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50 Million Victims Of The Orthodox Christian Holocaust

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  • kato_ny
    I thought this would be interesting to share with the group.. http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/memoryof.htm In Memory Of The 50 Million Victims Of The Orthodox
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 8, 2005
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      I thought this would be interesting to share with the group..

      http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/memoryof.htm


      In Memory Of The 50 Million Victims Of The Orthodox Christian
      Holocaust
      Compiled by Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
      Boise, Idaho
      U.S.A.

      Written by Reverend Father Raphael Moore
      (Reprinted from Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church Sioux
      Falls, SD., Protopresbtyer Benjamin Henderson, Priest)
      ------

      History Of Asia Minor: 1894-1923
      During 1894-1923 the Ottoman Empire conducted a policy of Genocide of
      the Christian population living within its extensive territory. The
      Sultan, Abdul Hamid, first put forth an official governmental policy
      of genocide against the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1894.

      Systematic massacres took place in 1894-1896 when Abdul savagely
      killed 300,000 Armenians throughout the provinces. Massacres
      recurred, and in 1909 government troops killed, in the towns of Adana
      alone, over 20,000 Christian Armenians.

      When WW1 broke out the The Ottoman Empire was ruled by the "Young
      Turk" dictatorship which allied itself with Germany. Turkish
      government decided to eliminate the whole of the Christian population
      of Greeks, Armenians, Syrians and Nestorians. The government
      slogan, "Turkey for the Turks", served to encourage Turkish civilians
      on a policy of ethnic cleansing.

      The next step of the Armenian Genocide began on 24 April 1915 with
      the mass arrest, and ultimate murder, of religious, political and
      intellectual leaders in Constantinople and elsewhere in the empire.
      Then, in every Armenian community, a carefully planned Genocide
      unfolded: Arrest of clergy and other prominent persons, disarmament
      of the population and Armenian soldiers serving in the Ottoman army,
      segregation and public execution of leaders and able-bodied men, and
      the deportation to the deserts of the remaining Armenian women,
      children and elderly. Renowned historian Arnold Toynbee wrote
      that "the crime was concerted very systematically for there is
      evidence of identical procedure from over fifty places."

      The Genocide started from the border districts and seacoasts, and
      worked inland to the most remote hamlets. Over 1.5 million Armenian
      Christians, including over 4,000 bishops and priests, were killed in
      this step of the Genocide.

      The Greek Christians, particularly in the Black Sea area known as
      Pontus, who had been suffering from Turkish persecutions and murders
      all the while, saw the Turks turn more fiercely on them as WW1 came
      to a close. The Allied Powers, at a peace conference in Paris in
      1919, rewarded Greece for her support by inviting Prime Minister
      Venizelos to occupy the city of Smyrna with its rich hinterlands, and
      they placed the province under Greek control. This action greatly
      angered the Turks. The Greek occupation was a peaceful one but drew
      immediate fire from Turkish forces in the outlying areas. When the
      Greek army farmed out to protect its people, a full-fledged war broke
      out between Greece and Turkey (the Greco-Turkish war).

      The Treaty of Sevres, signed in 1920 to end WW1 and which provided
      for an independent Armenia, was never ratified. The treaty's terms
      changed not long after the ink dried as England, France and Italy
      each began secretly bargaining with Mustafa Kemel (Ataturk) in order
      to gain the right to exploit oil fields in the Mozul (now Iraq).
      Betrayed by the Allied Powers, the Greek military front, after 40
      long months of war, collapsed and retreated as the Turks began again
      to occupy Asia Minor.

      September 1922 signaled the end of the Greek and Armenian presence in
      the city of Smyrna. On 9 September 1922, the Turks entered Smyrna;
      and after systematically murdering the Armenians in their own homes,
      the forces of Ataturk turned on the Greeks whose numbers had swelled,
      with the addition of refugees who had fled their villages in Turkey's
      interior, to upwards of 400,000 men, women and children.

      The conquering Turks went from house to house, looting, pillaging,
      raping and murdering the population. Finally, when the wind had
      turned so that it was blowing toward the sea so that the small
      Turkish quarter at the rear of the city was not in danger, Turkish
      forces, led by their officers, poured kerosene on the buildings and
      homes of the Greek and Armenian sectors and set them afire. Thus,
      any remaining live inhabitants of the city were flushed out to be
      caught between a wall of fire and the sea. The pier of Smyrna became
      a scene of final desperation as the approaching flames forced many
      thousands to jump to their death or to be consumed by fire.

      The Allied warships and shore patrol of the French, British and
      American military were eyewitnesses to the events. George Horton,
      the American Consul in Smyrna, likened the finale at Smyrna to the
      Roman destruction of Carthage. He is quoted in Smyrna (1922, written
      by Marjorie Dobkin) as saying: Yet there was not fleet of Christian
      battleships at Carthage looking on a situation for which their
      governments were responsible." This horrible act unleashed the last
      phase of the genocide against the Christians of Turkish Asia Minor.

      On 9 September 1997, a series of speakers and memorial services,
      honoring the memory of the 3.5 million Christians who were murdered
      by Turkish persecutions from 1894-1923, were held in the greater
      Baltimore Washington area. The memorial service was conducted by the
      choirs of St. Mary's Armenian Church, St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox
      Church, Fr. George Alexson of St. Katherine's, Fr. Vertanes Katayjian
      of St. Mary's and other Orthodox clergy.
      The 75th anniversary of the Christian Holocaust was memorialized on 9
      September 1997, the date in 1922 of the destruction of the city of
      Smyrna. This memorial honors the memory of over 3.5 million
      Christians who were murdered by Turkish persecutions from 1894-1923.
      Not only was this the memorial of the Holocaust of Smyrna (now Izmir)
      and the martyrdom of Smyrna's Metropolitan Chrysostomos, but also of
      the 3.5 million Christians who perished during the first Holocaust of
      this century. But the events of 1922 are not an isolated incident.
      The atrocities committed by Turkish forces against a civilian
      population began before WW1 and have never ended. This event seeks
      to expose the continuum of a Turkish campaign of persecution,
      deportation, and murder designed to rid Asia of its Christian
      populace.

      GREEKS
      1914 400,000 conscripts perished in forced labor brigades
      1922 100,000 massacred or burned alive in Smyrna
      1916-1922 350,000 Pontions massacred or killed during forced
      deportations
      1914-1922 900,000 perish from maltreatment, starvation and massacres;
      total of all other areas of Asia Minor
      TOTAL: 1,750,000 Greek Christians martyred 1914-1922

      ARMENIANS
      1894-1896 300,000 massacred
      1915-1916 1,500,000 perish in massacres and forced deportations (with
      subsidiaries to 1923)
      1922 30,000 massacred or burned alive in Smyrna
      TOTAL: 1,800,000 Armenian Christians martyred 1894-1923

      SYRIANS AND NESTORIANS
      1915-1917 100,000 Christians massacred




      The native population of Asia Minor traces its Christian roots to the
      early days of Christianity. the Armenians, an ancient people, trace
      their origins back 2500 years. In 301 AD. the Armenian King Dftad
      declared Christianity as the kingdom's official religion, making
      Armenia the first Christian political state in the world. The
      migration of Greek tribes to Asia Minor began just before 2,000 BC
      and the Greeks built dozens of cities such as Smyrna, Phocaea,
      Pergamon, Ephesus and Byzantium (Constantinople). The native
      inhabitants of Asia Minor, among the first to accept the message of
      Christianity, were later to be persecuted and uprooted from their
      lands because of that same faith. Turkish tribes plagued the
      region. Later another tribe, the Oyuz Turks who embraced Islam and
      ultimately produced the Ottoman Turks, conquered Persia, the
      Caliphate of Baghdad, and then the whole area presently occupied by
      Syria, Iraq and Palestine.

      Under the Ottoman Empire the Christians suffered a steady decline.
      Forced conversions to Islam, the abduction of children to serve in
      the fanatical Janissary corps, persecutions and oppression reduced
      the Christian population. Oppression intensified, leading to
      Genocide. Christian clergy were a constant target of Turkish
      persecution, particularly once the 1894 policy of Armenian genocide
      had been declared by sultan Abdul Hamid.

      Victims of horrible torture, many Orthodox clergy were martyred for
      their faith. Among the first was Metropolitan Chrysostomos who was
      martyred, not just to kill a man but, to insult a sacred religion and
      an ancient and honorable people. Chrysostomos was enthroned as
      Metropolitan of Smyrna on 10 May 1910. Metropolitan Chrysostomos
      courageously opposed the anti Christian rage of the turks and sought
      to raise international pressure against the persecution of Turkish
      Christians. He wrote many letters to European leaders and to the
      western press in an effort to expose the genocide policies of the
      Turks. In 1922, in unprotected Smyrna, Chrysostomos said to those
      begging him to flee: "It is the tradition of the Greek Church and
      the duty of the priest to stay with his congregation."

      On 9 September crowds were rushing into the cathedral for shelter
      when Chrysostomos, pale from fasting and lack of sleep, led his last
      prayer. The Divine Liturgy ended as Turkish police came to the
      church and led Chrysostomos away. The Turkish General Nouredin
      Pasha, known as the "butcher of Ionia", first spat on the
      Metropolitan and informed him that a tribunal in Angora (now Ankara)
      had already condemned him to death. A mob fell upon Chrysostomos and
      tore out his eyes. Bleeding profusely, he was dragged through the
      streets by his beard. He was beaten and kicked and parts of his body
      were cut off. All the while Chrysostomos, his face covered with
      blood, prayed: "Holy Father, forgive them, for they do not know what
      they are doing." Every now and then, when he had the strength, he
      would raise his hand and bless his persecutors; a Turk, realizing
      what the Metropolitan was doing, cut off his hand with a sword.
      Metropolitan Chrysostomos was then hacked to pieced by the angry mob.

      Among the hundreds of Armenian clergy who were persecuted and
      murdered were Bishop Khosrov Behrigian and Very Reverend Father
      Mgrdich' Chghladian.

      Bishop Behrigian (1869-1915) was born in Zara and became the primate
      for the Diocese of Caesarea/Kayseri in 1915. He was arrested by
      Turkish police upon his return from Etchmiadzin where he had just
      been consecrated bishop. Informed of his fate, the bishop asked for
      a bullet to the head. Deliberately ignoring his request, the police
      tied him to a "yataghan" where sheep were butchered an then proceeded
      to hack his body apart while he was still alive.

      Father Chghladian was born in Tatvan. In May 1915, as part of the
      campaign of mass arrests, deportations and murders, the priest was
      tortured and displayed in a procession, led by sheiks and dervishes
      while accompanied by drums, through the streets of Dikranagerd. Once
      the procession returned to the mosque, in the presence of government
      officials, the sheiks poured oil over the priest and burned him
      alive.

      Four of the martyred bishops who were murdered between 1921-1922 are
      today elevated to sainthood in the Greek Orthodox Church: They are,
      in addition to Metropolitan Chrysostomos, Bishops Efthimios,
      Gregorios and Ambrosios.

      Bishop Efthimios of Amasia was captured by the Turkish police and
      tortured daily for 41 days. In the last days of his life he chanted
      his own funeral memorial until finally dying in his cell on 29 May
      1921. Three days later a written order for his execution arrived
      from Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk).


      Metropolitan Gregorios of Kydonion remained with his church until the
      end, helping 20,000 of his 35,000 parishioners escape to Mytilene and
      other free parts of Greece. On 3 October 1922, the remaining 15,000
      Orthodox Christians were executed; the Metropolitan was saved in
      order to be buried alive.

      Metropolitan Ambrosios of Moshonesion, along with 12 priests and
      6,000 Christians, were sent by the Turks on a forced deportation
      march to Central Asia Minor. All of them perished on the road, some
      slain by Turkish irregulars and civilians, the remainder left to die
      of starvation. Bishop Ambrosios died on 15 September 1922 when
      Turkish police nailed horseshoes to his feet and then cut his body
      into pieces.

      "I was five or six years old in 1922, and I still remember the songs
      of Akrita and the mourning of the Greek women who carried baskets
      full of severed heads down from the mountains. I will never forget
      the women who suddenly realized that one of the heads in the basket
      she carried was that of her son." - Constantine Koukides, refugee
      from Pontius

      "I have given orders to my Death Units to exterminate without mercy
      or pity, men, women, and children belonging to the Polish speaking
      race. It is only in this manner we can acquire the vital territory
      which we need. After all, who remembers the extermination of the
      Armenians?" - Adolf Hitler, 22 August 1939


      THE UKRAINIAN HOLOCAUST OF 1932-33
      Sixty-five years ago, between seven and twelve million Ukrainians
      were systematically and deliberately starved to death in Ukraine,
      the "Bread Basket of Europe".

      Long before there was a Russia, Kyivan Rus' (Ukraine) was a free and
      fiercely independent nation. Indeed, it was to Ukraine that
      Christianity was first delivered by St. Andrew - the First called
      Apostle - and only much later, from Ukraine, on to Russia. In the
      13th century Kvivan Rus' was decimated by invasions from Asia; and by
      the time the invaders were driven back, the base of power had shifted
      North to Muscovy. For centuries thereafter, Ukraine was subjugated
      to Tsarist Russia. Then in 1918, following the murder of the Tsar
      and his family by the Communists, the Ukrainians declared Ukraine a
      free and independent country, just as it was centuries before there
      even was a Russia.

      Communist forces eventually recaptured the land and once again, as in
      the time of the Tsars, Ukraine would become little more than a part
      of a larger whole. But as never before in their long history,
      Ukrainians would be forced to pay a dreadfully high price in their
      survival as a people. Probably more than other Bolsheviks, Stalin
      had an exceedingly low opinion of peasants; for he considered them to
      be incurably conservative and a major barrier to revolutionary
      change. And because Ukrainians were an overwhelmingly peasant
      people, among whom native nationalism was on the rise, they were
      doubly vulnerable to his designs. Ukraine continued to be a land of
      innumerable villages of peasants working the land, with the Orthodox
      Church and traditional values dominating their lives. Perhaps most
      galling for the Bolshevik revolutionaries was the fact that the
      peasant showed little inclination for sharing their dreams of a
      Communist utopia.

      Stalin's plans for industrial expansion were based on the state
      purchasing cheap grain, from the peasants, which would be sold abroad
      at a profit; the proceeds would then be used to finance the
      industrialization of the nation. But the prices that the state
      offered, often at one eighth of the market price, were so low that
      the peasants refused to sell their grain. Infuriated by what he
      called "sabotage". Stalin ordered an all-out drive for total
      collectivization. All land and all property, including livestock,
      were to be taken away from private ownership and given over to the
      state. Small farms were to be incorporated into huge Collectives.
      The plan was accompanied by such brutality and horror that it can
      only be described as war waged by the regime against the peasantry.
      It was to be one of the most traumatic events in Ukraine history.

      Those who resisted most stubbornly were shot. Others were deported
      to forced labor camps in the Arctic and Siberia. The rest were
      deprived of all their property - including their homes and personal
      belongings - barred from the collective farms, and told to fend for
      themselves. In the winter of 1929-30 hundreds of thousands of
      peasants and their families were dragged from their homes, packed
      into freight trains, and shipped thousands of miles to the north
      where they were dumped amidst Arctic wastes, often without food or
      shelter. In this way a large part of Ukraine's most industrious and
      efficient farmers ceased to exist.

      When even these severe measures failed to have the desired effect,
      the government dispatched thousands of urban workers to implement its
      policies in the villages. Their efforts produced pandemonium and
      outrage; often officials were beaten or shot. The most common form
      of protest, however, was the slaughter of farm animals. Determined
      not to let the government have their livestock, peasants preferred to
      kill their animals instead. Between 1928 and 1932 Ukraine lost about
      50% of its livestock. Because of poor transportation facilities,
      much of the grain which was produced either spoiled or was eaten by
      rats. Even more serious was the lack of draught animals, many of
      which had been slaughtered earlier. Government officials were
      confident, however, that they could provide enough new tractors to
      replace the missing horses and oxen. But the production of tractors
      fell badly behind schedule, and a very high percentage of those which
      were delivered broke down almost immediately. As a result, in 1931
      almost one third of the grain yield was lost during the harvest. To
      make matters worse, a drought hit southern Ukraine in 1931.

      The Ukraine continued to resist and to dream of a free and
      independent nation; and since Joseph Stalin could not kill that
      dream, he first decided to deport all Ukrainians to other parts of
      the Soviet Union. Discovering that there were too many of them to
      move, Stalin decided to kill the dreamers instead; and his weapon of
      choice was a man-made, artificial famine which was designed to
      eliminate the troublemakers and force the survivors into total,
      complete submission. The famine which occurred in 1932-33 was to be
      for Ukrainians what the Holocaust was to the Jews, and what the
      Massacres of 1915 were for the Armenians. A tragedy of unfathomable
      proportions, it traumatized the nation, leaving it with deep social,
      psychological, political, and demographic scars that it still
      carries to this very day. The central fact about the famine is that
      is did not have to happen. Food was available; but the state
      confiscated most of it for its own use. All crops were requisitioned
      by the Soviet government and shipped elsewhere. This confiscation of
      food included seed which was intended for spring planting. Any man,
      woman or child caught taking even a handful of grain from a
      government silo could be, and often was, executed. In Moscow a law
      was enacted stipulating that no grain could be given to the peasants
      until the government's full quota had been met. Gangs of party
      activists conducted brutal house-to-house searches, tearing up floors
      and delving into wells in search of any grain which remained. In
      fact, if a person did not appear to be starving, he was suspected of
      hoarding food.

      Famine, which had been spreading throughout 1932, hit full force
      early in 1933. Lacking bread, peasants ate pets, rats, bark, leaves,
      and the garbage from the well provisioned kitchens of Communist Party
      members. Whole villages were erased and people were dying by the
      tens of thousands. Cannibalism existed. At first cannibals were
      shot on the spot, but later were thrown into concentration camps.
      The most terrifying sights were the little children with skeleton
      limbs dangling from balloon like abdomens. Cordons of troops
      prevented peasants from entering cities; those who managed to break
      through wandered about until they fell in the streets. Such people
      were loaded onto trucks, together with the corpses, and dumped into
      pits outside of the city.

      With the climbing death rate during the famine, the publication of
      death statistics was forbidden by the Soviet government. When deaths
      due to famine took on major proportions in Ukraine in 1932-33,
      physicians certifying the cause of death were forbidden to name the
      killer - starvation. The word "holod" (hunger) was decreed as
      counter-revolutionary, and no one valuing his own life and those of
      his relatives dared use it publicly. When the results of the census
      of 1937, for example, revealed shockingly high mortality rates,
      Stalin had the leading census takers shot.

      Elsewhere there was no famine - much of Russia proper barely
      experienced it - but the borders of Ukraine had been sealed by the
      secret police; there was no escape. The Ukrainians had been
      sentenced to death. And thus, the greatest genocide in history was
      systematically accomplished. A noteworthy aspect of the famine was
      the attempt to erase it from public consciousness; the Soviet
      position was to deny that it had occurred at all. To curry Stalin's
      favor, for example, Walter Duranty - the Moscow based reporter of the
      New York Times, repeatedly denied the existence of a famine in his
      articles (while privately estimating that about ten million people
      may have starved to death). For the "profundity, impartiality, sound
      judgment and exceptional clarity" of his dispatches from the USSR,
      Duranty received the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.

      Yet, even to this very day, there are those who deny or minimize the
      Ukrainian Holocaust to such a degree that it is being referred to
      as "the hidden holocaust of the twentieth century". In 1984, for
      example, a documentary film entitled HARVEST OF DESPAIR was shown on
      Canadian television. This film won numerous prizes at World Film
      Festivals and a 1986 Academy award nomination; yet all three top
      commercial networks in America refused to show it. As recently as
      1994, the New Jersey state legislators were being pressured to
      exclude the Ukrainian Holocaust from Resolution A-589 (The Holocaust
      Education Bill). Media coverage has been just as one-sided about the
      Greek, Armenian, Syrian and Nestorians Holocausts of 1984-1923 and,
      more recently, the Serbian Holocaust. The atrocities against
      Christians - especially Orthodox Christians - continue to this day!


      ORTHODOX PERSECUTIONS TODAY
      Of all the Christian confessions, it has been the Eastern Orthodox
      Church which has suffered the brunt of persecutions in the 20th
      century.

      In the first two decades, there were massacres of Orthodox Greeks,
      Slavs, and Armenians in the Ottoman empire, culminating in the 1915
      genocide of the Armenians in Anatolia and the near destruction of the
      ancient Assyrian community in Iraq. In 1923, the entire Orthodox
      population of Asia Minor was forced to leave their homes, bringing to
      a close a 2000 year Christian presence.

      During the Second World War, two groups of Orthodox Christians were
      especially targeted for genocide by the Nazis and their allies - the
      Gypsies and the Orthodox Serbs of Bosnia and Croatia, while the
      population of Greece, Serbia, European Russia, and Ukraine were
      designated by the Nazis to serve as slave labor for the Third Reich.
      By special order of Heinrich Himmler (21 April 1942), clergyman from
      the East (as opposed to their counterparts from Western Europe) were
      to be used for hard labor.

      At the same time the Orthodox suffered in greater proportion to any
      other Christian group at the hands of the Communists, who sought to
      completely eliminate religion.

      First in Russia and Ukraine, then in Eastern Europe, in Greece during
      its civil war (1945-49), and in Ethiopia, the Orthodox Church was the
      principle target for attach, subversion, or destruction.

      Finally, the Orthodox of the Middle East have found themselves caught
      in the crossfire of the conflicts between Muslim and Jew in Israel
      and the West Bank, and the civil war between Maronites, Muslims, and
      Palestinians in Lebanon.

      Between the tolls exacted from prisons, concentration camps, forced
      marches and exiles, warfare, famine, and brutal military occupation,
      it is reasonable to conclude that up to 50 million Orthodox
      Christians have perished in the first eight decades of the twentieth
      century.

      Even in the United States, where so many Orthodox have found refuge,
      the Orthodox Native Americans of the Aleutian Islands were forcibly
      interned during World War II and many of their churches deliberately
      destroyed by the U.S. Army.

      Unfortunately, the depth and range of the Orthodox suffering
      throughout the world in this century, remains largely unknown and
      unappreciated in the West.


      1987 - 1997
      Harassment of the Orthodox Church in the former Soviet Union
      continued through the Gorbachev era. Many of the churches supposedly
      returned to the Orthodox between 1988 and 1990 were in Western
      Ukraine. This was part of an attempt by the KGB to sow open discord
      between Orthodox and Catholics - only 100 churches were returned in
      Russia itself. The KGB continued to target Orthodox clergymen
      involved in the struggle for religious freedom and democratization;
      in 1990 several prominent priests, among them Fr. Alexander Men, were
      murdered. It was only under President Boris Yeltsin that full
      freedom was restored to the Orthodox and other Russian based
      confessions. In other parts of the former Soviet Union, notably in
      Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan, the governments have continued to limit
      the rights of the religious and ethnic minorities.

      The triumph of democracy in Poland has not led to full religious
      freedom for members of its 1 million strong Orthodox minority.
      Although the height of anti Orthodox activity seems to have peaked in
      1991 after several Orthodox churches and an historic monastery were
      vandalized, Orthodox continue to be viewed as second-class citizens
      in Poland; where they are described in a secret Foreign Ministry
      report as an "alien body in Poland's state organism." Laws on
      religious education in the schools have virtually established the
      Roman Catholic Church to the detriment of both the Orthodox and the
      Lutherans; and Orthodox believers continue to complain of petty
      harassment endured at the local level.

      In Slovakia, the government in 1991 announced its intention to review
      ownership of the country's 125 Orthodox parishes. Since that time,
      over 90 church buildings have been taken away from the Orthodox and
      given to the Catholics; and the Orthodox have been blocked by local
      officials from constructing new edifices, opening schools, or holding
      services. Even the official policy of the vatican announced 16 July
      1990, which counseled Slovak Catholics to share disputed properties
      with the Orthodox, has been ignored.

      The wars in the former Yugoslavia have been disastrous for the
      Orthodox. The Croatian government has all but liquidated the
      Orthodox Church in its territory, beginning with the dynamiting of
      the residence and library of the Orthodox Metropolitan of Zagreb on
      11 April 1992. Following the Croatian offensive of fall 1995 and the
      departure of over 200,000 Orthodox Serbs in Diocese in Krajina.
      (which brought a total of over 800,000 displaced Orthodox
      Christians), four dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church ceased to
      exist. In Croat controlled territory in Bosnia, the Orthodox Bishop
      of Mostar was driven from his see, and most of the Orthodox
      population was expelled. Estimates are that over 154 Orthodox
      churches in the territory of Bosnia and Croatia were deliberately
      destroyed. On March 25, 1999 NATO began bombing of Kosovo in
      Serbia. It is one of the tragic ironies of History that
      Western "Christian" nations have joined forces to eradicate Serbs in
      Kosovo who are accused of "Ethnic cleansing". History repeats
      itself ----Kosovo was the site 500 years ago of the Christian
      Resistance to the Turks.

      In Turkey and Turkish occupied Cyprus the position of the Orthodox
      continues to deteriorate. Despite international guarantees contained
      within the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, the Turkish government continues
      to enforce the closure of the famous Halki Orthodox Theological
      Academy in Istanbul. Families of those Orthodox illegally expelled
      in the 1950's and 1960's have never been allowed to return to their
      homes, again in contravention of the 1923 treaty guaranteeing their
      right to do so. On Cyprus, 450 Orthodox Churches on the northern
      part of the island have been desecrated; some have become night clubs
      while others have been turned into public toilets. Other churches
      and historical monuments, some dating back to the 5th century, have
      been looted and left to rot away. There is a sustained campaign to
      remove entirely the last traces of the 2000 year old Orthodox
      presence from occupied Cyprus.

      In Egypt, the Orthodox continue to suffer from the many restrictions
      placed on their ability to function in the economic and political
      life of the country. There are many rules hindering their ability to
      build and repair churches, and they are increasingly becoming targets
      for armed attacks by Muslim extremists. In the past two years,
      dozens of Orthodox villagers in Upper Egypt have been murdered by
      Islamic gunmen.

      In India Orthodox Christians report increased harassment on the part
      of both Hindu and Muslim extremists, with isolated attacks and
      vehement rhetoric demanding their removal from the Indian landscape.


      THE CURRENT ATTITUDE OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
      The government of the United States prides itself on its commitment
      to defending religious liberty. In the Middle East and Eastern
      Europe, however, the United States is seen as supporting only those
      churches who possess sufficient "influence" in Washington, while
      ignoring the plight of the Orthodox. Events over the last ten years
      have tended to confirm that assessment.

      During the 1980's, the Immigration and Naturalization Service gave
      refugee status to any Soviet citizen who applied on religious
      grounds - except for members of the Orthodox Church. The very church
      which had suffered the most under Soviet rule, whose churches
      continued to be closed and her clergy arrested until 1988, was not
      considered to be a "persecuted" church by the American government.

      After 1989, Orthodox Christians in both Poland and Slovakia warned
      the United States government that they were "at risk" as religious
      minorities. In 1991 the Congress of Russian Americans prepared two
      reports for the Commission of security and Co-operation in Europe
      (CSCE: July & september 1991) warning of the dangers and asking that
      guarantees be obtained for the rights of the Orthodox in those
      nations. No action was taken, and at this time there is no
      indication that the US has pressed to secure the rights of these
      minorities in either Poland or Slovakia. There is also no indication
      that the US has ever linked economic assistance to either country or
      entry into the NATO alliance with improvements in the situation of
      their religious minorities.

      Despite the large amount of economic and military assistance received
      by Turkey, there is no indication that the US has ever been prepared
      to use this leverage to secure the rights of the Orthodox minority,
      even though Turkey is bound by its own constitution and its
      international obligations to allow the Orthodox to maintain schools
      and other institutions. In contrast, US senators have often publicly
      and vocally called for American assistance to Russia to be made
      conditional on Russia's acceptance of American Protestant
      missionaries.

      Persecution and harassment of the Orthodox continues because of a
      belief that the United States is not interested in their fate, and
      that America will not undertake any effort (other than occasional lip
      service) to secure religious freedom for the Orthodox. I turn,
      Orthodox leaders around the world are watching closely to see whether
      or not future initiatives on religious freedom which emanate from the
      US are truly based on principle, or whether American policy will be
      selective in terms of who is faulted and who is exonerated.

      The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church has suffered
      greatly in this century, and continues to be a martyr church in many
      parts of the world. If the US chooses to ignore this fact for
      political gain, then the cause of religious freedom - for all - will
      be gravely compromised.

      This information was borrowed from:

      The Library of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church USA - Ukraine, A History
      Ukrainian Orthodox League of the USA - Ukrainian Affairs Committee
      3. The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies - University of
      Toronto
      4. Ukrainian Orthodox League Bulletin - October 1998
      5. Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver Diocesan News: Dr. Nicholas
      Gvosdev - August 1998
      6. Federation of Hellenic Societies of the Greater Baltimore
      Washington Region: Heritage Publications - 1997
      (Editors Notes: We cannot even well imagine but "50 Million Victims
      Of The Orthodox Christian Holocaust" is not the correct number, as we
      have learned from Alexander Solzhenitsyn that more then 66.5 million
      Orthodox Christians also perished from 1917 and onward during the
      times of the Soviet Union. Secondly the New Martyrs of Serbia are
      increasing, the killing of innocent people, the destruction of
      Churches, Monasteries, Cemeteries, and homes, as well as a massive
      killings of Serbian Orthodox Christians, and countless missing
      people.)

      Holy New Priest
      Martyr Stefan of Kosovo,
      Pray Unto GOD For Us!

      Holy New Martyrs, and
      Confessors Of Holy Orthodox Faith,
      Pray Unto GOD For Us!

      GLORY BE TO GOD FOR ALL THINGS!
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