Christian Crisis in Iraq and Other International News

Christian Crisis in Iraq and Other International News


Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy,” the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church.

Segment 1: News from around the Globe

Christians in Iraq Flee Ancient Homes
Our top story this week. After militants belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant captured the city of Mosul, one of the most important cities in Iraq for Christians, thousands of Chaldean, Assyrian, and Armenian Christians are now displaced, hiding in surrounding villages and refugee camps.

The mass exodus is a new blow to Iraq’s dwindling Christian community, which has been devastated since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. During the past 11 years, at least half of the country’s Christian population has fled the country, according to some estimates, to escape frequent attacks by Sunni Muslim militants targeting them and their churches.

The exodus from Mosul has been dramatic. From a pre-2003 population of around 130,000 Christians, there were only about 10,000 left before the Islamic State fighters overran the city about two weeks ago.

According to many press reports, those who have fled indicate they will probably never return, given the intense violence and persecution. As a result, some of the most ancient Christian communities in the world, where Christians still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus himself, will likely become a thing of the past.

New Studios for Church-Sponsored Radio and TV in Romania
On June 9th, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, blessed and inaugurated the new studios of Trinitas Radio and Television in the precincts of “Patriarch Iustin” social-cultural center in the capital of Romania, Bucharest.

Trinitas Radio Station was founded in 1996, and at present transmits on 51 terrestrial waves covering over 65% of the Romanian territory.

Trinitas TV, a religious, cultural and educational channel, is the official television channel of the Romanian Patriarchate and has been operating since October 2007. It transmits 24 hours a day. Some of the most watched programs are the live transmissions of the Divine Liturgy and the Vespers from the Patriarchal Cathedral, a daily news program, and the round tables on spiritual, cultural, social and philanthropic themes.

Available on major cable and satellite providers, as well as medium to small networks throughout the country, Trinitas TV can reach over 95% of the television viewers in Romania.

Russian Church to Open Center for Orthodox Culture in Shanghai
The Russian Orthodox Church is opening a center for studying Orthodox culture at a university in Shangai. The Shanghai Foreign Languages University and the Patriarchal Council for Culture recently signed a formal agreement to set up the center, according to the the Moscow Patriarchate website.

The center will organize academic programs, publish books, especially the Chinese-Russian Bible and other Orthodox books in Chinese, launch exchange programs for students, carry out seminars and conferences for students and interested individuals in China and in Russia.

Segment 2: News from OCN

OCN’s Facebook Page Most Popular Orthodox Page in English
If you haven’t liked the Orthodox Christian Network page on Facebook, you’re missing out. With more than 183,000 fans, it is the largest Facebook page in the world dedicated to Orthodox Christianity. Featuring informative and inspiring posts, you’ll be uplifted in your spiritual life and have the opportunity to interact with tens of thousands of Orthodox Christians from throughout the world.

Check it out today at

That’s it for “This Week in Orthodoxy.” Until next time, let’s go forth in peace.

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

About author

Seraphim Danckaert

Seraphim Danckaert is Director of Mission Advancement at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds an M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.