I am sure that such feelings and experiences are shared by a great many believers. Year after year, spiritually accompanying the Myrrh-bearing Women, we successively experience fear, astonishment, and awe at the view of the stone miraculously rolled away from the entrance to the Savior’s tomb by an invisible power.
Recently, on the Meeting of the Lord, one of our parishioners, running into Blessed Irina not far from the church, asked, “Irochka, how are you?” “Good,” she answered. “Where are you going?” “I’m going to church.” “There’s a service today?” “There is.” “And tomorrow too?” “Yes,” and then, after a pause, she added, “You know, Pelagia Vasilievna, I’m going to leave you soon; I’m going very far and I won’t return here anymore.”
More than 100 Christians have been sent to ‘re-education’ camps in China’s north-western Xinjiang province over the past few months according to Open Doors sources. These ‘mind-transformation centres’ teach citizens to be loyal to the communist ideology.
Bishop Mitrophan (Badanin) of Severomorsk and Umba (the far Northeast of Russia) talks with two young men, one a priest and the other an editorial writer, about the meaning of the podvig of the New Martyrs and confessors of Russia for us who live today, about the process of canonization of this great host of saints, and whether we live up to the great name of “Christian”.
There are innumerable examples of the intercession and help of the Theotokos, and every pilgrim and parishioner of the Lavra still experiences this aid. The Mother of God also appeared here in 1240 in a pillar of fire and left her footprint on a rock. She, like the burning bush, bore witnesses that this place is holy. She is the abbess here and the patroness of this land…
Islamic Fulani herdsmen in northeastern Nigeria, who have been accused of aligning with the Boko Haram terror group, killed more than 100 Christians after reprisal clashes earlier this month with the suspected help of the military.
“Sorrows bring joy and salvation to true Christians, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:13).” These were Metropolitan Sergy’s words of consolation to his flock—parishioners of a church in the Kuty village of the Shumsk district of Ukraine’s Ternopil region in August this year, where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in a tent.
Syria has been a designated state sponsor of terrorism since 1979, but additional sanctions have been placed on the country since 2011 as uprisings spawned across the country in the quest to pressure the Assad government to pave the way for political transition. The sanctions prohibit the export of almost all U.S.-origin items, restrict financial services and the import of Syrian oil, and ban new investments in Syria by Americans.
The truth is, however, that in former Czarist Russia, where the status of the Orthodox Church was privileged, Lenin called for its complete destruction. Already in 1909, in his controversy “On the Relationship of the Working Class to Religion,” he wrote: “Religion is the opium of mankind – this Marx’s statement is the cornerstone of Marxism’s worldview on its relationship to religion.”
Schismatics from the village of Gribovitsa took over the residence of a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Fr. Igor Magrita, where the family has been living since 1998, and as night fell, began throwing his household possessions and pushing his wife and sixteen-year-old son out into the street. It was raining…
Bishop Athanasius firmly hoped in God’s Providence. Imprisoned for many years, he wrote to his spiritual children, “My situation is not disastrous. I look at everything calmly, knowing that our service does not depend upon earthly rulers, but upon the One Who holds even the fate of rulers in His hands.”
The persecution of Christians is now "worse than at any time in history," according to a report by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which states that not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, they are also experiencing the worst forms of persecution.
Several of the Christian leaders suggested that President Trump had failed to honor his campaign promise to help and protect Christians in the Middle East victimized by jihadists, noting that despite the President’s encouraging words, no aid had been forthcoming.
Because of the many centuries of expansion by the Islamic nations, we often think of Syria as a Muslim land, having but an insignificant connection with Christianity that has already disappeared into oblivion. However, this is definitely not the case...
And for all these years and even decades Vladyka Sergy has repeated this phrase many times: “Persecution is the test of our faith.” For, according to Christ, Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven (Mt. 5:11-12).