Dean Franck is a first year student in the Master's of Divinity Program at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is also a participant of our Digital Disciples Program.
The Orthodox Christian Network features the important work of organizations that promote religious freedom, defend Christian Rights and stand against Christian persecution. You have our resounding commitment to be a resource of compassion, a voice of help, and active participant to helping all in need.
It is said that the town of Sadad is referred to in the Old Testament. The Christians from this place believe that it is the town called ‘Zedad’ in the Book of Kings. In the image above, children are playing in front of a cannon that was fired just hours before, during one of the many skirmishes on the town’s frontier. The Islamic State group is gradually encroaching on this ancient Christian town. A majority of the Sadad population is still Syrian Orthodox Christian, but these Christians feel the danger as they are now in the sights of the jihadist group.
The Islamic State is intentionally targeting the ancient Christian buildings and landmarks because they fall outside its harsh interpretation of Islam.
Around 60 percent of the 12,000 residents, particularly the women and children, have fled to other Christian villages in the province, like Fayruza and Yazdal. The men are staying behind to defend the town.
Said Suleiman Khalil, Sadad’s mayor, a man in his 30s, while working a rosary through his fingers as he walked.
The Russians have come to give aid and military support to all people in the area, but most specifically their fell brothers and sisters in Christ who are the front lines struggling to defend their faith.
The full article is found at UK Yahoo News. Photo credit from AFP, found via the same article.
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. We also report on news events in the Orthodox Church and produce This Week in Orthodoxy, a weekly news video with stories and issues of interest to Orthodox Christians around the world.
Digital Disciple Scholars Program. The Orthodox Christian Network has established the Digital Disciple Scholars Program on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. The purpose is to train our ministry leaders to use multi-media resources to spread the Gospel. Students promote current issues related to the Orthodox Faith, Christian Persecution, and cover Orthodox News and events on campus.
$20,000 MATCHING CHALLENGE FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners. Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.
Your gift during our annual End of the Year Appeal will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, theological media.
Be on the lookout for our new mobile app, “Spark”, to be launched in the near future. The app will raise awareness of Christian persecution worldwide and provide you and millions of Orthodox with different ways to act.
HOW YOU CAN HELP IN DEFENSE OF REFUGEES
We invite you to share with the Orthodox Christian Network substantive philanthropies that are coming to the aid of all that are persecuted. Notable is the IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) whom “in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond”. The IOCC has undertaken significant initiatives to help save Syria’s children whom are displaced or living as refugees. Notably 92% of every dollar donated to the IOCC “directly helps those affecting dire situations.”
You can help the victims of poverty and conflicts around the world by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund which will provide immediate relief, as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit iocc.org or call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297.
An additional notable philanthropy is “The Barnabas Fund’s Operation Safe Havens“ program which has pressed governments to issue visas to persecuted Christians, on condition that the organization will foot their expenses. Operation Safe Havens was featured in an August 20, 2015, editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Robert R. Reilly, director of the Westminster Institute in McLean, Va.
The Orthodox Christian Network invites you to support our coverage of Christian Persecution and Religious Freedom and your input is welcomed and appreciated. You have our resound commitment to be a resource of compassion, a voice of help, and active participant to helping all in need.