Romania reinstates the communist style censorship

Repost from:

On 22.07.2015, the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, has promulgated an unconstitutional law which is both historically unfair and immoral. Under the pretext of prohibiting the negation of the Holocaust and prohibiting the xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism (in connection to which a law is already in force since 2002), in Romania the censorship is being reinstated in violation of the right to the freedom of expression and of the right to the freedom of association.

This new law, Law no. 217/2015, acknowledges the political court decisions ruled by the communist regime between 1945-1964 and forbids the public promotion of Legionary Movement (which has never been convicted by any Romanian or international court) as well as of any people that have been a part of such movement. Any members of the anti-communist resistance are now deemed offenders by the Romanian state and the law requires that they should be removed from the public domain by pulling down their commemorative statues and commemorative plaques. Basically, the Romanians are no longer allowed to honour their heroes, to perform religious masses before the monuments erected in their honour or to honour their work. As the wording of this law is ambiguous and no rules for its implementation have been issued yet we fear that serious abuses may ensue. Any person may be accused of fascism or legionarism after writing a text on this topic, after participating in a religious commemorative mass dedicated to such people or after offering a book for reading to a friend.

Please read also the more detailed post The truth about the ”anti-legionary law”, entered into force in Romania: a totalitarian law which legitimizes the sentences of the “People’s Courts” from the Stalinist-Bolshevik era

The law has generated and continues to generate intense debates in the Romanian society and there are numerous oppositions against it, including from the part of renowned cultural personalities from Romania.

Below are shown few references in connection thereto:

Radu Preda, Executive Chairman of The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER):—236898–legea-antilegionara-este-procomunista-390239

Andrei Plesu:

PS Ambrozie, the Bishop of Giurgiu:

Marius Oprea:

Alex. Stefanescu:

Razvan Codrescu:

Nicolae Manolescu:

Evil is never half-evil, because he is a murderer. If you democratically invite him to your country this is what will happen.

Murder of Ionica Pintilie (from the memories of Dumitru Bordeianu)

I knew Ionica Pintile well, he was a good friend of mine, a colleague at the faculty of medicine and we became very close friends. He was younger than me and he had a delicate constitution of an intellectual and I was convinced that he will not be able to survive physical tortures. At a very young age he lost both his parents and was raised by a relative who didn’t have any children. He was gifted with an exceptional intelligence and was one of the best students at the faculty of medicine at the university of Iassy. He was raised by his adoptive parents in the most pure and unshakeable faith in God. He possessed natural moral purity and kindness, almost of an angel. Of those I met in prison I could count on the fingers of one hand who would be like Pintilie.

Being so gifted by God and not wanting to stain these gifts in any way, he ended by being assassinated through tortures that is beyond any imagination.

That morning Zacharia took off his shirt and came in front of Pintilie, who was beside me. He asked him once again if he still believes in God and in the Legion (a political movement that looked to free Romania from oppressors and help people return to their true God). Pintilie, who was so weak he could not move, had enough strength remaining to nod with a categorical “yes”. Then, the demons possessing Zacharia attacked Pintilie and beat him for an hour with all the available instruments of torture, until he lost any human appearance. Then he was tossed on the bunk, where he could not sit, so he was supported by me and Tudose (prisoners in that cell, regardless of their physical condition, were not allowed to lay down during the day – they could only sit with their hands on their knees or stand).

As I mentioned previously, Pintilie had a delicate physical constitution and the blows he received proved to be fatal to him. We didn’t see the wounds on his body, because none of us was allowed to remove his clothes. His shirt and pants were stuck to his body, his face was all you could see and it was a disfigured face, swollen, with eyes barely visible, hidden in the depths of swollen orbits. Until now I have this clear picture of the moment when he was dragged by his foot from the bunk, he fell like a log on the cement floor, then was taken out. Form that day no one heard anything about Ionica Pintilie.

Pintilie suffered the martyrdom like the first Christians. He was assassinated by the servants of satan who sold their soul and conscience to Lucipher.

May God help us follow the example of martyr for Christ Ioan and all the martyrs and confessors.

Repost: Redefining Marriage: Canada’s lesssons for America

The United States Supreme Court decision to abolish marriage as we know it didn’t come as much of a surprise. For the faithful in Canada, what did come as surprise was the response of Orthodox hierarchs.

When Canada’s courts redefined civil marriage ten years ago, Orthodox and other religious leaders were almost silent. When the American Court issued its ruling, however, sparks began to fly. Numerous Orthodox bishops issued statements online, with some even calling for clergy to give up their responsibilities to serve as representatives for civil marriages, thereby requiring couples to obtain a civil marriage before having their marriage blessed in the Church.

The contrasting approach between the two countries – America and Canada – should hardly surprise anyone. Canadians are known for trying to get along with each other, even when we fundamentally disagree. American individualism has contributed to an activist Supreme Court, which mirrors a litigious populace, much more eager to legislate and litigate other people to conforming to their views than are their northern cousins.

That being said, the experience drawn from a decade of so-called “same sex marriage” in Canada should be most instructive to Americans who care about the kind of society in which they live, and the spiritual condition of their churches.

What has the last decade taught Canadians?

1. Expect increased attacks on religious freedom. Court decisions sweeping away the remnants of Christian civilization do not create a vacuum: they create a new ethos, much like the Soviet system, where the idea prevails that traditional religion in any form has no place in the public square.

2. The New Gestapo: Ugly intolerance disguised as liberal civil rights. Anyone who opposes the sexual issue du jour will be demonized as racist, bigoted, homophobic, backward, and hateful – including the most mild-mannered, polite, sincere persona of faith, even those with a proven record of personal civility and charity. It will not matter that ninety percent of people are not part of the witch hunt: the radical totalitarian one percent – mostly professional activists and media – will unflaggingly conspire to destroy the reputation, livelihood, and personal safety of anyone who opposes the new agenda. Many people will simply try to retreat into the privacy of their own lives – but it won’t work.

3. The elimination of privacy and private opinion for businesses, private institutions, churches, and individuals. With new, court-imposed morality, every action and opinion is dragged out in the open for public scrutiny and possible litigation. The courteous baker can no longer be sure she is free to decline an order for a rainbow wedding cake, nor can clergy be sure they will not face prosecution or ongoing harassment for asserting a view they have always held, based on their faith. Since Orthodox Christianity is so remote for most people, it will receive less pressure than Roman Catholicism, although Roman Catholic institutions are either already under constant threat, or have been completely compromised.

4. More sexualization. In a normal culture, the public square provided a place for people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and ways of life to meet and interact, with personal grievances left in the background most of the time. With the advent of “identity politics”, such grievances become the centrepiece of identity for those who live by and for their own victimhood, identity often defined exclusively by sexual interest. As such, the rule and theme of all interaction is (often by design) seasoned with sexuality.

Media, humour, all conversations, the workplace, and – most definitely – schools and colleges become for the activist places of perpetual public narcissism of the angriest kind. Two things will result: Firstly, the authentic content of human relationships becomes marginalised by the sex-obsessed. Secondly, the majority of people are reduced to spectators in community life, constantly subjected to the clowns of sexual politics demanding the spotlight on them and their stories, their issues, and their angst. As the old saying goes, the definition of a fanatic is someone who cannot change the subject; the court rulings redefining civil marriage serve as a cattle call for every sex-obsessed fanatic to step up to the microphone.

5. The redefinition of words, and the sanctioning of traditional expression and vocabulary, Soviet-style. While this has been going on for two decades with various strains of political correctness in academia and media, the sexuality and marriage debate (and subsequent change in marriage laws) will bring this to a crescendo. The identification of “hate” words by certain elites will open the door to a widespread campaign of censorship in all public discourse, creating intellectual “no go” zones, and “dumbing down” of meaningful public discussion. This will be a two-edged sword, since the same stifling environment will also curtail the meaningful freedom of expression by those who hold diverse opinions other than traditional views on the issue of marriage. Ultimately, as we have seen even in mild-mannered Canada, many people will refuse to abide by such edicts, even in state-controlled media, which will lead to the next point.

6. The growth of alternative media and use of media, effecting a splintering of society. In the Netherlands, this is referred to as “pillarization”, the idea that your friends, school, church, soccer club, credit union, and political membership are made up of the same select group of people. Because of the polarization on major issues, people of differing views will not simply avoid certain subjects (an age-old Canadian tactic), but will actually avoid each other. This will undermine civil cohesiveness and neighbourhood spirit. At the same time, traditional-minded people of faith (such as Orthodox Christians, Evangelical Protestants, conservative Roman Catholics, Copts, Sikhs, Hindus, and even moderate Muslims) will find each other, and begin to cooperate on issue of shared concern, creating virtual communities and unlikely alliances. Smart politicians will anticipate this, and work together with groups who share their values (or in the case of the anti-faith left, against them).

Along with this, alternative media will proliferate, assisted by technologies that will make video blogs, petitions, and issues-based fundraising easy and cheap for a wide variety of groups. Despite the Soviet-style statism surrounding the legal redefinition of marriage, those who rely on the state to enforce the new normal will be sadly disappointed when they are constantly undermined by YouTube and GoFundMe.

How have people responded?

1. Traditionally-minded people will find each other, and start to work together in ways they never thought possible. When I was a kid, people actually cared if you were a Roman Catholic or a Protestant; in the new normal, these distinctions will be set on the back burner to allow like-minded people to work together on issues of religious freedom and conscience. The enemy of my enemy will quickly become my friend.

2. The mastery of technology, to use against the propagandists. Few people believe any more that fighting the good fight will eventually convince and covert everyone (although there are a few who do believe this). The use of technology such as social media, online entertainment, comedy, education and training, as well as networking with like-minded people, will serve to strengthen and connect those who are already committed, and will help win over some of those who remain “on the fence” on social issues.

3. Learned strategies to defy and avoid attacks on religious freedom. The shift in civilization that came alongside legally redefined marriage also forced people in Canada to reevaluate the ways in which they were going to respond to attacks on their freedom and beliefs. As we have said, Canadians are known for being nice – often too nice. The last decade has taught many Canadians that they also have to be smart (one might even say, wise as serpents), anticipating of the strategies of those who would attack them. Much like the crypto-Christians of the Ottoman Empire, some have developed a strategy to deflect attack, while others, like the French Resistance, have simply developed a zeal for unremittingly confronting their occupiers, like challenging gadflies.

4. Improved spiritual education. The Church has a critical role to play in assisting people to learn about the ways they can maintain the integrity of their families, and helping them develop strategies for coexisting and confronting those around them who are hostile to eternal truths. Those communities who take the initiative to preach, run solid youth programs, and provide deep, ongoing catechism to adults on topics like faith, education, and parenting, will retain their faithful, strengthen them, and attract others. Those who fail to do so will lose their kids to the abyss of popular culture.

5. A return to personal integrity. For those who want to survive in the new pansexual state, the cultivation of personal faith, integrity, and holiness will be critical. Daily spiritual education, prayer, and mutual help for others must become the lifestyle of the surviving Christian. Humility and personal repentance must underpin individual life, both if we are to avoid the many pitfalls and temptations, and if we are to have anything worthwhile to offer other people trying to escape new sexual order.

Undoubtedly, America’s experience with the legal redefintion of marriage will not be identical to the experience of ten years of it in Canada. Beneath the surface, however, the challenges and the successful responses will almost certainly be the same, as those who survive the new pansexual state will live to attest.

Swimming against the current is our call dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

Fr Dimitrie Bejan was a military priest during second world war. In 1942 he becomes a war prisoner in Oranki camp in USSR and the calvary of 22 years of detention begins. His words can be applied not only to the Romanian nation, they are about any nation and any soul in search of Truth and salvation:

“If we’ll have, in the middle of our romanian nation, one hundred souls that will sacrificially deny themselves – like a burning incense, like a candle made out of pure beeswax, in which the perfume of all the flowers of the field persists – then the citadel will be saved. Isn’t that the goal of life: the salvation of your soul and of your nation?

Therefore, if there will be one hundred men, or a thousand, out of the millions that compose our nation, if there will be a thousand who will trample upon – battling fiercely – the natural demands of the body, cultivating through asceticism the law of holiness, which by no way means renouncing life and deviating from the meaning of life. On the contrary, the goal is much higher: salvation.

There are way too many who live bodily only, who are not moved by commotions. Dead souls!

Will those who are burning after Christ offend the masses fallen asleep? Their sacrifice represents the crown of man. And they are the springs, from which those who are laying in darkness and in the shadow of death, can quench their thirst.

It is easy to swim down the current. But there are some – the courageous ones – who swim against the current. They are the ones who open the way to Heaven. Not the multitude! The solitary ones!”

Muslim persecution of Christians around the world

Islamic Attacks on Christian Places of Worship 

Lebanon: An unidentified attacker firebombed the reception area of the newly built Christian cathedral of the town’s patron Saint, Mar Zakhya.  Despite the loud boom heard in the town’s main square, there was limited damage; some building material used for the building process of the cathedral was destroyed.  Although Lebanon was Christian-majority in the mid-20th century, today it is roughly 60% Muslim, 40% Christian.

Sudan: Police and security forces used a truck and two land cruisers to batter down the fence around Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church, before breaking into the church and beating and arresting the Christians present as Muslim onlookers shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is greater”).  The government, which has been destroying or taking over church buildings in retaliation to the secession of the mainly Christian South Sudan in July 2011, is believed to be behind the move, on the pretext that parts of the church’s property actually belong to a Muslim business investor.

Syria: Nine children were killed and 27 people wounded after Islamic rebels targeted and fired mortar rounds at the St. John of Damascus Christian School and the school bus. Also, the aftermath of the rebel invasion and occupation of the city of Qamishli in the northeast near the Turkish border revealed and included—among other atrocities such as killing and beheading Christians and their clergy—the destruction of all Christian icons in the local church and theft of the church’s most prized possession, a reportedly two-thousand year-old icon of the face of Christ.

Turkey: Historically the oldest Christian place of worship in Istanbul, the ancient monastery of San Giovanni in Studion founded in 462, currently classified as a museum, is now going to serve as a mosque. This would be the third ancient Christian building and heritage site to be set to be transformed into a mosque.  Earlier it was announced that the ancient churches of Hagia Sophia (St. Sophia) in Trabzon and in Iznik would also be turned into mosques.

Islamic Attacks on Christian Freedom: Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism 

India:  TJ Joseph, a Christian college professor, was finally acquitted of all blasphemy charges, though he is still missing an arm. Back in 2010 he had his right hand and part of his arm cut off by a group of men, following accusations that some of his exams contained offensive questions about Islam’s prophet Muhammad.  Although he had apologized, after he was mutilated, he was also fired by his college.  According to one source: the most serious aspects of this episode “was the attitude of the police, who registered the complaint against him and also arrested him, and of the institution, which has suspended him from duty. Fortunately, the Mahatma Gandhi University, to which Newman College is affiliated, revoked the decision of the school authorities and has offered him his job back.”

Iran: The fate of Hossein Saketi Aramsari, a Christian known as “Stephen” among his friends, remained unknown.  Iran’s secret police arrested him back in July, 2013, on suspicions that he was engaging in “evangelistic activities.”  According to sources, apparently to increase pressure on him, authorities transferred him from one jail to another; he has also been in solitary confinement.  Then, in October, a judge of the local Revolutionary Court “officially charged him with doing evangelism.”  It is believed that he is currently held in the same prison where Benham Irani, another Christian “prisoner of conscience” is being held, abused, and refused medical treatment, also on the charge of proselytizing. Explaining this rise in crackdowns on evangelizing, Mohabat News said, “Conversion of youth and their families has become a major concern for the Iranian security authorities and Islamic leaders.”  Separately, a former Muslim and drug addict who twice attempted to commit suicide before he converted to Christianity at a rehabilitation center at the hands of another former Muslim and ex-drug addict woman who had earlier become Christian, was, according to those close to him, falsely convicted of selling drugs in the facility, severely beaten, and sentenced to prison, after authorities learned that he himself had begun to proselytize in the rehabilitation center. Police also temporarily arrested Armin Davoodi’s parents at their home and confiscated his personal belongings, including the Bibles he used to take to the rehabilitation center.  Relatives with strong government connections were able to get him released under numerous conditions, including a requirement that he state in writing that Christians had misled him into the faith and that he would never again go to a church or talk to other Muslims about the Gospel, and that if he did, he would be executed by the state.  So he agreed to their proposal and has since fled.

Pakistan: Blasphemy cases against Christians have reached an all-time high.  Four such cases were reported in November, which, according to activists, is four times higher than the monthly average recorded over the past two years. Activists and clergy further stressed that the overwhelming majority of blasphemy accusations are being used as “instruments of revenge” against Christians, as a sure way to see them get punished for whatever real or imagined grievance accusing Muslims may have.  Separately, Younis Masih, a 35-year-old Christian who had been imprisoned and sentenced to death on blasphemy charges since 2005, was finally released after judges decreed he did not blaspheme Islam.  He and his family are still in hiding since some Muslims still seek to kill him despite his being cleared of the blasphemy charge.  According to Younis: “I have four children and I have no job, no one is helping me. I live with the fear of being killed.”  And in the words of his lawyer: “Christians in Pakistan fear threats, attacks, violence, discrimination and hatred. The law of blasphemy is always a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads: Their life is not safe even after their release from prison.”

Somalia: A Muslim convert to Christianity living in Mogadishu was killed by Islamic gunmen accusing him of spreading the faith.  Two men armed with pistols shot Abdikhani Hassan, 35, seven times as he approached his home after closing his pharmacy. He is survived by his wife, who is pregnant, and five children ranging in age from 3 to 12.  He and his wife converted to Christianity back in 2000.  Before killing him, one of the assailants told a neighbor, “We have information that Hassan is spreading wrong religion to our people, and we are looking for him.”  According to a source, “The men who murdered Abdikhani [Hassan] are suspected to be Al Shabaab militia,” the Somali wing of al-Qaeda which has vowed to cleanse the country of any Christian presence.

Turkey: A Christian pastor was reportedly arrested on charges of organizing human trafficking and prostitution.  The Christian community of Agape (or “Brotherly Love”) Church, where Orhan Picaklar, 42, is pastor, insists that he is innocent, and that “the allegations are entirely instrumental, as the Pastor was under observation for suspected ‘illegal missionary activity.’”  Later, the church where the Agape community meets was damaged by vandals, although the congregation has obtained the formal status of “association” in 2005 (as with other Christian communities in Turkey, the government does not grant official recognition of “church” to new communities). 


Central African Republic: 450,000 Christians have fled their homes in the 80% Christian-majority nation since the Islamic takeover in March 2013.  Then, Seleka—a coalition of local and foreign Arabic-speaking Islamic militias—seized control of the capital, Bangui, in an orgy of violence, bloodshed, and rape, against Christians.  As one analyst put it, “But Seleka does not rape, loot and kill indiscriminately. Rather, Seleka attacks Christians and spares Muslims, causing traditional community trust to evaporate, and creating a sectarian tinderbox.”  And in fact, Christians, who make the majority of the African nation, are fighting back, leading to an extremely volatile situation.  Christian Bishop Albert Vanbuel stated “a rebellion of religious extremism with evil intentions, characterized by profanation and planned destruction of religious buildings, especially Catholic and Protestant churches” is now in power.

Egypt: Three months after the Egyptian military liberated Delga from Muslim Brotherhood supporters and sympathizers—who were forcing Christians to pay jizya, or tribute, for right of life—they continued to terrorize Christians in other towns across Egypt.  Especially throughout regions in Upper Egypt like Minya, extortionists using the threat of kidnap, torture and murder seized money, land and other property from Christians.  One Copt was tied by his kidnappers as they repeatedly shot an automatic rifle next to his ear.   According to Morning Star News, “Besides the emotional damage he suffered, the shockwaves exiting the rifle combined with the muzzle blast shattered the Christian’s eardrums and burned his face. The Copt begged his family to gather the ransom money, and eventually they paid the kidnappers some 50,000 Egyptian pounds (US$7,260). He returned to his family shattered and unable to speak of the ordeal until recently.” According to the founder of the Maspero Union, targeting Christians in the context of seizing their money and property is seen “as a religious duty.”  The director of a human rights organization in Upper Egypt said, “This past month alone, we had nine cases of kidnapping in Minya, and they all paid their ransom, which was between 100,000 and 250,000 Egyptian pounds [US$14,500 to $36,300] for each case.”  Separately in Minya, after a Coptic boy was accused of being in a relationship with a Muslim girl, “Muslims burnt down the house of the boy’s father and an adjacent house.”

Nigeria: After kidnapping a teenage Christian girl named Hajja, members of the Boko Haram terrorist organization kept her as a slave, eventually putting a knife to her throat and offering her one of two choices: convert to Islam or die.  “If I cried, they beat me. If I spoke, they beat me. They told me I must become a Muslim but I refused again and again…  They were about to slaughter me and one of them begged me not to resist and just before I had my throat slit I relented. They put a veil on me and made me read from the Koran.”  According to Reuters, “She ceremonially converted to Islam, cooked for the men, carried ammunition during an attack on a police outpost and was about to be married to one of the insurgents before she managed to engineer a dramatic escape. She says she was not raped.” Recounting how her captors used her to lure people into traps, the 19-year-old told Reuters, and “They took them back to a cave and tied them up. They cut their throats, one at a time.  I thought my heart would burst out of my chest, because I was the bait.”  Among those who did the slaughtering was the Muslim wife of a leader, the only other woman in the band of jihadi terrorists.  Separately, a Baptist high school principal and some teachers were beaten to a “pulp” and “state of coma” at the hands of “unknown persons,” who used, among other weapons, axes.  The reason was that the school had earlier sent home a female student for wearing a veil, or Islamic hijab, while on school premises.  Finally, over 70 Christians were killed by what were described as “Islamic extremists”: Boko Haram terrorists killed 34 Christians in Borno state, while “Muslim herdsmen” slaughtered 37 Christians, injured dozens, and looted and destroyed their homes, in coordinated attacks on four Plateau state villages.

Pakistan: An entire Christian community has been forced to flee a Lyarni neighborhood known as the “Slaughter House,” due to the endemic killings, rapes of young girls, thefts, drug dealing, and extortions.  Before surrounding Muslims began their incursions, the residential area was 90% Christian, 10% Hindu, with four churches and three temples. “It is almost empty now,” disclosed a Christian elder of a Christian family. “We all are separated now. We won’t be reunited again.” “A lot of the families have left the compound since 2008, after their daughters were kidnapped and raped,” claimed another community elder. “No one knows where they have gone.” He recalled an incident when a teenage girl, who was dancing at her brother’s wedding, was kidnapped. “Her parents, brother and relatives cried and appealed to the kidnappers but they didn’t listen,” he narrated. “She was dishonoured and was left outside the compound the next morning. That family was never seen in the city again.”

About this Series

While not all, or even most Muslims are involved, the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions.  Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:

1)    To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.

2)    To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death those who “offend” Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

McCain and Syrian Christians

GOP Senator Apologizes for McCain Tantrum at Syrian Christian Leader Meeting

FEBRUARY 05, 2014

The delegation of Syrian clergy came to Washington to raise awareness among lawmakers of the growing crisis among the region’s minority Christian community. Christians make up about 10% of the Syrian population and they are being targeted and ruthlessly murdered by radical elements of the rebel forces, according to the visiting church officials. They say the media and human rights groups in the west have been largely silent on the ordeal of the Christians in Syria.

A number of churches have been destroyed or burned, children were killed when rebels fired mortar rockets at an Armenian Christian school in Damascus and countless others have been abducted by Islamic fighters, the Syrian delegation reveals in a statement published by the research group, Westminster Institute, that brought them to Washington. Eleven nuns have also been abducted and are still in captivity and two bishops are still missing after getting kidnapped during a humanitarian mission.

But Senator McCain, an Arizona Republican, evidently doesn’t want to hear negative stories about the rebels he’s working to arm. So he stormed out of a closed-door meeting with the Syrian clergy officials last week. Held in the Senate Arms Services Committee meeting room, the reunion also included senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Graham is a Republican and the rest are Democrats.

McCain marched into the committee room yelling, according to a high-level source that attended the meeting, and quickly stormed out. “He was incredibly rude,” the source told Judicial Watch “because he didn’t think the Syrian church leaders should even be allowed in the room.” Following the shameful tantrum McCain reentered the room and sat briefly but refused to make eye contact with the participants, instead ignoring them by looking down at what appeared to be random papers.

The outburst was so embarrassing that Senator Graham, also an advocate of U.S. military intervention in Syria, apologized for McCain’s disturbing outburst. “Graham actually apologized to the group for McCain’s behavior,” according to the source, who sat through the entire meeting. “It was truly unbelievable.”

Not really, for those familiar with McCain’s history on this matter. The veteran lawmaker is enamored with a controversial young “Syria expert,” Elizabeth O’Bagy, who has managed to convince him as well as the president and secretary of state that Syrian rebels are mostly moderate and not terrorists. While persuading the U.S. of this, O’Bagy concealed that she was a political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a group that advocates for Syria’s rebels from Washington D.C.

Before getting exposed by conservative media outlets, O’Bagy claimed to be an objective analyst at a Washington D.C. think-tank that studies military affairs when in fact she had a “reputation as the leading expert on the armed opposition in the Syrian revolution,” according to SETF. In September O’Bagy was abruptly fired from the think-tank for padding her resume and McCain graciously hired her. “Elizabeth is a talented researcher, and I have been very impressed by her knowledge and analysis in multiple briefings over the last year,” McCain said in a statement to the political news publication that broke the story in late September.

Besides the fact that a Syrian Islamist group is essentially steering U.S. policy, a number of domestic and international media outlets have confirmed that terrorists—mainly Al Qaeda—are running opposition forces in Syria. For instance the New York Times published a piece that reveals Islamist rebels—including the most extreme groups in the notorious Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda-aligned force—are running the show in Syria. “The Islamist character of the opposition reflects the main constituency of the rebellion,” the story says. “Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.”

Incredibly, last month an international news agency reported that Congress secretly approved U.S. weapons flow to what officials describe as “moderate” Syrian rebel factions. The White House refused to comment on the back-door operation, but the story cites U.S. and European officials who say the weapons deliveries have been funded by the U.S. Congress, in votes behind closed doors, through the end of government fiscal year 2014.

Armenian Genocide. Witnesses accounts.

From “The Burning Tigris” by Peter Balakian

In reviewing Frederick Davis Greene’s timely book, The Armenian Crisis in Turkey: The Massacre of 1894, Its Antecedents and Significance, for the Woman’s Journal in June 1895, Isabel Barrows excerpted missionary and relief worker reports of the Armenian atrocities. Because the authors of the reports were still living in Turkey near the scenes of the atrocities, Greene published the letters anonymously. A missionary himself, Greene had been born in Turkey and had spent a large part of his life in Van, and so was well acquainted with the treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. The authors of the accounts acknowledge that most of their knowledge is from survivor testimony, which they have listened to and recorded. Even in the earliest account in Greene’s book, written in April 1893 – the author notes that “it seems to be the systematic policy of the government to crush the Armenians, and it looks as though they will be exterminated”. While the Woman’s Journal gave in-depth coverage to Greene’s book, it was reviewed widely around the nation and had a large impact on the national consciousness.

The letters in Greene’s book reveal a process of systematic massacre and violence. While the men were being murdered outright, thus destroying the Armenian economy and political infrastructure, the women were subjected to extraordinary sexual violence. It is worth noting that the word “outrage” was, in this context, a Victorian euphemism for rape.

From letter 5:

A lot of women, variously estimated from 60 to 160 in number, were shut up in a church, and the soldiers were “let loose” among them. Many were outraged to death, and the remainder dispatched with sword and bayonet. Children were placed in a row, one behind another, and a bullet fired down the line, apparently to see how many could be dispatched with one bullet. Infants and small children were piled one on the other and their heads struck off.

From letter 7:

No respect was shown to age or sex. Men, women, and infants were treated alike except that the women were subjected to greater outrage before they were slaughtered. In one place three of four hundred women, after being forced to serve the vile purposes of merciless soldiery, were taken to a valley near by and hacked to pieces with sword and bayonet. In another place about two hundred women, weeping and wailing, knelt before the commander and begged for mercy, but the blood-thirsty wretch, after ordering their violation, directed the soldiers to dispatch them in a similar manner.

From letter 8:

Women were outraged and then butchered: a priest taken to the roof of his church and hacked to pieces; young men piled in with wood saturated with kerosene and set on fire; a large number of women and girls collected in church, kept for days, violated by the brutal soldiers, and then murdered. It is said the number was so large that the blood flowed from the church door.

From letter 10:

Men, women, and children were most barbarously slaughtered – unnameable outrages were perpetrated on all. The less horrible outrages were some of the following: bayoneting the men, and in this wounded condition either burying or burning them; outraging women and then dispatching them with bayonets or swords; ripping up pregnant women; impaling infants and children on the bayonet, or dispatching them with the sword; houses fired and the inmates driven back into the flames

Fr Arsenie Boca : Christians and atheists, war tactics

Today the frightening waves of Gods negation are trying to disturb the peace from the hearts of those who believe in Him, in His true Church and in His Scriptures. These temptations are not easy, and only those who are strengthened and who believed Jesus Christ in their hearts, until the age of maturity, can resist this antichristian war unto the end.

In all these sufferings, the forces of darkness are trying to attain 2 goals: first and foremost to make us hate those who are putting us through the furnace of suffering and secondly, to make us retaliate in different ways. In the furnace of temptations the man is purified and it becomes evident who he is, where his heart and hope is.

We must accept with a calm mind and heart anyone who, not being able to break us apart from the love of Jesus Christ, has nothing else left to do but to simply kill us. For peace is not possible between these two groups (Christians and atheists). The first group is always peaceful and calm and with such an open heart that it forgives everything and wants everyone to be saved. The second one though, is full of malice and is perfecting the first group by putting them through the furnace of sufferings. It would be a supreme loss to betray Christianity because of fear of them (atheists) or the fear of suffering. We should not hate them, because they are the ones who are given to us for our sins. So, we accept them not because of fear, not because of diplomacy, and not because we’re looking for some gains or vain glory, but because of the conviction that in this way we’re acting in accordance with the Providence.