Translating Words, Interpreting Events

Russian Patriarch to Obama: Syria’s Christians Nearing ‘Extermination’

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While many were fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent letter to the American people, another letter from another Russian leader—this one directly addressed to the U.S. president—was missed.

Russian Patriarch Kirill

On September 10, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill issued a letter addressed to “His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama, President, United States.”  Whether one wishes to interpret this communique as a product of politics or sincerity, it accurately highlights the plight of Syria’s Christians, especially in the broader context of a larger civilizational struggle.

I repost major portions of the letter below, interspersed with my observations for added context:

Your Excellency, Dear Mr. President,

The tragic events in Syria have raised anxiety and caused pain in the Russian Orthodox Church. We receive information about the situation there not from the news reports but from living evidence coming to us from religious figures, ordinary believers and our compatriots living in that country.

This is an important point: the “news reports” evaluated by the Russian church are from “living evidence coming to us from religious figures, ordinary believers and our compatriots living in that country.”  The fact is, outside of America’s biased “mainstream media,” the evidence concerning what is going on in Syria—namely, that Islamic militants are committing human rights atrocities, including possibly the chemical attacks in question—is overwhelming.  Countless eyewitness testimonies, videos, pictures—all those things that rarely make it to the U.S. MSM—make this abundantly clear.

Ask the average Syrian about the current turmoil engulfing their land—and I have, as have numerous Russian Orthodox representatives in communion with Syria’s ancient Christian community, as noted by Kirill—and few have any illusions as to its nature: an authoritarian, but secular, Assad vs. radical Islamists and jihadis.

Naturally most Syrians choose Assad.

Only in America, and to a lesser extent Western Europe, is the myth of “freedom fighters” trying to “liberate” Syria still being peddled.

Patriarch Kirill:

Syria today has become an arena of the armed conflict. Engaged in it are foreign mercenaries and militants linked with international terrorist centres. The war has become an everyday golgotha for millions of civilians.

To be sure, one of the most obvious indicators that this is no “civil war” in the name of “liberty” is the fact that the majority, up to 95%, of those fighting Assad are not even Syrian, but rather al-Qaeda linked jihadis—from Chechnya to the Philippines—trying to form an Islamic emirate in Syria as they did in the 1980s-90s in Afghanistan. Back then, foreign jihadis like Saudi Osama bin Laden and Egyptian Ayman Zawahiri—again, also supported by the U.S.—traveled to Afghanistan, “liberated” it from the U.S.S.R, and then gave us 9/11 in return a decade later.

Here, for example, is a video of foreign militants in a conquered Syrian town singing praises in honor of Osama bin Laden: “They called me a terrorist and I said ‘that will be my honor,’ this is a divine call …. We defeated America … the Trade [Center] became a bunch of rubble … Greetings from the Taliban and its leader mullah Omar… Victory is ours, winning is ours, and Allah with all his strength is with us, the infidel masses have come together to defeat us but they will not defeat us.”

Patriarch Kirill:

We were deeply alarmed to learn about the plans of the US army to strike the territory of Syria. Undoubtedly, it will bring ever greater sufferings to the Syrian people, first of all, to the civilian population. An external military intervention may result in the radical forces coming to power in Syria who will not be able and will not wish to ensure inter-confessional accord in the Syrian society.

U.S. military intervention would undoubtedly lead to even more human rights abuses, first and foremost at the hands of al-Qaeda jihadis—who in fact are on record vowing to slaughter Christians after the U.S. intervenes and overthrows Assad; Obama just waived a U.S. law prohibiting the banning of terrorist organizations simply to arm and ultimately help them realize their ambitions.

U.S. military intervention would undoubtedly lead to even more human rights abuses, first and foremost at the hands of al-Qaeda jihadis—who in fact are on record vowing to slaughter Christians after the U.S. intervenes and overthrows Assad; Obama just waived a U.S. law prohibiting the banning of terrorist organizations simply to arm and ultimately help them realize their ambitions.

Patriarch Kirill:

Our special concern is for the fate of the Christian population of Syria, which in that case will come under the threat of total extermination or banishment. It has already happened in the regions of the country seized by militants. An attempt made by the armed groups of the Syrian opposition to seize the town of Ma‘loula whose residents are predominantly Christians has become a new confirmation of our concerns. The militants keep shelling the town in which ancient Christian monasteries are located—the sites of special veneration by the faithful all over the world.

All absolutely true—especially “the threat of total extermination or banishment,” which has been the case wherever and whenever U.S.-backed Islamists come to power:

  • Afghanistan: Under U.S. auspices, the supposedly “moderate” Karzai government still upholds the apostasy law—persecuting those who seek to convert to Christianity, making them just as intolerant as the Taliban—and, under U.S. auspices, destroyed the nation’s last Christian church.
  • Iraq: After the U.S. “liberated” the nation from Saddam Hussein, the “chemical-weapon-using-tyrant”—sound familiar?—Christians are still being terrorized into extinction, more than half leaving their homeland.
  • Libya: Since U.S-backed terrorists came to power—giving American the Benghazi consulate attack on the anniversary of 9/11—the tiny Christian community there has been persecuted, including bombed churches and threatened nuns—things unprecedented under the “tyrant” Gaddafi.
  • Egypt: After coming to power, the Obama administration’s Muslim Brotherhood allies enforced draconian blasphemy codes against Christians and are currently destroying countless churches and in some regions forcing Christians to pay jizya.
  • Syria: Atrocities against Christians by the U.S.-backed jihadis know no bounds—such as the recent gang rape and slaughter of a 15-year-old Christian girl by the U.S.-supported “freedom fighters.”   And now in Ma‘loula, Christians are being forced to choose between converting to Islam or dying and other atrocities.

Patriarch Kirill:

The Christian hierarchs of Aleppo, Metropolitans Paul and John Ibrahim, have been held captive by militants since April 22. Nothing is known about their fate despite of the fact that a number of religious figures appealed to the leaders of their states to help to release them.

Indeed, here is yet another example of the nature of the people the U.S. government is supporting.  Paul and John Ibrahim were traveling in Syria doing “humanitarian work” when their driver was killed and they were kidnapped.  Maybe John McCain can phone his al-Qaeda kidnapping allies and ask them to release them?  At any rate, there is no end to the amount of Christians, like Fr. Murad, who have been kidnapped and/or slaughtered by the jihadis in Syria.

Patriarch Kirill:

I am deeply convinced that the countries which belong to the Christian civilization bear a special responsibility for the fate of Christians in the Middle East.

Here the good patriarch speaks a language that may have once resonated with Americans and Europeans—that is, the people from “the countries which belong to the Christian civilization”—but which is increasingly meaningless to those whose “humanitarian concerns” extend to anyone but those unfashionable Christians, and to some American Protestants who are unaware that Christians actually exist outside of the U.S.

As do all eastern churches, however, the Russian Orthodox Church has centuries long experience with Islamic oppression and violence—beginning with the “Tatar yoke” and continuing to the present—and hence, not only sympathizes with the plight of Near East Christians, many of whom are Orthodox, but, as Putin himself recently asserted in a Russian conference dealing with the plight of Christians under Islam, “Russia has tremendous experience in reaching and maintaining inter-confessional peace and accord, and is ready to share it.”

Patriarch Kirill:

The Russian Orthodox Church knows the price of human sufferings and losses since in the 20th century our people survived two devastating world wars which claimed millions of lives and ruined many people’s lives. We also regard as our own pain the pain and losses the American people suffered in the terrible terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001.

Alas, some people remember the lessons of history, to their benefit; others forget, to their regret.

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  • N. Wasse

    Obama should be shamed for supporting terrorists not just in Egypt but also in Syria

  • Ralph

    I don’t even want to say his name but Obama should be impeached and put on trial for war crimes, of which he doesn’t seem to care much: thinking he will win over that also. I know what a wolf in sheep’s clothing looks like and Obama is a Muslim which makes him a liar especially after watching him fund the Muslim brotherhood and bow to the king of Saudi Arabia and other things as well (a Christian can’t be a muslim). You would have to totally reject Christ to not see and understand the arrogance and proud behavior Obama puts forth as he tells lie after lie. And the Russian— state run church is just as bad recalling some of the things I have read about Russia and its Religion. We the people have to make a change or we will reap a whirlwind just as we have sown the seeds of destruction the Lord will visit destruction on us as a Nation that was once under God. Don’t stop praying and speaking out at least we can still do that!

  • AlexanderGalt

    It’s always darkest before the dawn.

    Cheer up. We have a new ally.

    Now that Obama has started arming
    the FSA in Syria we are now on team Al Qaeda!

    Incidentally, there’s a great take on that in:
    “Our Enemy’s Enemy Is Our Enemy” at:

    http://john-moloney.blogspot.com/#!/2013/09/our-enemys-enemy-is-our-enemy.html

  • revrocky210

    [Thank-you, R.I. Note the following article which I discovered on the net.]

    Franklin Graham’s Warning !

    Franklin’s warning of
    coming persecution of Christians echoes what his mother Ruth and father
    Billy have clearly stated. Re Ruth, see search engines including Google
    for “Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham.” To see what Billy has written,
    Google “Famous Rapture Watchers – Addendum.”
    Since Franklin
    blamed the Obama administration for his own National Day of Prayer snub
    and persecution, and since he accused “Christian” Obama of “giving Islam
    a pass,” readers can get some rare insights into Obama and his fellow
    travelers by Yahooing “Obama Supports Public Depravity,” “Obama Avoids
    Bible Verses,” “Separation of Raunch and State,” and “The Background
    Obama Can’t Cover Up.”
    To see some exceptional in-depth studies
    of coming persecution, see two unique books by media figure Joe Ortiz
    entitled “The End Times Passover” and “Why Christians Will Suffer ‘Great
    Tribulation’ ” – both published in the US and UK by AuthorHouse. Also
    Google “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “The Unoriginal John
    Darby,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,”
    “Pretrib Rapture Pride,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” and “Pretrib
    Rapture Stealth” – most by the author of “The Rapture Plot” (the most
    accurate and comprehensive history of the 183-year-old pretrib rapture
    view) available by calling 800.643.4645.