This Week in Orthodoxy, September 12, 2014

Hello, I’m Emmy Louvaris with “This Week in Orthodoxy,” the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church.

These are the stories making headlines this week:

The White House has set out its plan for combating ISIL.

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops is set to have a public meeting next week in Dallas, Texas.

A Syrian town of Orthodox Christians has been under siege as Al-Qaeda-linked militants continue to shell the city.

Segment 1: News from Around the World

President Obama’s Plan to Combat ISIL
First, in Washington, where the Pentagon and White House have finalized plans for dealing with the ISIL threat. President Obama stated the plan would not include committing ground troops to the region and that it
would be an international effort. While specific countries weren’t listed, NATO member states have agreed to combat ISIL.

On Sunday last week, The Arab League member nations met in Cairo and resolved themselves to comply with and support all international efforts, including military, to defeat the ISIL threat.

For more details on the strategy, you can visit the Department of Defense website, www.defense.gov.

Assembly of Canonical Bishops Meeting in Texas
Down in the Lone-Star State of Texas, the Assembly of Canonical Bishops will hold their 5th annual meeting. A pan-Orthodox Doxology will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m., local time, at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas, followed by a public Clergy-Laity meeting. Bishops will be available for a Question & Answer session, which will be followed by a reception.

For more information, call (972) 991-1166.

Established in 2009, The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States addresses the various cultural differences, while still promoting the unity of the Orthodox Church.

Christian Syrian Town of Mhardeh Under Attack
And finally, the Syrian town of Mhardeh has experienced continual shelling by Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Considered a Christian stronghold, where the majority of the 23,000 people are Orthodox Christians, Mhardeh is one of the last Christian towns in Syria and was the birthplace and hometown of the late Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, who fell asleep in the Lord nearly two years ago.

After continuous shelling, much of the city has been decimated, with loss of power and access reduced to one road. Residents report the attacks by these militants are similar to the Anti-Christian attacks carried out by ISIL.

Earlier this year, the town of Kesab fell to this same group. The predominately Armenian small town, on the northwest border of Turkey, saw its churches desecrated shortly after being captured.

Mhardeh, however, has seen the first signs of inter-faith cooperation in dealing with the ongoing crisis. Residents are reporting that Orthodox Christians and Muslims alike have banded together to defend the city from these extremists.

They are putting into action Patriarch Bartholomew’s words from his statement last month, on the current situation, wherein he reminded us that all faiths worship the same “God of Love” and that He “may prevail over the false idols of fanaticism and prejudice.”

Segment 2. News from OCN

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And that brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy,” to a close, a program made possible by a generous gift from the National Philoptochos Society in memory of former OCN Chairman of the Board Dr. George Mekras. For everyone here at the OCN Studio’s, Thank you for watching, I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s Go Forth in Peace.

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Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network.  You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.

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Constantine (Dean) Argiris is a lifelong Orthodox Christian from the…
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