CWN - Kurdish fighters are occupying historically Christian villages in northern Syria and recently destroyed homes in one village as part of a military training exercise, according to an Assyrian media report.

The villages had fallen under the control of the Islamic State before Kurdish forces entered the area. As belligerents in the Syrian Civil War who oppose the Syrian government as well as the Islamic State, Kurdish forces now control one-fifth of Syria and have established Rojava, a semi-autonomous state.

The Kurdish fighters are part of the US-backed YPG (People’s Protection Units), the major armed group in Rojava.

In September, Kurdish forces fired bullets into the home of a Syrian Catholic archbishop as part of a campaign of intimidation against Christians. Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, who is based in the northeastern Syrian city of Al-Hasakah, narrowly escaped being shot in the head.

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Self-accusation before God is something that is very necessary for us; and humility of heart is extremely advantageous in our lives, above all at the time of prayer. For prayer requires great attention and needs a proper awareness, otherwise it will turn out to be unacceptable and rejected, and 'it will be turned back empty' to our bosom.

Martyrius of Edessa