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Christian Churches to be built in Qatar

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  • daniel_reji@..
    News Article: Qatar is to allow Christian churches to be built in a special area in a suburb of capital, a senior official of that Muslim and Arab emirate on
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 3, 2001
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      News Article:

      Qatar is to allow Christian churches to be built in a special area in a suburb of capital, a senior official of that Muslim and Arab emirate on the Persian Gulf told last week.

      Qatar's ruler, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, will arrive in
      Washington on a state visit Wednesday after stopping off in New York
      where he toured the devastated World Trade Center and donated $3
      million to various disaster relief charities.

      Roman Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox sanctuaries will be
      built in a fenced-in compound near the Marriott hotel in Ras Abu
      Abboud, a suburb west of Doha, Qatar's capital city, the official

      "Our government has offered the Christian denominations a large piece
      of real estate for this purpose. It's now up to each of them to
      design their buildings," he added.

      "I don't know why Muslims should be restricted from hearing about
      other faiths," Rohrabacher said, commending Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al
      Thani all the more as "a powerful voice of moderation" in the Middle

      Construction work on the church compound will probably begin next
      year,"the Qatari official informed. He said negotiations were
      currently underway between the denominations on how to divide up the
      land allotted to them by the government.

      "It seems that differences of opinion between Eastern Orthodox
      churches are holding up the work. The Orthodox -- Arabs, Greeks,
      Indians, Syrians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Egyptian Copts --
      evidently find it difficult to agree on how to build and use their
      sanctuary," the official continued.

      "They have quite different traditions."

      Three-fourths of Qatar's estimated 700,000 inhabitants are
      foreigners, and of those many are Christians. So far, Qatar has
      prohibited the public practice of any religion other than the strict
      Wahhabi variety of Sunni Islam, which is also the predominant faith
      in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

      But in Saudi Arabia, even private practice of other religions is
      forbidden and a major crackdown against foreign Christians is
      underway, according to The Rev. Steven L. Snyder of International
      Christian Concern, a Washington-based religious rights organization.

      In Qatar, on the other hand, even large congregations of up to 1,000
      members have been permitted to worship informally in private homes,
      the government official said, adding, "We have some very substantial
      residences capable of accommodating that many people."

      Commented the Qatari official, "We want our guests to feel comfortable
      practicing their faiths. It's also preferable for us to know where
      they are going than have them sneak into somebody's house, as is
      happening elsewhere."

      "In addition to the three sanctuaries there will be other facilities
      in the proposed compound, for example, parsonages and restaurants."

      But will these churches have spires with crosses and bells calling
      Christians to worship? "I think not," the official said.
    • mat430_2000@..
      Dear all, We pray in our 3rd Thubden for truly Christian rulers But who will pray for non- Christian rulers?Are we not supposed to remember all rulers in our
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 9, 2001
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        Dear all,
        We pray in our 3rd Thubden for "truly Christian rulers"
        But who will pray for non- Christian rulers?Are we not supposed to
        remember all rulers in our prayers,especially since their collective
        effort is necessary for peace in the world?
        Note -
        Romans 13:1 - Let every person be subject to the governing
        authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those
        that exist have been instituted by God.

        So the Bible is clear that all authority is from God, whether
        Christian or not..so must we not pray for all rulers?

      • george_kunju@..
        Dear friends, Recently we read reports in news papers and church magazines that the centenary year of Parumala Thirumeni s dukarono is being celebrated for
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 10, 2001
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          Dear friends,
          Recently we read reports in news papers and church magazines that the centenary year of Parumala Thirumeni's 'dukarono' is being celebrated for one long year. this celebration will be done separately by catholicose and patriarch factions. Several programmes have been published except a sincere effort to end up the dispute in our church and bring eternal peace during this centenary year of the only saint of malankara for both factions. i believe that Thirumeni will be blessing more on that peace than any other programmes. I would like to encourage the devoted members once again to start a special prayer during this year to accomplish a 'heavenly peace' in our great church.
          ' Mar Greegoriose of Parumala, the saint of Malankara Orthodox Church pray for us and bless our church with eternal peace'.

          With prayers,
          Dr. George, Dubai
        • IOIF/Coordinator of Gospel Me
          5th Sunday of Holy Cross October 14, 2001 Morning Matthew 22: 34-46; Luke 29: 45-57. Leveticus 2: 1-3; Job 6: 1-6; 2 Samuel 3: 17-21; Isaiah 40: 27-31, Acts
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 11, 2001
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            5th Sunday of Holy Cross October 14, 2001
            Morning Matthew 22: 34-46; Luke 29: 45-57. Leveticus 2: 1-3;
            Job 6: 1-6; 2 Samuel 3: 17-21; Isaiah 40: 27-31,
            Acts 22: 22-31; 1Timothy 6: 13-21
            Matthew 23
            1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
            2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
            3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what
            they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
            4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they
            themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
            5 "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their
            wide and the tassels on their garments long;
            6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in
            the synagogues;
            7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them
            8 "But you are not to be called `Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and
            are all brothers.
            9 And do not call anyone on earth `father,' for you have one Father, and he
            is in heaven.
            10 Nor are you to be called `teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the
            11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
            12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
            and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
            [5] That is, boxes containing Scripture verses, worn on forehead and arm
            Or Messiah

            Disparity of words and actions.
            "Follow their words, not their actions,
            because they preach one thing, and practice the opposite.
            They don't practice what they preach."
            "They teach others, they don't learn anything."

            Most pastors and teachers, deacons, priests and bishops,
            Could be guilty of this contradiction.

            I know I am. I teach others that you should forgive.
            But it is very difficult for me to forgive even the small hurt
            Another person has inflicted on me.

            In what right I stand week after week at the podium and teach and preach?

            St. John Chrysostom comments on this passage, "Jesus is discoursing here
            about the life and morals of the Pharisees, since this is the cause of their
            unbelief, their depraved life, and the love of glory." [Homily on Gospel of

            "They have God-given authority and many God-given commandments, but they are
            personally ungodly, cold-hearted and vainglorious. Their teaching is to be
            honored, but they are not to be imitated. ��� Jesus charges them of
            God's values and being mean spirited, greedy, ambitious, absorbed in
            externals, hypocritical, and blindly self-righteous. How much worse will it
            be for Christians to lapse into patterns of religious life similar to the
            Scribes and Pharisees." [Orthodox Study Bible]

            "The Pharisees were the conservative religious believers of Jesus' day. They
            viewed themselves as the defenders of the law and went to great lengths to
            make sure that their outward behavior met the minute demands of the law as
            they interpreted it. They would invest great energy to "strain out a gnat"
            concentrating on useless points of meaningless regulation, and instead would
            "swallow a camel" -- missing the major demands of the law, such as justice,
            mercy, forgiveness, and redemption. The Pharisees looked pious and acted
            religious, but they were heartless, spiritually dead.

            "Pharisees" is a term that still fits those who concern themselves with the
            letter of the law. They take the rules seriously. Most Pharisees in Jesus
            time were not living out their faith and values in a way that truly
            represented the heart of God."

            "Pharisees are alive, well, and doing damage today. These legalists focus on
            the rules, on appearances, on "being better" than other believers. They
            separate themselves from the rest of Christians, feeling superior and often
            acting judgmental." [Soul Care Bible]

            I had the opportunity to have close contact with one of our younger bishops
            lately. His being with people, in private and public, revealed to me a new
            way of being a bishop. You felt close to him, like a normal human being,
            without hiding behind the paraphernalia, which used to keep people away. He
            spoke his mind, though with reservation at certain time on certain subjects,
            though you could understand why he took that stance. It was a joy being with
            him and I felt like being with an authentic human person, who touched my
            deeply. I am indebted to hem for ever for being so genuine. I learned a
            or two from him, although I am sure I do not see everything as he sees or
            understands. I mention this experience because I have seen several bishops
            and priests, who seemed to be presumptuous, arrogant, haughty, selfish,
            temperamental, vainglorious and greedy. I wish to acknowledge that there are
            several humble, godly and devout priests and bishops in our Church like the
            one I mentioned.

            My reflections on this subject takes me to the leaders of Christianity
            because of the terrible shape the Church appears in this world today. Ever
            since the Church came under the imperial protection of Constantine, shape of
            its leadership changed for ever. The leaders became kings and princes,
            over the common people and enjoying a superior, autocratic and wealthy
            lifestyle. People with selfish motives are attracted to them and manipulate
            them. This is the sad story of most denominations.

            The Church of Christ is ONE, but we have successfully sliced her up so that
            "we can enjoy" our piece of the pie. We probably can excuse ourselves, both
            the leadership and the those that follow them, that we did not create these
            divisions. But we have to answer the question, "What did you do to bring
            the broken BODY back together again!"

            As we continue to ponder over the last things, dying, [death], judgment,
            hell and heaven, may we look at ourselves through the words our Lord has spoken
            to the Pharisees of his time. Our personal lives, family lives, parish life and
            everything else, stand under the scrutiny of a loving God who desires our
            returning to Him and His ways.

            May our Lord in His mercy and wisdom help us to learn from him how to live
            and lead in His Church!

            Special Request:

            Dear Clergy members of the Forum:

            We are three weeks away from Koodosh Eetho (November 4), beginning of the
            Church's year. As we begin the New Year, let us plan so that this Sunday
            Devotional Thoughts continue to appear in these columns. If any of
            you-bishops, priests and deacons for now-would like to contribute for a
            Sunday or for a Season, kindly let me know. We can work out a schedule.
            Contact me today with your ideas, suggestions, etc.

            Seasons of the Church's Year:

            Advent - November 4 [Koodosh Eetho] to January 5
            Theophany - January 6 to Lent
            Holy Week
            Resurrection Days - Easter to Pentecost Eve
            Pentecost - Pentecost to July 31
            Days of the Mother of God - August 1 to September 13
            Holy Cross - September 14 to Koodosh Eetho

            Thank you.
          • thomas_pa1@..
            British writer of Indian origin, V(idiadhar) S(urajprasad) Naipaul, bagged 2001 Nobel price in Literature for having united perceptive narrative and
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 11, 2001
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              British writer of Indian origin, V(idiadhar) S(urajprasad) Naipaul,
              bagged 2001 Nobel price in Literature

              "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny
              in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories"

              Read more at the Royal Swedish Academy web sites:
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