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Posts Tagged ‘Constantinople’

ኦርቶዶክስ ክርስቲያን አገራት ብሔራዊ የሀዘን ቀን አወጁ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 26, 2020

ሰዶማውያኑ ቱርኮች የቅድስት ሶፊያን ቤተ ክርስቲያን መስጊድ በማድረጋቸው። ከስድስት መቶ ዓመታት በፊት ሰዶማውያኑ ቱርኮች የኮኒስታንቲኖፕልን ከተማ ወርረው ሲይዙ በዚህ ታሪካዊ የቤተ ክርስቲያን ሕንፃ ውስጥ በጣም ብዙ ዲያቆናት፣ ካህናት ፣ ቀሳውስትና ጳጳሳት ምዕመናቱ ፊት በግፍ ታርደው ለሰማዕትነት በቅተዋል። ዛሬም ቱርኮች እጅግ በጣም ይቅበዘበዛሉ፤ ቤተክርስቲያኑን መስጊድ ያደርጋሉ፤ ወታደሮቻቸውን ወደ ሶማሊያ፣ ሱዳን፣ ሊቢያ፣ ሰሜን ቆጵሮስ፣ ካታር፣ አዘርቤጃን ወዘተ ይልካሉ፤ ለዳግማዊ ግራኝ አህመድና ኦሮሚያ ለተባለው ህገወጥ ክልል መሣሪያዎችን በድብቅ ያቀብላሉ። በሃገራችን እየተካሄደ ያለው ጭፍጨፋ የቱርኮችና አረቦች ድጋፍ አለው!

ከሁለት ዓመታት በፊት ልክ በዛሬው የቅዱስ ገብርኤል ዕለት የህዳሴው ግድብ ዋና ሥራ አስኪያጅ ኢንጂነር ስመኘው በቀለ በአዲስ አበባ መስቀል አደባባይ በቱርኮች ወኪል በግራኝ ዐቢይ አህመድ አሊ ተገደለ። የመሀንዲስ ስመኘው ደም ዳግማዊ ቃየል ዐቢይ አህመድን ይጣራል? ቅዱስ ገብርኤል ጠላቶቻችንን በሰይፉ ቀጥቅጦ ይጣላቸው!

The Government Of Turkey Just Made The Hagia Sophia Into A Mosque. Let Us Remember The Martyrs That Were Beheaded When The Muslims Conquered Constantinople And Brought Abomination Into The Church By Making It Into A Mosque

Constantinople has been place of immense reverence to God, but also of immense suffering and conflict. The Muslim Turks conquered this famed city in 1453, and such an event — although centuries old — caused a wave of ripples that reverberated into the modern world. The Russians still wanted this city in World War One and today the Hagia Sofia is still demanded by both Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians. For the sake of this most recent event, I would like to present a short recounting of the conquest of Constantinople of 1453 which I wrote a number of years ago. Let this history be a reminder of what innocent blood was spilt in the Islamization of this city and the Hagia Sophia Church, and the spiritual significance of this place….

It was the year 1453, Mehmet II was now the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and he believed that with the aid of Allah “and the prayers of the prophet, we shall speedily become the masters of Constantinople.”

We are now in the city of Constantinople. The emperor Constantine XI is within the senate house; the faces of all present express nothing but weariness. Constantine XI is adorned with imperial garb, his hair is braided and ornamented, and his head is adorned with the dome shaped crown of Byzantium. A man rushes into the room, he is an envoy who comes with a message from Mehmet II:

The preparations for the assault have been concluded. It is now time to consummate what we planned long ago. Let us leave the outcome of this undertaking to God. What say you? Do you wish to quit the City and go wherever you like together with your officials and their possessions, leaving behind the populace unharmed by us and by you? Or do you choose to resist and to lose your life and belongings, and to have the Turks take the populace captive and scatter them throughout the earth?”

The emperor and the senators arose, and Constantine XI told the envoy to return to the Turkish tyrant with these words:

If you so wish, as your fathers did before you, you too, by the grace of God, can live peacefully with us. Keep the fortress and the lands which have been unjustly seized from us as justly yours. Extract as much tribute annually as we are able to pay you, and depart in peace. Can you be certain that victory instead of defeat awaits you? The right to surrender the City to you belongs neither to me nor to anyone who dwells therein. Rather than to have our lives spared, it is our common resolve willing to die.”

The herald left to give the message, leaving the Christians with no time to prepare, giving them nothing but anguishing suspense and the fear of not knowing what is to come.

THE DANCE OF THE DERVISHES

As the Christians stood in fear, a crowd of dervishes–those Sufis who kept up the spirit of Jihad– visited the tents of the Muslims and danced to the sound of the mystical and wild music of the Orient, and with the harmony of lute, kaval, drum and voice, they instilled in the warriors the fearlessness of death and the hope of the gardens of paradise where flowed rivers of wine and where reposed the black eyed and voluptuous virgins.

Mehmet II stood before his ruthless troops and told them that when they take the city, Constantinople’s walls and buildings will be in his possession. He looked to his warriors, rapacious and urging booty, and remarked that as for captives and treasures, “Let those be your reward.” The whole body of soldiers, with their fickle and volatile minds, screamed that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.

BETWEEN SAINTS AND WIZARDS

The sun now descended to its slumber while the souls of the city were kept awake by the plague of trepidation and angst. The sea, from a pristine body of water, appeared now to be an endless void as black as the abyss and as hopeless as the desert from where Muhammad came with his heresy. Bright lights began to be seen from a distance; within a moment all of the sea appeared as though the fires of hades had bulged out from beneath the ocean floor, while piercing lights were seen above the lands outside of the city, illuminating Constantinople with radiating brilliance as bright as the sun.

It appeared as though the surface of the water was transformed into lightening. Out ran the Romans who thought that a fire had fallen on their military camp, only to see that no arson was done. Torches were lit all about the land, and in all the hundreds of Turkish ships on the sea. Their lights broke the evening darkness and when they looked out the city walls all they could see before their weary eyes were hundreds of thousands of Turks dancing like wild men, screaming, roaring and shouting their cries of battle. “Spare us, O Lord,” prayed the watchmen, “from Thy just wrath and deliver us from the hands of the enemy.” This was a plea to Heaven of the purest sincerity, and it was unlike any frivolous prayer that is done so frequently today.

They rushed back and alarmed the inhabitants, and now the city was so worried that the air itself was plagued with the virus of fear. It spread throughout, afflicting terror to all those hearts residing in this once great beacon of Christendom. The Christian fighters joined together and there arose an impetus of zealous unity to the highest degree: they wailed and wept, embraced one another, devoted their lives to Christ, and took their stations. The emperor, with some faithful companions, entered the Church of St. Sofia and with fervent tears running down their faces received the sacraments of the Holy Communion. Constantine XI at times reclined in his palace, which was now surrounded with cries and lamentations, pled for forgiveness from anyone who he may have injured in the past, and rode off on his horse to his men.

As this was occurring Mehmet II relied on astrology for wisdom, and concluded that the attack must be commenced at dawn. He was a seeker after stars, auspices, and the harbingers of dreamers, and thus was this a war between wizards and saints.

A POORLY DEFENDED CITY

The break of dawn arrived, and by this time small skirmishes between Turk and Christian commenced, but nothing too grave–nothing major occurred until the ninth hour of the day. An army of Muslims came in front of the Golden Gate, and upon the waters did one see eighty ships fit for war lurking about like infernal leviathans ready to devour, stationed from the Xyloporta Gate to the Plataea Gate, all entrances into the city. Other ships encircled the city, covering numerous areas. Just at the moment when the sun set, the call to battle arose and the souls of the fighters vibrated with an impenetrable motivation. Mehmet gave battle with his ten thousand slaves–all men with great muscular physic and robust statures, who fought so viciously that they were compared to combating lions. To the rear and on both sides of the city more than one hundred thousand Muslims were making their assault.

To the south of these and as far as the Golden Gate there were another one hundred thousand heretics and more. From where Mehmet stood there was stationed fifty thousand warriors of Allah’s crescent. A small number of three thousand Italian fighters made a stand, alongside hundreds of crossbowmen, archers, and gunmen, all under the command of their Genoese general Giovanni Giustiniani. To the eternal shame of Christendom almost no help came to the aid of the city, and only three ships were given by the pope. Throughout the evening these were watchmen on the wall, neither resting nor slumbering. The Christians were kept awake by fear, the Muslims by the hope that the rising crescent of Islam was soon to ascend above the world.

NOT THE FIRST TIME THE MUSLIMS TRIED TO CONQUER CONSTANTINOPLE

The Muslims always wanted to take Constantinople; for it was the city of eastern Christendom, built by Constantine, the pious emperor who orchestrated the Council of Nicaea which first confronted the evil of Arianism, the heresy that would influence Muhammad who would in turn begin his cult. Not only that, but Constantine built Constantinople to be a city without the blemish of heathenism and idolatry, without the worship of demons and pagan temples. The desire to take this metropolis was rooted into their bowls: the very thought of capturing the renown metropolis excited the god of their bellies; it rallied their hearts and ascended their spirits to the call of the prophet who declared that the first Muslim army who could take Constantinople would have their souls cleansed and their sins forgiven.

Let us imagine to ourselves the first time the Muslims attempted to take the city in 654 under Muawiyah. They were preparing for this conquest in Tripoli (located in Phoenicia), and two zealots, noticing their plan, rushed to the commander of the city and killed him and his men, burned all of their gear, and ran off to Romania. But now we are in the fifteenth century, and the Muslims have arrived with a force far more organized and far more ruthless than the Romans could have ever imagined.

THE TURKS OVERRUN THE CITY

The Turks had come and in their midst was a weapon never before seen nor used in Christian lands: a prodigiously colossus cannon, built by a heretic from Hungary named Urban who engineered the contrivance for the enemies of God the Turks. The monstrous machine was twenty seven feet long, a muzzle eight inches wide, and so heavy was it that when it was seen by the terrified Christians it came toward them being carried by sixty oxen and seven hundred men. No wall in the world was strong enough to withstand it, no man of war to prevail over it. As the rays of the sun dissipated in darkness of eve, a shot was fired which struck the soul with a harrowing sound, and a one thousand two hundred pound ball crashed into the city walls. But still there stood the emperor Constantine with sword in hand, ready to lead his men.

The Turks rushed the walls and from the ground did numberless scaling ladders ascend against the city. The sounds of battle and death was drowned by the Turkish bands who pounded their drums and blew their trumpets. Mehmet was amongst his troops with a sadistic dispossession as he brandished an iron mace and vociferously forced his archers to attack the walls. As the wicked growled in fury, the Christians held their holy icons around the walls and through the city in procession. Giovanni and his Italians, and the emperor and his troops fought with all the strength any supreme warrior could muster. A Turk fired a musket and the ball pierced through Giovanni’s arm and broke through his Roman breastplate. The bullet is in his chest; the wound is dismaying. “Stand your ground bravely,” he cried, “and I will retire to the ship to attend to my wound. Then I will quickly return.”

The general retreated and so did the morale of the fighters. The emperor lost heart, but his mind prevailed over his emotions and he continued to fight, leading the men with great intensity. A swarm of Turks was seen gradually making their way toward the walls with shields hovering above their bodies; the reflection of the sun’s light from the metal was a sight for soar eyes. Then suddenly their arose from this hoard multiple scaling ladders whose tops now rested on the walls. As they were trying to ascend the ladders down came boulders from the watchmen which crushed the Turks and repulsed their assault. But lo, there was a sally port left open, to which fifty of Mehmet’s slaves leaped. They climbed to the top of the walls filled with rage and thirst for blood. They killed anyone they found and cut to pieces the warriors who defended the city from scaling Turks. Other soldiers could not bear such a sight and leaped out of the walls to land to their deaths. Many fled as soon as they spotted the flag of the Turk waving within their sights.

Now were the walls finally defenseless; the Turks threw up their scaling ladders and ascended like crawling spiders. In another part of the city Constantine XI and his troops still kept fighting without knowledge that much of the enemy were already within the walls and were now within Constantinople. The emperor and his garrison were outnumbered twenty to one, and were nowhere near as conditioned and battle hardened for war as these Mongol barbarians and their Slavic auxiliaries. As they were fighting, with Roman sword hitting against Muslim scimitar, arrows darkened the sky and came from above like demons descending from heaven, tearing right through the flesh of the Christians as lightning bolts crack the peaks of mountains.

The arrows rushed down like a storm and their landing made a flood of human blood. They tried to run back through a major gate, but were unable to on account of their numbers. They were confounded and in chaos; the stronger soldiers trampled over the weak, and as Mehmet’s men saw this disorderly bunch, they screamed their war cry–their praise to Allah–and sharply commenced a charge. They stampeded the retreaters, crushing many with their feet, and hacking to death bodies of men with those thin but agonizing blades so popular in Muslim warfare. By the time they reached the gate their entering was hindered on account of the lofty pile of bodies which blocked the entrance. They came into the city through the breaches on the walls and they cut down all those they met. “The city is ours!” cried out Mehmet.

THE EMPEROR FIGHTS

There lied the emperor, alone and dismayed; despair and hopelessness are all one feels when setting sight on him. Imagine to yourself such a disquieting image: here lied the emperor of the most glorious Roman Empire, the history of which never ceases to be spoken of. And now it was all crumbling down into the ashes of history to the prevailing force of the Muslim. Constantine XI stood with his sword, no doubt especially made for an emperor, with its narrow blade, and handle shaped into the form of a cross, the symbol of his religion, the symbol of everything he fought for, and it was the symbol which the Muslims most hated, for it was on that Cross on Calgary where the greatest enemy to tyranny died to destroy the works of the Devil–the works of Allah.

His heart was plunged into sorrow and he cried out, “Is there no one among the Christians who will take my head from me?” A Turk came about and wounded him, but the emperor swiftly struck him. Another appeared and hit him from behind. The emperor quivered to the earth, and received the swords from his mocking enemy, only to die not with the honor of an emperor, but only as a mere civilian. Here lied the last of the Caesars, who did not leave this world to the sounds of funeral music, but to the cruel laughs of the conquering Muslim. The last remnant of soldiers were scattered about, some fleeing and some resisting to no avail, since two thousand of them were quickly slaughtered. The Janissaries–sinewy men from the Balkans who were stolen as Christian children by the Turks and made into Muslim killers–stormed the city’s palace, the Petra Monastery and the Monastery of Chora where they spotted a statue of Mary the mother of Christ, God in the flesh. One of them took it, and with an axe and demonic hatred hacked it to pieces. Like the Romans did with Christ’s garments, they casted lots for the fragments of the image before riding away.

A SURREAL SIGHT OF HUMAN SUFFERING

Romans ran as fast as they could to their homes to save their wives and children from the Turks who now lurked everywhere as Satan prows like “a roaring lion” “seeking whom he may devour”. (I Peter 5:8) Families were seen treading down a certain road, their bodies covered in blood and their demeanor appearing as soulless corpses. They passed by the Column of the Cross in the Forum of Constantine which was a symbol of Rome’s innovation; but now they were to be images to evoke the memories of past glory now at the edge of the cliff of destiny.

The women in most lamenting voices cried out to heaven, “What is to become of us?” A man arrived to the disquieted multitude of families and exclaimed with a fearful voice, “The Turks are slaughtering Romans within the City’s walls,” and they did not believe him, and in fact cursed the messenger for bringing such a terrifying message. But from behind him came a man, his clothes covered in blood, and then another arrived, he too stained with gore. It was almost a surreal thing to behold; a nightmare only existing in a slumbering mind came to past as sheer horror tainted the air of that once beautiful city. Monks and nuns, men and women, grasping onto their little ones with trembling hands, all ran as one into the Great Church of Constantinople. They burst into the sanctuary, bolted the doors, and sat and waited for an anonymous savior. From a distance were the Turks, killing and taking captives as they walked down that road which led to the church. The gates to the church were barred, but they hacked them apart with their axes and entered with swords unsheathed, beholding the defenseless people whom they saw as nothing more than open game. They were but sheep being taken to the slaughter. No man could describe the wailings and the cries of the babes, no chronicler the tearful screams of the mothers, no historian the lamentations of the fathers.

The loveliest maiden was sought out by the most degenerate Turk, and not even the nuns were spared by the rapacious Muslims who indulged themselves in the wickedest acts of rape and kidnapping. The braids of women were tugged and pulled by Turks who competed for them; they ripped through their garments and exposed their breasts and bosoms. People were driven out of the church and flogged, and within one hour all of the men where bounded together by a cord like the Hebrew slaves in ancient Egypt. They were chained together and were treated as though they were not human, but a herd of beasts. Over sixty thousand people were transported to the Muslim camps and ships, exchanged and sold, and dispersed throughout the provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

The Janissaries tore down the crucifix in the Hagia Sofia, placed a Turkish turbin on the thorn-pierced head and mockingly paraded through the streets as they scoffingly said, “Behold the God of the Christians.” Ever since then the Hagia Sofia has never been touched by Christian hands; it still remains in Turkey as a great bare slab in iconoclastic fury.

In another part of the city the citizens did not even expect the Turks to reach them. It was the Feast Day of the Holy Martyr Theodosia, and as their countrymen were reduced to the lowest of servility, women and men weeped all night in a vigil at the saint’s sepulchre. In the morning, these Christians set out to revere the saint in her church with their candle sticks and incense, and suddenly the Turks ambushed them mercilessly. Surely was this the hour of the City of Satan, surely was this the times of “the power of darkness.” (Luke 53)

They took up torches and burned the city from the Gates of Charisios and St. Romanos to the surroundings of the palace. Roman naval ships prevented further Turkish ranks from entering the city by launching boulders and arrows at them. When Romans, who were upon some of the walls, realized that the Turks were by then within the city and destroying her, they proclaimed an anguished cry of woe and threw themselves to their deaths. Upon this, Turks put up more scaling ladders and climbed over the wall. Once inside they pulled down the city’s gates and all the rest of them rushed inside. The grand duke, when seeing the enemy stampeding toward his post, fled with a few companions. Romans ran to their homes to save their families; others, when they came home saw no wife nor children–all was hopeless, all was despair. Before these fathers had time to groan and wail their hands were already bound behind them. Old men and elderly women who were too frail to move were slaughtered without pity for their infirmities. New born infants were found being tossed into the air and crushed. General Giovanni, after recovering from his gunshot wound, ordered that his inferiors and marines leave the ravished city.

The soldiers went into their ships, and saw before them men, women, monks, and nuns crying with the most horrid sound of agony, screaming with the highest tone of torment piteously pleading to them for rescue. The soldiers declined, they could not take them. Once they found their passage cleared, the ships sailed away out of the harbour, and still not even the sounds of the roaring waves could prevail over the blood chilling shrieks which resounded through the sky. Though their wailings dwindled away, with the axes of their pitiful cries they carved out an egress into the weary caves of the hearts of their listeners. The place once esteemed as “the highest glory of the Christian world,” was now a place of desolation. So great was this city, that before the time of its capture, one monk wrote of it thus:

For if such a city had not been founded, where would the Christianity of the East have found a refuge?”

That city built by Constantine, who fought against the wiles of Arius, was now being vanquished by men who were mere products of Arianism.

THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

Mehmet came to the Great Church, or the Hagia Sophia, and saw a Turk smashing a piece of marble pavement and asked why he was doing this. “For the faith,” replied the barbarian. He struck the Turk with his sword so forcefully that he fell to the floor half-dead. The tyrant then declared: “You have enough treasures and captives. The City’s buildings are mine.” The crosses were ordered to be thrown down, and the beautiful statues and mosaics were all gotten rid of, leaving the place from being a magnificent church to a white washed tomb. He summoned a vile sheikh to ascend the church’s pulpit, and when he did, he cried the Call to Prayer declaring that Allah is greater and thus expressing the superiority of Islam over Christianity. He then went on top of the great altar and preformed an Islamic prayer. The bringing of this prayer — the enemy of Orthodoxy — into the Hagia Sophia, was an abomination of desolation.

The Muslims in Constantinople then broke into the Temple of the Holy Trinity and transformed it into a mosque. The name of the church itself reflects what was done in the Council of Nicaea against Arianism, and now the new Arianism–Islam–has taken and made it into a church of Satan intentionally to obliterate the concept of the Holy Godhead. The libraries of the city were destroyed, with one hundred and twenty thousand volumes disappearing, since the Devil hates more than anything a knowledgeable people and thrives on vaguely thinking societies.

A few years later, after the destruction of Constantinople was done, after all of this torment and suffering occurred, a Greek historian named Doukas, wrote an account of it so that men in the future could never forget what took place (sadly most have). In this account he describes the sheikh who made the Call to Prayer in the Great Church as “The son of iniquity, the forerunner of Antichrist,” and at the end we read his awe-inspiring yet saddening words:

O City, City, head of all cities! O City, City, the center of the four corners of the earth! O City, City, the boast of Christians and the ruin of barbarians! O City, City, a second Paradise planted in the West and containing within many plants, laden with spiritual fruits. Where is your beauty, O Paradise?”

The darkness of heresy overran the majestic metropolis, and only guile and fearful diplomacy sunk the churches into the grasps of Islam. The sultan approved of the election of Gennadius as patriarch of Constantinople and the two would have warm discussions on the comparisons between Islam and Christianity. Thus are the conversations between the master and his slave, and yet we–supposedly an enlightened and free people–have stooped into the same level, bestowing to Islam that fabricated and empty term, “Abrahamic.”

THE HEAD OF THE EMPEROR

Mehmet had the grand duke brought forth. He timidly approached the tyrant and bowed down to him, not in reverence, but in fear. “Did you do well not to surrender the City?” asked the Islamic despot, “Behold the damage and ruin! Behold the captivity of so many!” The duke replied: “Lord, we did not have the authority. Moreover, some of your own officials urged the emperor to do otherwise by writing such words as: Fear not. He will not prevail against you.” The very word “emperor” provoked Mehmet to ask concerning the fate of Constantine XI. The duke stated that he did not know, then two young Turks, the same soldiers who slew the emperor, stepped forward, and one proudly stated: “Lord, I slew him. I was in a hurry to enter the City with my companions to search for plunder, so I left him behind dead.” The second sadistic youth pompously said: “I struck him the first blow.” Mehmet commanded them to bring him the body as proof of their claim. They returned back with the emperor’s head. “Tell me truthfully”, said Mehmet to the duke, “if this is the head of your emperor.” “It is his, Lord.”

They attached the head to a column and let it remain there until evening, they then flayed its skin off and stuffed it with straw. Mehmet sent it around for the Arabs, Persians, and Turks to behold as a symbol of triumph for the Islamic empire. It is deplorable, after hearing of this story, to read the words of the pro-Islamic and deistic historian Edward Gibbon where he writes that Mehmet gave Constantine XI “the honors of a decent funeral.”

THE CRUEL SODOMITE SULTAN

The city was in complete anarchy, with Turk killing Turk–surely were they possessed by a dark spirit. As chaos took hold of Constantinople, Mehmet reposed in a banquet. Full of wine and drunk off cruelty he sent a message to the duke: “send your younger son to the banquet.” The father fully comprehended what this meant: the tyrant wanted his son for the vilest purpose of pederasty. Mehmet was truly demoniacal. The duke gave a stern response: “It is not our custom to hand over my own child to be despoiled by him. It would be far better for me if the executioner were sent to take my head.” But this would not suffice; the messenger persisted that the son must go. “If you want him”, said the duke, “you will have to seize him.” The messenger returned these words to Mehmet who then ordered him, “Take the executioner with you, and bring me back the boy. Let the executioner bring the duke and his sons.”

When they arrived the duke bade his wife farewell, and left with the executioner alongside his son and son-in-law, Kantakouzenos. Mehmet ordered that their heads be cut off. The young boy wept, but his courageous father told him to be of good cheer and be ready to die. Their souls were prepared for eternal glory, and their heads adorned with the crowns of righteousness. As the father watched his son’s head being severed off and his son-in-law being decapitated, he expressed the most sublime level of faith by murmuring, “I thank Thee Lord,” and “Thou art just, Lord.” What modern Christian today, who preaches nothing but watered down doctrine, empty love and vague faith, would be able to endure such torment and still exemplify this great degree of loyalty to God? This was Christianity in its purest form.

It was now the father’s turn to be beheaded. “Brother,” he told the executioner, “grant me a little time to pray.” The request was granted and he entered a small chapel that was within the palace. He made his prayer, exited the chapel, and as he was walking he looked and saw the two bodies of his sons and noticed that they were still twitching. He bowed, praised God, and down came the sword and took his head. The killer picked up the heads and presented them to Mehmet, who later ordered for the chief nobles of the city and palace officials to be slaughtered. From among their wives and boys he selected a multitude for his sadistic pleasure. The historian Phranza was amongst the Christians who were sold into slavery, and after four months of being yoked he escaped and ransomed his wife. His daughter murdered, and his two sons were forced to become the victims of Mehmet’s pedophilia. One of them, aged fifteen, refused to be raped and so was stabbed to death by the possessed sultan.

THE MARTYRS IN HEAVEN

The city was now empty, with nothing but bodies lying dead, soundless, and having neither form nor beauty. Quiet horror was all that could be felt, hope could have never been so absent. The souls of the dead transcended into the eternal realm, and now they sit amongst those saints who were seen by John who wrote of them in his Revelation:

I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus; and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)

The image is the Blackstone in the Kaaba, which the Muslims force Christians under penalty of death to bow down to. The mark is the words of the Call to Prayer, that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger. It is the same remark that the sheikh cried in the Great Church of Constantinople. It is amazing to ponder on the fact that some of the greatest pagan kingdoms wanted to take either Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, or all three. Hannibal almost succeeded in taking Rome, the Sassanid Persians almost captured Constantinople and succeeded in stealing Jerusalem, but failed to take the Italian city. Islam, the ultimate Satanic religion, and the last of the two horns of the Beast, was able to capture the lands of the former powers of the East, such as Carthage and the rest of North Africa, Persia, Babylon, Assyria, Jerusalem, and all the Roman empire of Constantinople. When they tried to take Rome in Italy in 846, they plundered the churches of St. Paul and St. Peter, but they could never triumph over the city.

The terrified Constantinople was now to be ruled by cruel luxury, where the floating waters of the Bosporus are overshadowed by the silken tents of tyrants drunk off lusciousness, where sultans are unceasingly spoiled by the passions of the palaces of pleasure, and their eyes forevermore thirsting for the lustrous sight of gold, silver, and precious stones wrested from the hands of Christians now forced from a life of liberty to slavery. In time, the city, from the jewel of Christendom, would be a land where Christians were presented gasping for breath as they were impaled or hanging by their chins upon a sharp hook as sultans listened with ease in their palaces to the poet who sang, “Let us laugh, let us play, let us enjoy the delights of the world to the full”.

ROME RESPONDS WITH A CALL TO A CRUSADE

The invasion of Constantinople sent a shaking fear into the spines of Rome; no one expected such a tragedy to occur. The trembling Pope, Nicholas V, appealed to so many kings of Christendom, but none cared; none were unsettled on the blood which was shed by the greatest of heretics. Cardinal Bessarion, Bishop of Nicaea, awaited for help in Asia Minor where the devils had ravished the great city, but no one came. He wrote desperately and passionately to Doge Francisco Foscari of Venice who told the cardinal that he promised “war against the Turks.” The promise was not fulfilled and the Ottomans saw no obstacle. The pope persistently urged crusade, and he received nothing but pathetic excuses and cruel silence. England did not respond, Alfonso V of Aragon and Naples complained of an ulcer, Charles VII was indifferent, and the emperor Fredrick III did not even attend the Imperial Diet at Regensburg done to support the crusade. So far the only one who seriously cared was Hungary, and for good reason, since Mehmet II was targeting that country as his next victim. Pope Nicholas V, on 1454, died, and a new pontificate needed to arise –one who would comprehend the threat without politics nor diplomacy. This was the Spaniard Alfonso Borja, mostly known as Pope Calixtus III. He was a product of the Reconquest, who fully understand, on account of experience, the cruelty and expansionism of the Muslim. Because of his religious fervor and his grasp on the Islamic threat, Calixtus III was the only one at this time in Western Christendom to initiate a crusade with the uttermost of concern. At his papal consecration he declared:

I, Pope Calixtus III, promise and vow to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to the Ever-Virgin Mother of God, to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the heavenly host, that I will do everything in my power, even if need be with the sacrifice of my life, aided by the counsel of my worthy brethren, to reconquer Constantinople, which in punishment for the sin of man has been taken and ruined by Mahomet II, the son of the devil and the enemy of our Crucified Redeemer. Further, I vow to deliver the Christians languishing in slavery, to exalt the true Faith, and to extirpate the diabolical sect of the reprobate and faithless Mahomet of the East. For there the light of faith is almost completely extinguished. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue cleave to my jaws, if I do not remember thee. If I make not Jerusalem the beginning of my joy, God and His holy Gospel help me. Amen.”

THE CHRISTIANS FIGHT AGAINST THE TURKS FOR THE DEFENSE OF BELGRADE

The Pope sent cardinals to France, Germany, and Poland to preach the crusade against the Ottomans. Alfonso V of Aragon and Naples joined the cause and agreed to supply fifteen galleys for the crusading fleet. Afonso V of Portugal vowed to give twelve thousand men; and St. John Capistrano, a Franciscan preacher filled with fervor, raised many a man in Hungary and Transylvania to enter the crusade. He pulled men into the righteous cause with his words filled with zeal; men more concerned about image rather than our eternal war with evil discouraged him from preaching. But one day, during the Mass, he saw, in a vision, an arrow with the words, “Fear not, John. Go down quickly. In the power of my name and of the Holy Cross thou wilt conquer the Turks.”

And so he continued his mission. The Germans, on the other hand, did nothing to assist the cause of the Cross, and its bishops grumbled most impiously because of the crusading tax. The crusaders marched on to Belgrade, for if Belgrade fell the whole of southeastern Europe would be open to the Turks. Capistrano brought eight thousand men, while Hunyadi led about sixteen thousand. Such numbers were inferior to the eighty thousand jihadists Mehmet had under his grasp. Pope Calixtus III called on all archbishops, abbots and priests to pray, fast and give penance for deliverance from the Turks. The warriors arrived in Belgrade, Capistrano said Mass, and commanded the other priests present to not participate in the fighting, but to tend the wounded. Shells struck the walls of the city, and such a terrifying bombardment continued on for two weeks. But still the saints remained steadfast. It came to their knowledge that the Turks were planning on cutting off the city from all outside support, but to such a worry Capistrano left the city with a promise that he would return with another army. On his arrival he brought with him a rustic bunch; the Ottomans were already there, and their numbers caused so much fear that Hunyandi, looking upon the lowly army of Capistrano, even proposed retreating. Capistrano would not allow it, and he sharply told Hunyandi that they would never leave, but would go down fighting.

The Crusaders under Hunyandi advanced with two hundred boats, and as they fought a naval battle, Capistrano stood on the shore holding up high a crucifix which the pope had given him, declaring “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” The Christian prevailed on the waters, and the fighting continued in Belgrade itself. The Turks beat the walls with their canons, and at that time all seemed hopeless. Hunyandi again suggested retreat, and again Capistrano turned it down. The Turks penetrated the walls at certain parts of the city and were in the midst of the Christians. Turk and Christian fought hand to hand in the streets as Hunyandi directed them, and Capistrano held high the Holy Cross. As the crucifix remained ascended, the Christians advanced. On Every street and in almost every building fighting took place. Turkish artillery was now of little help; the gunners could not see the enemy. It was at this moment that the preying horned owls were blinded, and the strong falcons prevailed. By the next morning the Turks began their retreat from the streets which were now engulfed in blood. The Christians followed through and relentlessly pursued them to finish them off. Hunyandi was able to seize some of the Turks’ guns and use them on his enemy, and an arrow struck the body of Mehmet, the wound compelling the sound for the retreat. And as all of this took place, there stood the saintly fighter, Capistrano, with arms stretched above his head toward Heaven, and his hands gripped on the crucifix. By this we are so reminded of that holy day in which the Hebrew saints defeated the heathen Amalekites as Moses stood holding his staff up to the air:

And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek, and his people with the edge of the sword.” (Exodus 17:11-13)

The Holy Spirit never ceased to work through His saints, from Israel onwards, it continued, from Moses to Capistrano, from Hunyandi to Joshua. The warpath of the infidel Turk had been hindered by this great victory, which moved Pope Calixtus III so much that he called it, “the happiest event of my life.” They massacred fifty-thousand Turks in that battle. Calixtus III would also appoint an ex-Muslim from Albania who converted to Christianity, named Skanderbeg, as “Captain-General for the Turkish war,” and he would lead successful attacks on the Turks until his death in 1468. Now was the time to set the final blow upon the Turk, if only Christendom arose at that moment the crescent would have been driven fully out of Europe.


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የግራኝ ሞግዚት ፀረ-ክርስቶስ ቱርክ የቅድስት ሶፊያ ኦርቶዶክስ ቤተ ክርስቲያንን መስጊድ አደረገችው

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 10, 2020

ስጋውያኑ የዲያብሎስ ልጆች በተቀነባበረ መልክ እየተናበቡ ይሠራሉ፤ በድፍረት በእኛ በክርስቲያኖች ላይ ለ1400 ዓመታት ያህል ጦርነት ማድረጉን አላቋረጡም። የዋቄዮአላህ ልጆች በሃገራችን ጂሃድ እያካሄዱ ነው። መጥፊያዋ የደረሰው የክርስቶስ ተቃዋሚዋ ቱርክም በዓለም ጥንታዊ የሆነውን የኦርቶዶክስ ቤተክርስቲያን ወደ መስጊድነት ለመለወጥ ዛሬ ወሰነች። መሀመዳውያኑ፤ የእኛዎቹን ጨምሮ ጮቤ በመርገጥ ላይ ናቸው። ጮቤ ረገጣ እስከ ሲዖል!

ባለፈው ወር ላይ የቀረበ መረጃ

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Blasphemous Erdogan To Pray Inside The Famous Orthodox Christian Church On Good Friday

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 8, 2017

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan has announced his intention to pray at the Hagia Sophia on April 14, delighting Muslim activists who argue that the building remains a mosque.

In 1934, Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk decreed that the Hagia Sophia should be a museum, as part of his drive for secularization. But some Turkish Muslims question the validity of that decree.

Erdogan, who has favored Islamic claims in Turkey, will visit the Hagia Sophia—a building that was originally a Christian church—on the day when the Christian world observes Good Friday.

The President will pray together with members of his party and the religious leaders in Istanbul. The event falls two days before the referendum, to garner the Muslim vote. Transformation of the ancient Christian basilica into a museum rejected. Erdogan: Kemalism is dead.

Thus Erdogan, nicknamed the “new sultan” for his political extremism, will seek to channel Muslim faithful in favor of a Yes ( “Evet”) vote. According to the Muslim calendar the month to April (Nisan) is the month of the birth of Mohammed.

The news is carried in pro-government newspapers, presenting the latest book by Turk historian Mustafa Armagan – titled “The Saint Sophia intrigue” (Aya Sofia Entrikalari). In doing so they seek to create and prepare the climate for the prayer, as the will of the Turkish president. The book argues that the decree signed by Kemal Ataturk in 1934 which turned the Hagia Sophia from mosque into a museum, is not authentic. According to Armagan, the Kemal Ataturk signature on the decree is false. Therefore the act has no legal value and therefore Santa Sofia can in fact be used as a mosque, as was the case after the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

Hagia Sophia it was built in 537 by Emperor Justinian and dedicated to God’s Wisdom. To justify his remarks, the Turkish historian reports that the Kemal Aturk signature on the 1934 Decree is unlike any other signature penned by the Father of Republic in prori acts.

Various sources are cited in the book which claims, according to the author, that the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a museum, was the result of pressure from various Western international forces, headed by the then US Ambassador Joseph Grew.

Mustafa Armagan also notes the news that Kemal Ataturk had visited St. Sophia in 1935, three months after its proclamation as a museum, was not reported in any Turkish newspaper of the period, but only by the Greek language journal, Apogevmatini, published on February 7, 1935, in Istanbul. The author recalls, in that same period, the strong reaction of the Egyptian newspaper “El Risale “, strongly opposed to the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a museum.

In this way the pre-referendum climate is becoming increasingly tense and polarized. On the other hand, the climate has been fostered and created by Erdogan himself with his recent statements against the Kemalist period, when he proclaimed: “That period, which began in 1923, is about to end. And that’s that”. And that is, woe to the vanquished.

Source

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Mysterious Hagia Sophia Frightens the Turks

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on March 28, 2017

From the moment that Constantinople fell to the Ottomans and Mohammad Fatih entered the Great Church of Hagia Sophia on his white stallion, he remained transfixed for a long time on the icon of Christ in the dome. This is according to Turkish sources. This immense Temple of Orthodoxy became the epicenter of different myths and legends which circulate among the conquerors eliciting an intense sense of awe for this great accomplishment of Orthodoxy which now is surrounded by four Ottoman minarets.

But during the last few years certain events centered around Hagia Sophia, and specifically with the unexpected discovery of an Angel in the summer of 2008 in the dome, has elicited among the Turks an intense sense of suspense and fear about the future. In connection with this, all those legends have resurfaced recently and at times have shocked and brought to the Muslims a sense of fear. This fear is that the Orthodox Christian identity will once again rise up in spite of the fact that up until 1934 the Orthodox Church was used as a Muslim mosque.

In this context of events, last January 20, 2012, the Turkish newspaper Sabah which has a large circulation, presented a rather astonishing article about “The Mysteries of Hagia Sophia.” It portrayed in a graceful way this climate of fear which has lately gripped the Turks in reference to the hidden things in the Holy Church and about all the things that will happen in the future.

The first significant element taken from that article is the indescribable fear which is revealed by the Turks concerning the hidden crosses, both symbolic and not, which are found on the interior of the Church and are also seen by the ground plan of the Church from above. As such, the Turks express great awe for the so-called “Cross of the Holy Apostle Andrew.” As is well known he is the founder of the Church of Constantinople. According to the newspaper Sabah, a Cross of Saint Andrew is found on the roof of the Church etched in a diagonal form. It is a significant symbol which not only was not lost throughout the ages of the Ottoman occupation but also dominates the area with its symbolic meaning. In addition to this, “The Cross of Justinian” freaks out the Turks. The legends as well refer to a very ancient jewel which is found mysteriously in Hagia Sophia and in fact comes from Egypt and it has great power. Generally speaking, the construction of this “Great Orthodox Architectural Masterpiece”, according to the same Turkish source, is based on the Christian symbol of the Cross and this reality generates a sense of awe and fear about the future return of Hagia Sophia to its traditional occupants, in other words, to Greek Orthodox worship.

But in addition to the crosses, the Turks refer to other mysterious and fearful things that are found in the interior of the Church. As is referred to in the legend, it is known that after the Church was turned into a Muslim mosque, the well-known Muslim Mihrab was built. It is the Muslim place of prayer found on the eastern side of the Church in the direction of Mecca. But great interest is found, according to the Turkish legends, to that which is in front of the Mihrab. A casket is buried there constructed of bronze gilded with gold. In this casket lays the body of Queen Sophia. Most likely her name is in reference to Hagia Sophia. This Queen Sophia and her casket are connected, according to Turkish legend, with a commandment that has existed for centuries up to the present day. This commandment directs that no one should ever disturb the casket, not even to touch it. If something like that should happen, then according to the legend it will initiate the rising of Queen Sophia. If this should happen then a frightful noise shall shake the whole structure of the Church initiating eschatological seismic events that will frighten the Turks.

This legend of Queen Sophia continues as follows. According to Turkish references, the casket is protected by four Archangels who are found on the dome of the Church. These Archangels, who the Turks believe exist, are: Tzemprael, Michael, Israfel and Azarael. The Turks say that Tzemprael protects the Byzantine/Roman Emperors, Michael protects the Church from hostile attacks, while Tzemprael and Israfel were those who proclaimed the events leading to hostile attacks. Tzemprael and Israfel were the angels that proclaimed the events of the warring efforts of the Byzantine/Roman Emperors. And these four Archangels have been assigned after the Fall of Constantinople to protect the casket of Queen Sophia from the danger of someone profane who might try to open it and bring about the Second Coming of Christ.

Another important legend which is referred to by the Muslims is the legend “Of the Hidden Patriarch” which is similar to the Greek legend about the “hidden priest.” As it is said in Turkish tradition, on the south side of the Church is a narrow passageway. The passageway leads to a very old web-covered mysterious door which is referred to in the legend as “The Closed Door.” According to Turkish references, when Mohammed Fatih entered Constantinople, the last Greek Orthodox Patriarch and his whole escort entered through that door which closed behind them. From that moment these people disappeared while the door remained hermetically sealed and no one ever dares to open it. Every year during the Resurrection Service of the Orthodox Christians, according to the Turkish newspaper Sabah, red eggs appear in front of this door. The legend is completed in a prophecy, which frightens the Turks, that when the door is opened, Orthodox Christian chanting will be heard in the Church again. This is why the Turks are frightened simply by thinking about opening this mysterious door.

The Turkish newspaper reports about a mysterious underground tunnel that exists in a central location in the interior of the Church. As is reported, there is a double door which leads to a big tunnel. This tunnel, as reported by the Turkish newspaper, leads to the Prinkiponisa (Princes’ Islands), and as far as the island Proti (Kiniliada). The mystery for the Turks is how this tunnel was constructed and what role did it play in the long history of the Church.

Another mystery for the Turks is the imprint of the sole of a large animal, maybe an elephant, which is found on the southwestern section of the dome. And here it is reported that this is in reference to some eschatological stories. According to the Turks this imprint is from the horse of Mohammed the Conqueror. But the question is how the horse was able to step upon a place that is so high on the dome.

Great awe is elicited among the Turks, as referred to by the newspaper Sabah, by the various mosaics which have been uncovered with all their glory during the last ten years in the Church of Hagia Sophia. This is in spite of the fact that the Muslim faith considers it a sin to create images of people who are related to religious events. They feel special awe about the mosaic which depicts Jesus with the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist on the right and left of Him. The Turks have named them “The Mosaic of the Apocalypse.” And its symbolism opens up to us its eschatological meaning which is very intense with the Muslim Turks.

Specific attention is made about the mosaic which depicts known Byzantine/Roman Emperors such as John Komnenos with Jesus Christ and the Emperor Constantine Monomachos with the Empress Zoe. All of these depictions elicit intense awe about this Greek Orthodox Christian majesty and the inner power which emerges from these mosaics. They have generated different legends about their eschatological symbolism. These symbolisms are related to the Turkish phobias about the reestablishment and authority of the Holy Eastern Roman Empire with the blessing of Jesus Christ.

Source

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Pagan Erdoğan of Turkey Planning to Convert The Great Orthodox Church To a Mosque?

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on March 28, 2017

On April 16 — Easter Sunday – on The very Day of the Resurrection of Our Lord?

On April 16 a referendum will be held in The Antichrist nation of Turkey, where voters can decide on constitutional amendments which will remove all cumbersome checks and balances to Erdoğan’s power – referendum as a power grab by an unpredictable, confused and mad ruler who has fired 100,000 civil servants and jailed 40,000 Turks after last summer’s attempted coup, and is converting his country fast into an Islamic dictatorship.

This “Turkish-style” presidential system means Erdoğan will have the power to appoint and dismiss ministers and high-level state officials without the need for parliamentary approval. He will also be able to declare a state of emergency, issue decrees, dissolve parliament and call elections without being held to account. The president will not only be head of state but also head of government – the post of prime minister will be abolished, and in effect the judiciary will be subject to his control. The way the new constitution is configured means the president could stay in office for a potentially unlimited period of time.

What’s interesting is the timing. It is not coincidental that the spiritually significant Sunday for all Christian denominations had particularly been chosen by Erdoğan and co. to go ahead with their anti-christian agenda. The Turks are warming up during this Christian Lent season with their aggressive and hateful rhetoric: Turkish foreign minister warned of “holy wars” in Europe and Erdoğan has spoken of a struggle between The Cross and the crescent. As Turkey is term president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), President Erdoğan also intends to mobilize the OIC against “Christian” Europe. Will these impotent mutants start something huge this Easter?

What Is The Significance Of Jesus’ Resurrection?

Christian Courier” explains The Resurrection of Jesus this way:

The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the foundation of the Christian system (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14ff). If there was no Resurrection, Christianity is a hoax, and we are wasting our time. But the truth is, the event of Jesus’ Resurrection is incontrovertible.

First, the Resurrection is one of the major evidences that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Paul affirmed that Christ is “declared to be the Son of God with power . . . by the Resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).

Second, Jesus’ Resurrection represents an assurance that we can have forgiveness from our sins. Paul contended: “[I]f Christ hath not been raised, our faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). The reverse of the apostle’s affirmation would be this: if Jesus was raised, sins will be forgiven when we obey the gospel (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

Third, the Resurrection tells the world that the kingdom of God is ruled by a living sovereign. The founder of Islam is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth. But the founder of Christianity—sixty years after his death—appeared to John on the island of Patmos and said: “I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:17-18).

Fourth, Jesus’ Resurrection proves that physical death is not the termination of human existence. God, who is the giver of life (1 Timothy 6:13), has the power to reanimate the human body. Christ’s triumph over the grave is Heaven’s pledge to us that we too shall be raised. This is why Jesus is referred to as the “first fruits of them that are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20,23).

Fifth, the Lord’s Resurrection previewed the ultimate victory of Christianity over all its enemies. In the book of Revelation, Jesus is depicted as a lamb that had been slain, but was standing again (5:6). This same Lord was “the lion of the tribe of Judah” that had overcome his foes (5:5). Christians too will overcome as a result of the Lamb’s sacrifice and victory over death (cf. Revelation 12:11).

The Resurrection of the Son of God should be a constant reminder to us of these wonderful biblical truths.

‘USA Today’ recently reported on a movement in Turkey, with strong political backing, to re-convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

The Hagia Sophia church was originally built in the 6th century in Constantinople and for centuries served as a Christian church and as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople. When the great city fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 it was converted into a mosque and some of its iconic Christian features destroyed. In 1935 it was again re-purposed into a museum.

Turkey, a NATO member which historically straddles between east and west, should instead transfer it to Greek Orthodox control as an independent enclave similar to Vatican City. It should be de-Islamicized, with minarets and all removed, and rededicated and reconsecrated to its original purpose. Let this serve as proof that Muslims do not intend to force their religion on the rest of us.

P.S: Mark your calendar. April 23, 2017. It’s St. George’s Day in Europe.
On that day France will elect its new president. Will the godless French nation be able to save Europe from the croissant of the oriental beast by electing Marie LePen? I doubt!

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Pope Francis Visit: Turkey’s Christians Face Tense Times

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 27, 2014

  • “No country in the region – including Iran – is as homogenous in terms of Islam as Turkey”
  • The ethnic cleansing of these non-Muslim minorities was a huge brain drain”
  • Armenians were the other large Christian community. Hundreds of thousands were deported in 1915. They were either killed or died from starvation and disease. The label “genocide” is rejected by the Turkish state. From a population of two million Armenians, around 50,000 remain today
  • “Armenians fear expressing their religious identity here. Most of the believers hide their cross inside their shirt. They can’t open it and walk freely on the street because they could prompt a reaction”
  • New mosques are flourishing, while the world-famous Halki Orthodox theological school near Istanbul has remained closed since 1971 under Turkish nationalist pressure
  • “To be a Turk now means you have to be Muslim”
  • “The threatening feeling for non-Muslim minorities here is coming again.

It tells of a city where empires, cultures and religions collided. A building that bears mosaics of Jesus and the Virgin Mary beside calligraphy reading “Allah” and “the Prophet Mohamed”. There is no greater symbol of the clash of civilisations here than Hagia Sophia.

For almost 1,000 years it stood as the most important Orthodox cathedral in the world, the religious heart of the largely Christian Byzantine empire whose capital was then called Constantinople.

But in 1453 the city fell to the Ottomans, Hagia Sophia became a mosque and Christianity began its slow demise here.

As Turkey grew out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, that decline accelerated. When Pope Francis arrives here this week, he will visit a country whose population has fallen from 20% Christian 100 years ago to around 0.2% today.

‘Huge brain drain’

“No country in the region – including Iran – is as homogenous in terms of Islam as Turkey,” says historian Cengiz Aktar. “It’s a mono-colour country – it’s a Muslim country.”

After the Turkish Republic was born in 1923, it carried out a “population exchange” with Greece to create more ethnic and religious consistency. More than a million Greeks were forced out of Turkey to Greece while around 300,000 Muslims from Greece were relocated here.

The Greeks of Istanbul were initially saved but after a crippling wealth tax, anti-Greek pogroms in 1955 and mass expulsions in 1964, the Greek community was left in tatters. And so was the Orthodox Christianity they practised.

“The ethnic cleansing of these non-Muslim minorities was a huge brain drain,” says Mr Aktar, who has created a new exhibition on the loss of the Greeks here.

“It also meant the disappearance of the bourgeoisie because not only were they wealthy but they were artisans. Istanbul lost its entire Christian and Jewish heritage.”

Hidden crosses

It was not just the exodus of the Greeks that hit Christianity here.

Armenians were the other large Christian community. Hundreds of thousands were deported in 1915. They were either killed or died from starvation and disease. The label “genocide” is rejected by the Turkish state. From a population of two million Armenians, around 50,000 remain today.

Robert Koptas shows me around the office of his Armenian weekly newspaper, Agos. In 2007, the editor, Hrant Dink, was murdered outside by Turkish nationalists. Seven years on, Mr Koptas says the small Armenian community feels intimidated.

“Armenians fear expressing their religious identity here,” he says.

“Most of the believers hide their cross inside their shirt. They can’t open it and walk freely on the street because they could prompt a reaction. I don’t want to say all the Turkish population is against Christianity but nationalism is so high that people are afraid to express themselves.”

That is now the worry among the Christian minority here: that Turkish Muslim nationalism has grown under the Islamist-rooted government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister for 11 years before being elected president last August.

Dead missionaries

Mr Erdogan has made moves to support the Christians, such as passing a law to return confiscated state property to them and allowing Christian religious classes in schools. But he constantly stresses his Islamic identity, his support base is conservative Muslim and he whips up the nationalists here, the mood hardening against Christians.

Catholics, the smallest Christian minority in Turkey, have felt the impact.

A spate of murders of Catholic missionaries and priests a few years ago left the community in shock. At the Catholic basilica in Istanbul, there is Mass for the few.

“To be a Turk now means you have to be Muslim,” says Father Iulian Pista, who serves here.

“In the past, being a pious Muslim was looked down upon. Now Friday prayers are encouraged. Society here is becoming Islamised. Recently, I’ve seen youngsters defecate and urinate in my church. They shout ‘Allahu akbar’ [English: God is great]. I also believe God is great but the way they say it is threatening.”

Islam was sidelined from the constitutionally secular Turkish republic founded in 1923. But as a nation state was formed here, the religion became part of Turkish national identity, something that has sharply accelerated under Mr Erdogan’s leadership.

Old fears

New mosques are flourishing, while the world-famous Halki Orthodox theological school near Istanbul has remained closed since 1971 under Turkish nationalist pressure. One of the remaining Greeks of Turkey, Fotis Benlisoy, says the community feels squeezed: “The threatening feeling for non-Muslim minorities here is coming again.

“There are many reasons: language and policies of the government, the president and prime minister using more conservative references to Sunni identity, pejorative words for non-Muslim communities coming from members of the cabinet, so much circulating about Turkey’s relations with Isis [the Islamic State militant group based in Syria and Iraq] – all of this is making us think we might need an escape strategy.”

At the magnificent Panaghia Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul, the morning liturgy is led by Bartholomew I, “ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople”, a position still based here.

It is a reminder of this country’s heritage – and of a Christian faithful that is small but defiant. As modern Turkey builds its identity, the question still remains: can it embrace true religious freedom – or will nationalism stand in the way?

Source

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Never Again, Never Forget: Remembering The Armenian Genocide

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 25, 2014

 
William Saroyan, an Armenian-American writer, wrote in his short story “The Armenian and the Armenian,” “I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are not more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it.”
 
The timeline of the 20th century bears the scars of some of the ugliest and most brutal events in human history. World War I, the “war to end all wars,” proved anything but, as brilliant minds devised brilliant means of murder and discrimination-fueled crimes against humanity were committed indiscriminately, beginning with the Armenian genocide.
 
On April 24, 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals were arrested and killed in Istanbul by Ottoman officials, marking the beginning of the first genocide of the 20th century. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottomans, if not straight away, then during mass deportations.
 
Hostility toward Armenians began to mount increasingly toward the end of the Ottoman Empire. In the late 19th century, Sultan Abdul Hamid II grew increasingly wary of Armenians’ demands for civil rights and instituted pogroms to quell their protests. In 1908, a group called Young Turks overthrew Hamid and re-instituted a constitution, instilling hope in the Armenians for reform.
 
However, the Young Turks had a vision to “Turkify” the empire. In 1914, they sided with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I. Perceiving Armenians as a threat to the empire, the Young Turks were already skeptical of them. These suspicions were confirmed after Russian forces with Armenian soldiers defeated the Young Turks during a confrontation in the Caucasus.
 
As a result, the Young Turks launched a campaign against Armenians, thereby initiating the 1915-1923 Armenian genocide. In 1914, about 2 million Armenians lived in the empire. By 1922, less than 400,000 remained.
 
After the murders of Armenian intellectuals, the Ottomans next targeted Armenian men who were rounded up and forced to join the Ottoman army. Soon after, their arms were seized and those who had not already died from brutal labor were slaughtered.
 
Without any Armenian intellectuals and leaders to plant seeds of revolt in the minds of Armenians, and without the men to try and fight back, they were left weak and helpless. Accordingly, the Ottomans then turned to their last target: women and children. Women and girls were raped, beaten and some were forced into slavery to work in harems. Armenian children were kidnapped, forced into converting to Islam, and then given to Turkish families with new, Turkish names.
 
In an article from The Independent, Robert Frisk describes the methods Turks undertook to “Islamize” Christian Armenian children, writing that, “some of the small, starving inmates stayed alive only by grinding up and eating the bones of other children who had died.”
 
The largest number of deaths resulted from the mass deportations of Armenians out of Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolia). Ottoman officials ordered Armenians out of their homes under the guise that they were being resettled in non-military zones for their safety. In reality, they were sent on death marches across the Syrian Desert to concentration camps. Once food supplies finished, the Ottomans refused to provide more. They were not permitted to stop for a rest, and those too weak to continue were shot on the spot. Ottoman officials oftentimes forced Armenians into caravans to strip, then walk naked under the blistering sun, thereby hastening their deaths.
 
About 75 percent of Armenians on these marches died, and countless unburied bodies scattered the Syrian Desert. In fact, there were so many bodies that even today, in the Syrian town Deir ez Zor, the bones of Armenians can still be found by merely scratching at the surface of the desert sands.
 
The Armenians were also gassed. Crude gas chambers were created by herding them into caves and asphyxiating them by lighting bonfires at the entrances. Other atrocities that took place include burning Armenians alive, crucifying them, drowning them and throwing them off cliffs.
 
Adolf Hitler understood the importance of wide recognition of the past when he asked, in a speech impending the invasion of Poland, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” The crimes of our past serve as warnings for our future. Well, just about a century later, we are speaking today of the genocide of Armenians. No matter how hard one tries to edit history or censor truth, the ghosts of our past will haunt us until they are resolved. The current population of the Armenian Diaspora is estimated to be around 10 million people, forming Armenian communities all around the world.
 
Saroyan concludes his poem, “Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.”
 
Source
 
Prominent Kabbalist: The Russian Invasion of Crimea is a sign of Impending Redemption
 
 
StSofiaOn Purim (Monday March 17th), Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch, Head of the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem, allowed a secret to slip out. He peeled back the curtain and offered a peek into a tradition handed down from his grandfather, the Vilna Gaon, a prominent 18th-century Kabbalist:
 
Even though I am careful not to share the mysteries, I feel that this is something I am permitted to reveal..This was something Rabbi Isaac had received directly from those who heard it from the mouth of the Vilna Gaon, who said, shortly before his passing:
 
‘When you hear that the Russians have invaded Crimea, you will know that the bells of Redemption have begun to ring. When you hear that the Russians have reached Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey, as it is called today), you can already don Sabbath clothes and await the appearance of Moshiach.’
 
Last week the Russians invaded Crimea and the world slept… According to our tradition from the Vilna Gaon, this is a sign of impending redemption … Perhaps what the Gaon meant by ‘bells of the redemption’ is like a bell that signals the arrival of someone or something.”
 
Source

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Elder Paisios’ Amazing Prophecies About Constantinople

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on February 20, 2013

The famous Greek Monk, Elder Paisios, who was recently mentioned by the Wall Street Journal, made the following remarkable, and likely-to-happen prophesies about the City of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul).

“The Russians will soon take Turkey. The Chinese will cross the Euphrates. Providence tells me that many events will happen: The Russians will take Turkey and Turkey will disappear from the world map because a third of the Turks will become Christians, another third will die in the war and another third will leave for Mesopotamia.

The Mid-East will become a theater of a war in which the Russians will take place. Much blood will be spilled. The sign that this event is approaching will be the destruction of the Mosque of Omar, for its destruction will mark the beginning of work by the Jews to rebuild the Temple of Solomon, which was built on the same spot. There will be a great war between Russians and Europeans, and much blood will be spilled.

Greece won’t play a leading role in that war, but they’ll give her back Constantinople. Not because the Russians adore the Greeks, but because no better solution will be found. The city will be handed over to the Greek Army even before it has a chance to get there.”

Short Biography of Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountains

• Elder Paisios was born in Farasa in Cappadocia, Asia Minor on 25 July 1924.OB-VN687_GKMYST_GV_20121202201332

• He was baptised by St Arsenios the Cappadocian on 7 August 1924.

• After the Greco-Turkish War he emigrated with his family to Epirus, Greece in September 1924.

• He worked as a carpenter in Konitsa, Epirus after completing elementary education.

• In 1945 he was drafted into the army and served during the years of the civil war until 1949 as a radio operator.

• In 1949 he went to Mount Athos to become a monk. He stayed for a few months and returned to his family because his mind was on his sisters who were still unmarried.

• In 1950 he went back to Mount Athos and in 1954 he was tonsured a monk.

• In 1956 his spiritual father, Elder Symeon at Philotheou Monastery gave him the name “Paisios”.

• In 1958 he was asked to go to Stomio in Konitsa.

• In 1962 he went to Sinai for 2 years.

• In 1964 he returned to Mount Athos.

• In 1966 he founded the Monastery of St John the Theologian in Sourote, Thessalonki, Greece which he also guided spiritually for 28 years, from 1967-1994 – which also contains the miraculous relics of St Arsenios of Cappadocia.

• He fell asleep on 12 July 1994.

Elder Paisios’s GiftsMtAthos

While still alive, Elder Paisios was considered a saint by many. There are hundreds of signed witnesses of miracles he performed.

On the Holy Mountain he practised asceticism. The gifts God adorned him with were many:-

(a) Gift of healing – he healed many people from diverse illnesses, cancers, paralytics from birth, etc.

(b) Gift of taking out demons – from people.

(c) Gift of foreknowledge – to many he had told events which would happen to them in the future on a personal level but also prophesised future developments in history.

(d) Gift of clairvoyance – he knew the heart of each person deeper and more clearly than the person himself. For this reason, he also counselled correctly and with precision and each one listened to the word which he needed to hear.

(e) Gift of discretion of spirits – he knew with exactitude if a spiritual event was from God or from the devil who was trying to deceive and lead astray.

(f) Gift of discretion of God’s will – he knew in each case what God’s will was and if he ought to reveal it or not.

(g) Gift of theology – from the many spiritual experiences he had with saints, with angels, with the Virgin Mary, but also with visions of uncreated light, not once, but many times. He had truly become a theologian and deeply knew God’s mysteries.

(h) Gift of love – he had love for everyone, without limits, with absolute self-sacrifice. A love on fire, sweet, almighty, divine. It was this love which gathered people around him. Hundreds of people visited him daily in his cell. The elder gathered the pain, the agony and the problems of the people and gave a solution, joy and peace. He intervened miraculously with divine authority and solved the unsolvable. The Elder was a gift of God to people.

The Elder’s Teachings

MtAthos31. “Before you do something, think what Christ wants you to; then act accordingly. Ask for God’s guidance.”

2. “Do not look at what people do, or examine how, and why they do it.”

3. “Perverse thoughts separate men from God. Our aim is to totally submit our mind to the grace of God.”

4. “If one lives in the world of his pride, that is, his own thoughts, he is filled with illusions and he is in danger. He must ignore both positive and negative thoughts and always confess to his spiritual father, and obey whatever he tells him. He should only trust him and not in his own thoughts.”

5. “As long as man humbly thinks of himself, God’s grace remains with him and protects him.”

6. “In our days, people have lost control over their lives and they do not know what they are doing. They do not wish to be guided. They want to live undisturbed, following their own freewill, which will eventually bring them to total destruction. He becomes deceived. He experiences and interprets everything by using his own logic. Instead of God’s grace, human logic rules his life and his mind is in “confusion”.”

7. “If a passion rules our lives it is because we consent to it. If we remain enslaved by it, we do it because we love our passion and want to be a slave to it. The moment we hate the passion and direct our love towards to God, we immediately become free.”

8. “”Purification” requires the soul to be pure and clean from our own will; to abandon our own will to the will of God. To humble our will and elevate God’s will.”

9. “”Obedience” means not to have a will at all and obey your spiritual father.”

10. “”Philotimo” is the reverent distillation of goodness, the radiant love of the humble man bereft of himself, but a heart full of gratitude to God and his fellow man, and because of spiritual sensitivity he tries to repay even the slightest good which others do to him.”

11. “A person who asks for miracles, in order to believe in God, lacks dignity. If God wishes he could make everyone believe with miracles. But he does not do so because he does not want to exercise force on man’s free will; man will then end up believing in God, not out of gratefulness or due to God’s excessive kindness, but due to his “supernatural power”.”

12. “Our saints had divine justice instead of human justice. When we neglect our spirituality and instead take to court people who treat us unjustly, we consider our material possessions and our pride more valuable than the salvation of our soul.”

13. “Divine Providence is the care that comes from God. He looks after the tiniest detail of the smallest of his creatures. His providence will take care of everything in our lives if we reject everything and become wholly and undistractingly devoted to his love.”

14. “We should constantly and unceasingly repeat The Jesus Prayer. Only the name of Jesus must remain inside our heart and mind. When we neglect our prayer, that is our communication with God, then the devil finds the chance to confuse us with negative thoughts.”

15. “When God sees that we are proud and arrogant, he allows for the presence of afflictions and temptations in our life. He will take them away from us when He sees that we have humbled ourselves.”

16. “Hell and paradise do exist. Our soul experiences both, as they are spiritual states and not places where fires are burning, or birds are singing. The soul experiences fear, terror, agony, anxiety, despair and disappointment. If it has been separated from God in this life. It experiences hell – a torturing experience. Hell is not a place where souls are boiling inside cauldrons, but rather a state is which the soul will be found after the separation from the body. Then, you will realise the truth and suffer tremendously for not believing in Christ and his preaching on life after death. The soul will more intensively feel the guilt for its actions and experience these unpleasant feelings of fear, terror, despair, etc. It becomes a place of hell. The same applies to paradise as well, your soul is filled with joy and love.”

The teachings outlined above are only a short summary of Elder Paisios’s spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Christians who take the time to read this book and put Elder Paisios’s counsels into practice will benefit significantly. “Blessed are they who live the word and not those who only hear it or read it.”

Source

P.S: The Image shows Mount Athos or Agion Oros, as it is locally known, which is the oldest surviving monastic community in the world. It dates back more than a thousand years, to Byzantine times. It is a unique monastic republic, which, although part of Greece, it is governed by its own local administration.

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November 25, 523 – Crucial Day in History

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 7, 2009

EthioYemen

The amazing story below is about the massacre of Christians on the Arabian peninsula back in 500’s A.D.

It happened in what is present day Yemen, on November 25 – on the same day as the start to the Christian holy season prior to the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus – Lidet (Christmas) of Tsome Neviyat (the fast of the Prophets known as Sebket / Advent – 15 November to 28 December Ethiopian Calendar )

The massacre of Christians on November 25, 523 has changed the entire world history in a very mysterious fashion.

In the sixth century, the nation of Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) dominated the kingdoms of Himyar and Yemen on the southern Arabian peninsula. There were flourishing Christian churches in the area (also known as Homerites) which looked to Christian Abyssinia for protection.

It happened that a Himyarite Jew, Yusuf As’ar (better known by nicknames referring to his braids or ponytail: Dhu Nuwas, Dzu Nuwas, Dounaas, or Masruq), seized the throne from his king and revolted against Abyssinia, seeking to throw the Ethiopians out of the country. He captured an Ethiopian garrison at Zafar and burned the church there and burned other Christian churches.

Christians were strongest at the North Yemen city called Najran (sometimes spelled Nagran or Nadjran). Dhu Nuwas attacked it. The Christians held the town with desperate valor. Dhu Nuwas found he could not capture it. And so he resorted to treachery. He swore that he would grant the Christians of Najran full amnesty if they would surrender. The Christians, knowing they could not hold out forever, yielded against the advice of their leader Arethas (Aretas or Harith).

What happened next was so appalling that Bishop Simeon of Beth Arsham (a Syrian) traveled to the site to interview eyewitnesses and write a report… “The Jews amassed all the martyr’s bones and brought them into the church where they heaped them up. They then brought in the priests, deacons, sub-deacons, readers, and sons and daughters of the covenant…they filled the church from wall to wall, some 2,000 persons according to the men who came from Najran; then they piled wood all round the outside of the church and set light to it, thus burning the church with everyone inside it.”

In the ensuing week, hundreds more Christians were martyred, among them many godly women, who were killed with the most horrible tortures when they refused to renounce Christ. According to Simeon, many were told “Deny Christ and the cross and become Jewish like us; then you shall live.”

Versions differ as to date, but one says that it was on this day, November 25, 523, Dhu Nuwas took his vengeance on Arethas and 340 followers, killing them. These men were quickly included in martyr lists in the Greek, Latin and Russian churches. A song was even written about them by one Johannes Psaltes, although it reports only about 200 deaths.

Other accounts written within a century add that deep pits were dug, filled with combustible material, and set afire. Christians who refused to change faiths were hurled into the flame, thousands dying in this painful martyrdom. Some think that this is the event that the Koran refers to when it says, “Cursed be the diggers of the trench, who lighted the consuming fire and sat around it to watch the faithful being put to the torture!” although Muslim commentators deny this.

A wealthy lady named Ruhm was compelled to watch her virgin daughter and granddaughter executed and to taste their blood before she was killed herself. Asked how the blood tasted, she answered, “Like a pure, spotless offering.”

When word reached Constantinople, the Roman Emperor encouraged the Ethiopian king Ellesbaas (Ella Atsbeha or Kaleb) to intervene, as did the Patriarch of Alexandra. Ellesbaas was only too willing to do so, since his garrisons had been massacred and fellow Christians killed. He destroyed Dhu Nuwas and established a Christian kingdom. An Ethiopian-Jewish writing known as the Kebra Nagast regarded the downfall of Dhu Nuwas to be the final catastrophe for the Kingdom of Judah. Another Ethiopian book told the story of the massacre under the title The Book of the Himyarites.

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