Syrian Bishops, Real Break and Christian Persecution

Syrian Bishops, Real Break and Christian Persecution


Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy”, the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church.  I’m Emmy Louvaris. These are some of the stories making headlines this week, April 8th, 2016.

  •  Attacks on Christians Continue in India
  •  Remembering the two Kidnapped Syrian Bishops with a Joint Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Prayer
  •  Real Break 2016 comes to an end as Collegiate Spring Breaks are over
  •  Summer Programs available for young scholars at Eastern University in Philadelphia

Attacks on Christians Continue in India

Twenty-seven religious acts of violence against India’s Christian Community have been documented since February 26, the date an open letter signed by 34 members of the US Congress was sent to India’s Prime minister requesting him to specifically condemn attacks on India’s religious minority communities. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, continues to remain silent on the issue despite the rising number of attacks, affecting over 1,400 Christians being persecuted by members of radical Hindu nationalist groups, who remain unpunished for attacks on Christians and their places of worship.  Exercising religious freedom, meant to be protected by India’s constitution is a dangerous proposal as Modi’s silence is deafening for those who face violence and threats.
As has been reported by the Indian media, radical Hindu groups see the government’s lack of enforcement of the law as an implied approval for their actions. This leads ICC, International Christian Concern, to believe that the situation will only worsen for India’s Christians and other religious minority communities if the Prime Ministe continues to do nothing.
ICC is an organization established in 1995 helping to raise awareness, provide assistance and act as a bridge between believers in free countries and believers in persecuted countries. For more information visit

Joint Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Prayer

Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches will Hold a Common Prayer Service on Thursday, April 21, at St. Gabriel Syriac Orthodox Church in N.J. This marks 3 years since Syriac Orthodox Archbishop John Ibrahim, and Antiochian (Greek) Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi were kidnapped in Allepo, Syria.

The service beginning at 7:00 p.m. is meant to bring people together as they pray for the Bishops safety and for all suffering calamities in the Middle East.

A gesture of solidarity between the two Assemblies of Bishops, also marks the commencement of the organizations’ shared work. All faithful are invited to join in the prayer service. For more details log on to to access the full article under “Read – Orthodox News”

Real Break 2016

Real Break 2016 has come to an end as Collegiate Spring Breaks are over and students look to wrapping up their academic studies for this semester. Spearheaded by OCF, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Real Break is an opportunity for college students to travel throughout the world during their “spring break” in order to serve those in need, deepen their faith, and cultivate relationships with like-minded peers. A few of the Travel destinations from this year included Thessaloniki, Greece, Romania, Guatemala, Alaska and Jerusalem and, although trips for this season have been completed, planning for Real Break 2017 is already underway. Participating Student reflections and photographs are posted on, so you can read and experience the impact created on them as well as the impact they have on the communities they assisted.

Young Orthodox Scholars

And Lastly, there’s a new summer college program at Eastern University in Philadelphia, for Young Orthodox Scholars, sponsored by the Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture and open to Advanced High School students and recent graduates who can earn college credit while studying Orthodox literature.

Participants will live in residence on the university’s campus from July 7th to the 14th with a select group of peers, engaged in rigorous coursework and discussion of Great Books by Orthodox Christian literary figures.

Space is limited and application is required with a deadline of May 2, 2016. For Program brochure, and more information visit

And in News from OCN

OCN brings you another way to share the beauty of Orthodoxy with the world using “Spark” the latest downloadable OCN app.

An Orthodox Christian News Portal, OCN Spark provides information about events going on in the Orthodox Christian World and persecuted Christians everywhere. The App makes it easy to share news and articles with friends and allows you to make prayer requests for those who are suffering. Visit to easily download OCN Spark from itunes.

Much like public radio & TV, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on support from its viewers, listeners and visitors like you!

Be a part of our growth and make a contribution today where your donation can support us as we highlight the Orthodox Christian Faith through media breaking down communication barriers while building up avenues connecting Orthodox Christians worldwide.

And Remember: You can access the many breaking stories, blogs, podcasts and videos available on the latest topics of interest, on, on Facebook or watch us on our you tube “OCNVideochannel”.
That brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy,” to a close. Wishing you a Blessed Lenten Season, for everyone here in our OCN studios, I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s go forth in peace.



The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United Stated of America, originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity throughout North America. In a constantly changing media landscape, OCN delivers positive, relevant Orthodox content via multiple delivery platforms, reaching today’s internet users via broadcast, video, blogging, and webinar content.

This 501(c)3 is recognized as a leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty years. OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week. Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, theological media.


Spark OCN app is an Orthodox Christian News portal that allows you to take action. Spark provides daily devotions, live Bible study, and you can read and learn about events going on in the Orthodox Christian world, especially those concerning persecuted Christians. In addition to making it easy to share news and articles with friends, Spark allows you make prayer requests for those who are suffering.

Orthodox Prayer Book is the ultimate prayer assistant for Orthodox Christians. Not only does it allow you to carry your prayers around, it was designed from the ground-up for the iPhone to allow you to pray in the least distracting manner possible. Carry all the prayers, information about daily saints and fasting schedules with you throughout your day. Keep a list of people you want to pray for and have them automatically embedded into the prayers.

Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.

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About author

Emmy Louvaris

Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy, the first weekly news show to cover the international Orthodox Church and community.