The Philippines are a group of coral-embroidered islands, which the Pacific Ocean stole from the land of South Asia and made its own. They form a sea carved archipelago of more than 7,000 islands with a population of 95 million people. Their people are characterized by politeness in speech and kindness. Their piety stems from as pure as crystal soul and the religious feeling permeates throughout their society.
The Grace of God, Who knows how to defy the odds, allowed our Orthodox faith, which leads to salvation, to rise in this country as well, about 30 years ago. It all began in 1983, when Vincent Escarcha, a Roman Catholic benectidine abbot from the island of Masbate in Central Philippines, made a trip to the USA. There, on Holy Saturday, he met a large crowd of worshippers outside a Greek Orthodox Church and felt the urge to participate in the Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection. He was touched by the Orthodox worship and began to attend the holy services regularly, which lasted for six months.
One hundred members of the French Parliament demonstrated in front of the parliament building today in support of the Assyrians of Mosul, who have been targeted by ISIS. The demonstrators expressed their solidarity with the Assyrian of Mosul by carrying signs with the Arabic letter “n”, which is the first letter of the word “Nasrani” (Christian) in Arabic. ISIS has marked all Christian homes in Mosul with this letter.
ISIS removed the cross on top of the dome of St. Ephrem Cathedral in the Shoorta neighborhood in Mosul, one week after the church was seized by ISIS members on July 1.
Fifteen-year-old Amira Hafez Wahim slipped out of the Christian church in Luxor, Egypt, where she had attended services with her mother in February, promising to dash to a nearby store and return quickly.
Five months later, she has not been seen since, although her parents immediately suspected a 28-year-old Muslim man named Yasser Mahmoud, who had tried to kidnap her before, had succeeded this time. When her father went to the Civil Status Authority for a copy of her birth certificate, his fears were confirmed: Her name had been changed and she was now listed as Muslim.
The papal Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome has changed its visit schedule. From Saturday, June 21, and on five following Saturdays the church doors will be open in the evenings in order to provide a special access to its loggia, crypt and treasury, reports Sedmitza.ru, citing Vatican Radio.
A tour which lasts an hour and a half must be pre-booked. For 18 Euros you can admire the loggia’s mosaic décor, which has survived since the 13th century, see the statue of an angel by the Italian sculptor Pietro Bracci (the 18th century), the papal hall (early 17th century), the baroque stairs by the Italian sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The tour continues in the crypt below the church and goes through the basilica’s Sistine Chapel, where the crypt of the sculptor and architect Arnolfo di Campio is located.