Another heart-breaking look at the war in Syria.
Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE received an overwhelming email from Archbishop Eustathius Matta Roham (Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Jazirah & Euphrates) which speaks about the destruction of the St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church in Dair Al-Zor, which is located on the Euphrates River. It was destroyed by dynamites on Saturday, 27 October 2012.
Archbishop was reported that there was an explosion near the church, but never had an idea how much damage was done to it. Later a picture published on Facebook.
It was early this summer when our Christian community left Dair Al-Zor, because of the heavy fighting in their town. Many of them were displaced in Hassake, where is the center of the Archdiocese. The community in Dair Al-Zor worked hard for ten years (1994-2004) to build a new church and Al-wahda Private School. The criminals destroyed all this wonderful work in less than one minute.
The Archbishop Eustathius Matta Roham request prayers, good will and action to stop destroying God’s creation.
Cairo – Volunteers in white laboratory coats, surgical gloves and masks stood on the back of a pickup truck on Monday along the banks of the Nile River in Cairo, rummaging through stacks of rare 200-year-old manuscripts that were little more than charcoal debris.
The volunteers, ranging from academic experts to appalled citizens, have spent the past two days trying to salvage what’s left of some 192 000 books, journals and writings, casualties of Egypt’s latest bout of violence.
Institute d’Egypte, a research centre set up by Napoleon Bonaparte during France’s invasion in the late 18th century, caught fire during clashes between protesters and Egypt’s military over the weekend. It was home to a treasure trove of writings, most notably the handwritten 24-volume Description de l’Egypte, compiled during the 1798-1801 French occupation.
The Description of Egypt, which French scientists began writing in 1798, is likely burned beyond repair. Its home, the two-story historic institute near Tahrir Square, is now in danger of collapsing after the roof caved in.
“The burning of such a rich building means a large part of Egyptian history has ended,” the director of the institute, Mohammed al-Sharbouni, told state television over the weekend.
He said most of the contents were destroyed in the fire that raged for over 12 hours on Saturday. Firefighters flooded the building with water, adding to the damage.
Burnt pages from books from the Scientific Institute lie in a pile near cabinet offices near Tahrir Square in Cairo.
The violence erupted in Cairo Friday, when military forces guarding the Cabinet building, near the institute, cracked down on a 3-week-old sit-in to demand the country’s ruling generals hand power to a civilian authority. At least 14 people have been killed…
… there is no way of knowing what has been lost for good at this stage, but the material was worth tens of millions of dollars – and in many ways simply priceless.
“I haven’t slept for two days, and I cried a lot yesterday. I do not like to see a book burned,” he said. “The whole of Egypt is crying.”
Amarillo, Texas (AP) — The last of the nation’s most powerful nuclear bombs — a weapon hundreds of times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima — is being disassembled nearly half a century after it was put into service at the height of the Cold War.
The final components of the B53 bomb will be broken down Tuesday at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, the nation’s only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility. The completion of the dismantling program is a year ahead of schedule, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, and aligns with President Barack Obama’s goal of reducing the number of nuclear weapons.
Thomas D’Agostino, the nuclear administration’s chief, called the bomb’s elimination a “significant milestone”…
News to be welcomed indeed.
Touchstone reports on the sad state of affairs:
Canterbury, England - As commodity prices soar, thieves are targeting British churches and other institutions, taking copper lightning rods, lead rain pipes, bronze statues, iron gates, even church bells and entire roofs.
“Boom conditions in China, India and Brazil have created an incredible demand for lead and copper,” Katri Link, senior press officer at Ecclesiastical Insurance, a private company that insures about 90 percent of churches in England and Wales) told ENInews. “Church roofs are often the target, threatening some churches with bankruptcy,” she said.
Theft of copper cable from churches, railways and historic buildings is a soaring national problem in Britain. Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther of the British Transport Police described the issue as “one of the force’s biggest challenges after terrorism.” Metal theft accounts for 7,000 to 10,000 crimes a month across the nation, British Transport Police spokesperson Simon Letouze told ENInews.
“The situation is growing worse all the time,” the Rev. Paul White, Anglican vicar at All Saints Church in the village of Woodchurch in Kent, southeast England, told ENInews. Thieves have returned ten times over four months to strip all the lead from the roof of the church where between 60-70 villagers gather every Sunday. Now the congregation needs to raise 50,000 pounds to repair the roof and stop rainwater leaks from destroying paintings and the organ, said White.
Ecclesiastical caps payouts at 10,000 pounds and promises to keep premiums as low as possible to help financially strapped churches. It received 1,900 damage claims from January to August this year, compared with ten claims in 2003.
St. John’s Church in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, had more than a tonne of lead taken from its roof in July. The Rev. Tim Hayes said he noticed the theft quickly, so his church did not suffer water damage, although the repair bill amounted to thousands of pounds.
The Church of England has suggested ways churchwardens might guard against roof plunderers, including the removal of ladders or other items which could facilitate access and the restriction of vehicle access. “It is also vital to check your roof regularly, for example with binoculars from the ground, as the theft of a roof might go unnoticed during dry weather,” the Church of England said in a statement.
Because of the soaring cost of copper and lead, English Heritage (an agency that protects England’s historic and cultural environment) has abandoned its usual policy of always requiring exactly the same replacement material when buildings and monuments have been damaged.
Diana Evans, head of Places of Worship Advice at English Heritage, said in a statement that the agency is “very concerned about the damage to important buildings, the cost of repairing each one and the additional work inflicted on those who care for historic places of worship.”
The price of copper came close to US$10,000 a tonne earlier this year, having fallen to as low as $2,825 a tonne in December 2008 due to the financial crisis affecting demand. Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange have recently fallen to $7,000 a tonne but Ecclesiastical said in a statement they are expected to rise again soon. [reprinted with permission]
Shield of the fearful,
Source of hope,
as we mourn the sudden violence
and the deaths of our brothers and sisters,
show us the immense power of your goodness
and strengthen our faith.
Come swiftly to our aid,
and have mercy on all who call on you.
Comfort those who mourn this day
and gather the dead in your mercy.
Bring to us at last the peace
you promise in Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
- From the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Again we pray for the blessed memory and eternal repose of the souls of the innocent victims of the barbaric attack of September 11th, of those who unjustly lost their lives and of those who heroically fell in the line of duty attempting to help these victims.
- From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
9/11, ten years on.
After the terrorist planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11, 2001, pictures of the survivors and the rescue workers were seared on to the public imagination.
The Telegraph reports:
The events of September 11 2001 were the most photographed in the history of mankind. Osama bin Laden and his hijackers knew that in New York City, they were striking not just at America’s financial hub, but also at the heart of the international news media, where their attack would be captured from every angle, in terrifying detail.
Of the countless faces that featured in photographers’ frames, a handful would become seared on to the public imagination. These people, who seemed to define the shock – and hint at the suffering – inflicted on the United States in those 102 minutes, are likely to have their image reproduced in history books for generations to come…
Before Moammar Gadhafi, there were the Phoenicians. And the Greeks. The Romans. The first Arabs. They’re a reminder that no civilization — and no leader — is forever.
The Libyan transitional leaders have a lot to deal with once they stop being rebels, and begin shaping a new Libya: Keeping law and order, setting up a rudimentary government, dealing with money — and oil.
But what about Libya’s other wealth? Its archaeological treasures?
They are all over the country.
In the south, in Acacus, rock paintings 12,000 years old cross an entire mountain range.
In the east, the city of Cyrene holds a thousand years of history — Roman general Mark Antony once gave it to Cleopatra.
And along the coast, the splendid ruins of Leptis Magna that were buried for centuries under the sand was said to be one of the most beautiful cities of the Roman Empire.
What will happen to these sites in the days ahead? If you look at history, their fate does not bode well.
“We’re very worried,” said Francesco Bandarin of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO…
Read on here. There is a rather nice slide show too.