10 August 2012
Jordan’s tolerance toward refugees shines light on the rest of the world (The Australian via Reliefweb)
Syria’s civil war spreads fear of terrorism in Jordan (Toronto Star)
Iraq dig uncovers ancient Christian past with what may be 1,700-year-old church (Associated Press)
Kerala headed toward zero population growth rate (One India News)
Orthodox pilgrims celebrate St. Herman of Alaska (Kodiak Daily Mirror via Sacramento Bee)
9 August 2012
Tags: Syria Iraq Jordan Kerala Russian Orthodox
Kerala’s rapid urbanization often leaves behind impoverished Dalit communities, such as this one in the rural south. (photo: Peter Lemieux)
Our July edition of ONE has just been posted online. In the cover story for this edition, Change Comes to ‘God’s Own Country,’ Peter Lemieux reports on how urbanization is threatening the traditional way of life in Kerala:
While the urbanization underway in Kerala may not involve all the classic socioeconomic upheavals, it certainly has meant profound changes in the state’s traditional social fabric. These days, few disagree the once tightly woven rural extended families and parish communities look frayed and threadbare.
“In Kerala, we’ve always had a strong family tradition rooted in our agrarian culture. Family was never disconnected. There was a family oneness,” explains Father Joseph Makothakat, pastor of Little Flower Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Fort Cochin. “But these days, we’re a professional society. Families don’t find time to be together. They work six days a week. Husband works in one place, wife works in another. They come home late at night and don’t even have time for evening prayer, nor do their children, who are too busy with their private tutors. The lifestyle is much different now.”
Check out the rest of the magazine online!
9 August 2012
Tags: India Kerala Dalits Urbanization
Christians begin "prayer marathon" leading up to pope's Lebanon visit (Vatican Radio)
August 9: the International Day of the World's Indigenous People (Vatican Radio)
From Arab Spring to Christian Winter in the Middle East (The Australian, via the OCP Media Network Portal)
Patriarch Theophilos III visits Syrian refugees in Jordan (Greek Reporter)
U.S. cooperation to improve Ethiopian health sector (News Dire)
Punk band's Moscow trial offers platform for Orthodox protesters (New York Times)
8 August 2012
Tags: Syria Lebanon Ethiopia Pope Benedict XVI Arab Spring
In this photo taken in 1992, a woman prays in a garden in Moscow. (photo: Richard Lord)
In the March 2005 issue of ONE, we featured a profile of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has undergone its fair share of turbulence throughout history:
Relations between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic churches are poor. The cause of much of this pain, the rebirth of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, is not just the Russian Orthodox Church’s opposition to Eastern Catholicism, but an even greater reluctance to let go of its patrimony, for Ukraine is rich in human and natural resources. A truly independent Ukraine will abandon Moscow for the West, fear Russian nationalists allied to the Orthodox Church.
While such fears may be justified, the Russian Orthodox Church has no other choice but to adapt – just as it has in the past. Gone are the days of Soviet-sanctioned persecution. But the pre-Bolshevik days, when the church enjoyed a state-sanctioned dominion over the land, are gone as well. Thus, today the Russian Orthodox Church faces a new challenge: finding its way in a religiously heterogeneous, market-driven Russia.
To learn more, read our profile of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Church has been in the headlines lately. In yesterday’s “Page One”, we highlighted a story about a Russian blogger facing criminal charges for inciting hatred towards the Russian Orthodox Church.
8 August 2012
Tags: Russia Russian Orthodox Church
Vatican paper: why is there so much violence against Christians? (L'Osservatore Romano)
Church sources: "We fear a massacre" in Aleppo (Fides)
Israeli court rules that Gaza Christians may pray at holy sites, but Muslims cannot (AFP)
Israeli scholar corrects known errors in Hebrew scripture, produces first major overhaul in 500 years (Associated Press)
7 August 2012
Tags: Syria Gaza Strip/West Bank Violence against Christians Israel
Major Archbishop Baselios Mar Cleemis greets CNEWA employee Elizabeth Thomas, who is originally from southern India. (photo: Erin Edwards)
“Witnessing is the most important thing in the Christian life.”
That was the prevailing message of Major Archbishop Baselios Mar Cleemis of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, as he paid a visit to CNEWA’s central offices in New York this morning. His Beatitude is on a pastoral visit to some of his church’s parishes and communities in the United States and will attend its annual convention held later this month.
Accompanied by the exarch for Syro-Malankara Catholics in North America and Europe, Bishop Thomas Mar Eusebius, His Beatitude shared some of his thoughts about his country, its people and the vibrant faith they have brought to North America. During a wide-ranging conversation in our staff conference room, he spoke passionately and eloquently about “witnessing” to the faith — through acts of compassion, charity and simple piety.
“We do that,” he said, “through education, through health care, through caring for those with H.I.V. and leprosy. It has to do with human dignity. I am proud and happy of how our people give witness with how they live.”
The major archbishop also wanted to underscore the universality of the Catholic Church. “Catholicity,” he noted, “is not uniformity, but diversity.” And he said that the Syro-Malankara Church could make its own unique contribution to “bring a new dimension to the Catholic Church.”
“We promote the theology of communion,” he said. “In this country, we have a strong vocation of being an apostle of communion.”
We are not here, he said, “just to preserve our linguistic tradition, but to strengthen the existing Catholic community. The church is beyond ethnic and linguistic boundaries.
“A lot of people have deserted, have gone away from the church and I think we have a responsibility. ... We have a role to play, to bring people back to the fold,” he continued.
Mar Cleemis was especially excited about reaching out to Hispanic non-Catholics in the United States, and working to draw them back into the faith.
“We want to make our liturgical experience available to them,” he said emphatically, “and I think we must seriously work to promote Catholic communion among them. That is my special dream for our presence in the U.S.”
In drawing a portrait of his immediate predecessor, Cyril Mar Baselios, he described the unassuming archbishop as “a man set apart for all.” In fact, this is a unique charism of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, and those who lead it.
7 August 2012
Tags: CNEWA Indian Catholics Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
Lebanon's Patriarch Beshara Rai wary of regime change in Syria (The Globe and Mail)
Blogger who criticized Russian Orthodox Church seeks asylum in Estonia (Interfax)
Rains trigger floods, landslides across India (Times of India)
Refugee camps care for violence-stricken region of India (CNS)
Some Muslims experience health problems from Ramadan fast (Deseret News/NPR)
6 August 2012
Tags: India Lebanon Russian Orthodox Church Patriarchs Ramadan
A member of the Daughters of Mary congregation in Pilankalai, Tamil Nadu, poses for a portrait. (photo: John E. Kozar)
During his trip to India earlier this year, Msgr. John Kozar had the pleasure of meeting members of the Daughters of Mary, a congregation of sisters in Tamil Nadu, who care for children in need:
One of the highlights of the day followed when we visited Vimala Orphanage. Here, we were warmly greeted by the house superior, Sister Rose Francis, and the house director, Sister Savio, and a bevy of beautiful young girls. Sisters led us inside where about a 140 girls — all orphans or abandoned and neglected — were assembled to greet us. This contingent of smiling girls represented three different orphanages, all of which are directed by the Daughters of Mary.
The main feature of our visit was to be entertained with songs and dances by these very special children. Their intricate hand and foot motions, their obvious delight in sharing their gifts with us and their genuine happiness overwhelmed me. The simplicity and the sincerity and the faith of these children were an inspiration to all of us.
After the entertainment, I had the privilege to chat with the girls. I shared with them a very simple message: That each one of them is a part of God’s family and that God loves each and every one of them as he loves children everywhere. I further shared with them that they have family in North America, in Canada and the United States, members of the CNEWA family who lovingly support them. Some of them even referred to you as their aunties and uncles to whom they have written. Please know how much they love you and how they promise to remember you in their prayers.
For more from Msgr. Kozar’s pastoral visit to India, read his blog series, “In the Footsteps of St. Thomas.”
6 August 2012
Tags: India Sisters Orphans/Orphanages Disabilities
Vatican: Christians and Muslims must work together (Catholic News Service)
In Syria, Christian leaders urge faithful not to accept weapons, live in peace (Fides)
Russian Orthodox spokesman defends Russia’s government (Interfax)
Riot leaves Egyptian village without Christians (Associated Press)
3 August 2012
Tags: Syria Egypt Middle East Muslim Russian Orthodox Church
A family prepares muttsmala for the Malabar Food Festival in Ernakulam, Kerala.
(photo: Peter Lemieux)
There is a vast array of cuisines unique to the cultures and regions of the world CNEWA serves. Below are five delicious recipes:
Sambar. Sambar is a vegetable soup made with tamarind and pigeon peas. It is one of the most popular dishes in South India, accompanying most meals. Enjoy it over white rice, idli (steamed rice cake) or dosa (pancake made with black gram and rice). We featured the recipe for this South Indian favorite in the November 2008 issue of ONE.
Dosa. Dosa, as mentioned above, is a pancake made with black gram and rice. It can be enjoyed with any number of the flavorful stews, sauces or soups in Indian cuisine. You can find the recipe for dosa in the November 2008 issue of ONE as well.
Tisza Fisherman’s Soup. Tisza Fisherman’s Soup, originating in Hungary, is a paprika-based river fish soup, best served hot and spicy. The original fisherman’s soup is prepared with fish from the Danube and Tisza rivers. The recipe for Tisza Fisherman’s Soup can be found in the September 2005 issue of ONE.
Sfeeha (Meat Pies). Sfeeha, or meat pies, can be found in various parts of the Middle East and Armenia. Sfeeha are a pizza-like dish filled with a combination of spices, vegetables and either beef or lamb. The recipe for Sfeeha was featured in the July 2006 issue of ONE.
Injera. Injera, a spongy flatbread made from teff, is the Ethiopian staple bread. It is used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews. It also lines the trays on which the stews are served and soaks up the juices from the meal. A meal is complete only after the last injera is eaten. The recipe for injera can take a few days preparation.
Respond in the comments and let us know if you try any of these tasty recipes!
Tags: India Ethiopia Middle East Eastern Europe Cuisine