arts

Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq

  The so-called Islamic State invaded Mosul and the Plain of Nineveh in the north of Iraq in August 2014, destroying people, especially minorities, centuries-old religious and civil buildings, and cultural heritages, including collections of manuscripts owned privately or by institutions. The octagonal martyrion of Mār-Behnam built during the 6th century to commemorate this Christian man…

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Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

Attribution

Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University