CWN - Christians are an “endangered species” in the Middle East today, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius III Younan said in an August 2 address to the Knights of Columbus convention in Toronto.

“The very existence of Eastern Churches, those churches that come from the apostles’ time, is at stake, in danger,” the Syrian prelate said. He said that Islamic aggression endangered the existence of the faith in the region, and denounced the apathy of Western leaders.

The Syriac Patriarch went on to criticize nations that have formed alliances with Islamic states despite the failure of the latter to respect fundamental human rights, particularly the right to religious freedom. “It’s not honest or sincere to be allied to such a regime, and to say we have an annual report about religious freedom,” he said, in what appeared to be a clear reference to the US.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Let not us who would be Christians expect anything else than to be crucified....for to be Christian is to be crucified in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example and warning to us all. We must be crucified personally,mystically; for trough crucifixion is the only path to resurrection, if we would rise with Christ, we must be humbled with him even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world.... We must be crucified outwardly in the eyes of the world, for Christ's kingdom is not of this world and world cannot bear it, even a single representative, even for the single moment.

Fr Seraphim Rose