||FIRST, THE NEWS:
DESTRUCTION OF HUNDREDS OF SERBIAN CHURCHES BEING SWEPT UNDER THE RUG
from Balkan Insight
(21 Oct) Serbs protested on Wednesday at an Orthodox monastery in Gracanica and in the north of the divided town of Mitrovica north ahead of Wednesday’s crucial UNESCO executive board meeting which will decide if Pristina’s bid for membership is put to a final vote at a conference in November. Dozens of Serbs gathered inside the Gracanica monastery and placed photographs of destroyed Serbian Orthodox churches on the ground to spell out the slogan “No Kosovo in UNESCO.”
Igor Simic, a politician from Mitrovica who took part in the protest, recalled the destruction of Serbian Orthodox churches during unrest across Kosovo in 2004. “Kosovo’s membership of UNESCO will not protect Serbian churches,” Simic told media. Around 200 Serb students also rallied in Mitrovica in protest, marching from the university to the main bridge over Ibar River that divides the town’s Serb and Albanian population. “As students do not accept the Republic of Kosovo, they are also against Kosovo’s acceptance into UNESCO,” said student representative Milan Savic. Serbia opposes any international recognition of Kosovo and argues that Pristina does not have the will to protect Serb religious buildings and monuments. [read more...]
Another article states: "In a situation in which our heritage has no adequately internationally guaranteed protection, it is absolutely clear that the accession of Kosovo to UNESCO would be an open act of cultural repression against the Serbian heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, which in the last 15 years suffered many times from Kosovar and Albanian extremists. That was the reason why our holy sites have been for years on the list of the World Cultural Heritage in Danger. Our monasteries and churches are not and cannot be museums, but places of worship and every attempt of Pristina to use force either through institutions, or encouraging anti-Orthodox sentiments will be an additional proof of their true intentions which lead towards Albanization of the overall cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo and Metohija."
KAZAKHSTAN: SECRET POLICE-INSPIRED CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS
by Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service
(13 Oct) The trial of Seventh-day Adventist Yklas Kabduakasov continues in Kazakhstan's capital Astana tomorrow (14 October). He faces between five and ten years' imprisonment if convicted of spreading "religious discord," charges fellow church members denied to Forum 18 News Service. The secret police had monitored him for a year before they arrested him in August 2015, appear to have rented the flat to which four students invited him for religious discussions, appear to have organised the secret filming of the meetings with at least two hidden cameras, and prepared the prosecution case.
The KNB secret police arrested Adventist Kabduakasov in Astana on 14 August and transferred him to the city's KNB secret police Investigation Prison. A court then ordered him held in two-month pre-trial detention. Christian books were seized from his home, while the Adventist Church he attends in Astana was also searched. The 54-year-old Kabduakasov has eight children, of which the youngest - a son Daniil - was born on 12 September (while Kabduakasov was already in prison). His two eldest children are adults. The KNB secret police Investigator, Senior Lieutenant Nurlan Belesov, prepared the case against Kabduakasov under Criminal Code Article 174, Part 2. This punishes "incitement of social, national, clan, racial, or religious discord" by repeat offenders with prison terms of between five and ten years. [read more...]
METROPOLITAN HILARION CALLS ON CATHOLICS TO JOINTLY PROTECT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE
(21 Oct) The head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, has called on the Catholic Church to jointly counter challenges facing traditional marriage. "The Orthodox Church, like the Catholic Church, has always in her teaching followed Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition in asserting the principle of the sanctity of marriage founded on the Savior's own words. In our time this position should be ever more strengthened and unanimous," Metropolitan Hilarion said at a session of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church in the Vatican dedicated to family issues.
The Orthodox and the Catholic Church should not only "confine ourselves to well-intentioned appeals but should by all means possible ensure that the family is legally protected", including in the framework of dialogue between the legislative and executive branches of power of various countries, as well as in the forums of international organizations such as the UN and the Council of Europe,: he said. "The authorities of some European countries and America, in spite of numerous protests, including those by Catholics, continue to advocate policies aimed at the destruction of the very concept of the family. They not only on the legislative level equate the status of the same-sex unions to that of marriage but also criminally persecute those who out of their Christian convictions refuse to register such unions," Metropolitan Hilarion said. [read more...]
‘CHASTITY, FAITH & PATRIOTISM’: RUSSIAN CHURCH OFFERS GOV'T. A FRESH ANTI-AIDS PROGRAM
from Russia Today
(23 Oct) A Russian Orthodox bishop has told the government commission on health that it’s wrong to fight AIDS through sex education and the distribution of condoms, suggesting instead to promote chastity, faith and patriotism among citizens. Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo-Zuyevo in the Moscow region noted that the church officials were happy that Russia was not adopting the so called “harm reduction” programs like free handouts of condoms or needle replacement programs. “We know that we need different methods and programs. I hold that AIDS can be defeated not only by explaining the dangers of this disease, but also through propagating healthy moral values,” he said.
The cleric told the government officials that they must promote chastity among the population, especially among children. He also claimed that the word had been completely forgotten in Russia and suggested refreshing its definition as “not simply abstaining from certain pleasures, but a wholesome perception of the world, with the love to family, patriotism, faith and intellectual activities.” The bishop reported that the Russian Orthodox Church had already developed and tested several AIDS prevention programs for children in primary and secondary schools and for college students. He also said that over 10,000 people had already taken part in these programs that focused on traditional family values.
The government commission on healthcare held a special session dedicated to AIDS on Friday. During it Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev quoted the Health Ministry data that the number of HIV-positive people is growing in Russia at a rate of 10 percent a year. Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova warned her government colleagues that without urgent measures Russia could face an AIDS epidemic as soon as in 2020. [read more...]
(20 Oct) The leaders of religious associations of Ukraine outlined their position on the constitutional process and the number of legislative initiatives that caused resonance in society. The discussion took place during the meeting of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations held on October 19, 2015, the Institute of Religious Freedom reports. Having analyzed the developments of the Constitutional Commission, denominational leaders decided that the proposals to the draft Constitution of Ukraine defining the legal basis of the traditional family as the union of man and woman and remove moral barriers in exercising the rights and freedoms of citizens and were unacceptable.
Traditional moral values of the Ukrainian people must remain at the heart of the Constitution of Ukraine, AUCCRO claims. In this context, the attendees heard the report of Doctor of Law Basil Kostytsky, who presented the version of the Constitution of Ukraine based on theological and sociological theory of law, developed in the Institute of legislative forecasts and legal expertise under his guidance. However, as the public in general, the participants failed to develop a single view on this issue through different theological approaches. Therefore, denomination leaders decided to leave the matter to the discretion of the public and lawmakers. [read more...]
ROMANIAN DOCTOR WARNS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ABOUT CULTURAL MARXISM
(21 Oct) Besides "progressive" efforts to accept and regularize homosexuality, the principle issue dividing the nearly 300 bishops from around the world meeting in a Synod of Bishops in Rome is whether the divorced and civilly remarried may receive communion. The Church has traditionally viewed such “irregular” relationships as adulterous if the first marriage is also considered valid. German bishops are leading the charge to change the practice of the Church with the Africans seeming to take the lead in opposing such a change. The U.S. delegation of bishops tend to side with the Africans. One of the more dramatic speeches to the Synod came from a Romanian doctor who made a plea not to fiddle with either the doctrine of the practice of communion.
Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea told the remarkable story of her parents who had to wait 17 years to marry because her father was jailed by the communists before their marriage could take place. “My mother waited all those years for my father, although she didn’t even know if he was still alive.” She said her parents’ example “shows that God’s grace can overcome terrible social circumstances and material poverty. Material poverty and consumerism are not the primary cause of the family crisis. The primary cause of the sexual and cultural revolution is ideological.”
The doctor, who is president of the Catholic Doctors Association of Romania, pointed first to violent communism that took the lives of millions that has been supplanted by cultural Marxism created by Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School who were progenitors of “gay rights and gender ideology.” Classical Marxism attempted to remake society by the take-over of private property, cultural Marxism “goes deeper; it pretends to redefine family, sexual identity and human nature.” She told the Bishops: “this ideology [which] calls itself progressive... is nothing else than the serpent’s offer for man to take control, to replace God, to arrange salvation in this world.” She called upon the Catholic Bishops to fight back as many of her country’s Bishops did during the Cold War and to warn their flocks “against this danger.” Copies of her speech went viral through the Catholic world. [read more...]
OTHER NEWS HEADLINES:
IS CHRISTIAN EUROPE SURELY AND INEXORABLY GIVING WAY TO ISLAM?
from Eurasia Review
RUSSIA SHOULD PLAY LEADING ROLE IN PROTECTION OF CHRISTIAN VALUES - HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
SGA TENDS WOUNDS IN "FORGOTTEN WAR" ZONE
from Mission Network News
PRESIDENT POROSHENKO TELLS PATRIARCH FILARET: YOUR PRAYER WAS ALWAYS WITH UKRAINIANS
from Religious Information Service of Ukraine
NUMBER OF RUSSIAN PROVINCES REGULATING EVANGELISM BY FOREIGNERS TO INCREASE
from Center for News and Analysis
METROPOLITAN HILARION OF VOLOKOLAMSK SPEAKS AT THE OPENING OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE CENTENNIAL OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
from Russian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate
RUSSIA TARGETS CHRISTIANS, RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN UKRAINE
from Washington Free Beacon
See HOSKEN-NEWS Daily for more of the latest news!
NOW, OUR VIEWS:
Ever since the 1999 U.N.-approved and U.S.-led military intervention in Serbia and Kosovo, the majority-Muslim population of Kosovo has been attacking one church after another, one monastery after another, burning them, trashing them, blowing them up or tearing them down. In spite of formal international rules that supposedly guarantee the remaining Serbs the right to exercise their Christian faith publicly and maintain their churches and monasteries. Our lead article, DESTRUCTION OF HUNDREDS OF SERBIAN CHURCHES BEING SWEPT UNDER THE RUG, details one more effort by Kosovar authorities to quietly do away with Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries located in Kosovo.
Our second news article KAZAKHSTAN: SECRET POLICE-INSPIRED CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS is a follow-up on the arrest, imprisonment and trial of Yklas Kabduakasov, lured into an apartment by four students who pretended to be interested in his religious beliefs. The apartment was bugged with at least two hidden cameras: a clear case of entrapment. Such flimsy "evidence" would never hold water in a Western courtroom; in fact, the police involved would be sent to prison for a setup job like this. But the KNB, successors to the KGB, seem to have carte blanche in Kazakhstan.
Our next news articles, the third - METROPOLITAN HILARION CALLS ON CATHOLICS TO JOINTLY PROTECT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE; the fourth - ‘CHASTITY, FAITH & PATRIOTISM’: RUSSIAN CHURCH OFFERS GOV'T. A FRESH ANTI-AIDS PROGRAM; the fifth - CONSTITUTION SHOULD BE BASED ON MORAL VALUES, AUCCRO MEMBERS PROPOSE, and the sixth - ROMANIAN DOCTOR WARNS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ABOUT CULTURAL MARXISM; all deal with the resurgence of Christian moral values struggling against the rotting remains of atheist anti-morality left over from the communist era. We in the West need to take heed of where such anti-morality leads: social, political and economic collapse, as I personally witnessed during the last weeks and months of the USSR.
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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
Friday, October 30th, is the International Day of Prayer (IDOP). Click on this link for a live webcast starting at 8:00 p.m. ET, and to sign up to receive a free IDOP kit. For many years (actually decades now!) we've been urging Christians to pray for persecuted Christians in lands controlled by communism, now called the former soviet bloc countries.
Although the USSR collapsed on December 25th, Christmas Day, twenty-four years ago (I was in Moscow at the time, watching President Gorbachiov on TV as he signed the decree that dissolved the Soviet Union), these countries continue to struggle to cope with their communist past. In some of these lands we still witness acts of religious repression: public ridicule, discrimination, arrests, imprisonments, damage and destruction of church buildings, and laws that limit or prohibit the free exercise of one's religious faith.
Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. It is so basic, that without religious freedom many other human rights begin to wither and die. The right to life for the unborn and the elderly, freedom of speech, the right to vote, women's rights are based on the right to live out our Christian faith. But today we are witnessing strong efforts by the "progressive" (leftist) media elite and politicians to denigrate and ridicule the public expression of the Christian faith. Some have even stated outright that traditional Christian beliefs must change, and that religion is a private matter that shouldn't be expressed in public. Thus much of the same types of discrimination against and public ridicule of religious faith that existed in the former soviet bloc countries is coming to the West.
How should we define the freedom of religious expression in a multi-cultural society? Does religious toleration mean that all religions are equally true, or only that the state should treat them equally? What about religions that aren't tolerant of other religions - should we also tolerate them? In my essay "Our Homecoming" I've dealt with these issues:
Continue reading in our Hosken-News Blog.
Please remember to pray for Christians in the former Soviet bloc countries, and for...
Bob & Cheryl
p.s. No armor? Unclean life? Then don't mess with dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!