This blog is a supplement to www.stgregorioshosur.com - the website for St.Gregorios Syrian Orthodox Church and Mission Centre, Hosur, India - and brings you latest updates along with articles on Christian living and news.

Friday, October 24, 2014

അതിമനോഹരമായ ഒരു സെദറാ

അതിമനോഹരമായ ഒരു സെദറാ


Friday, October 17, 2014

History of Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church


Friday, September 19, 2014

Holy Qurbana in Aramaic - Jerusalem 5

This video displays the presentation of the Holy Mysteries according to Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch celebrated by H.E. Mor Severius Malki Murad.

 What is Orthodoxy?

 The Orthodox Church Is evangelical, but not Protestant.

It is orthodox, but not Jewish.

It is catholic, but not Roman.

 It is not non-denominational, it's pre-denominational.

 It has been believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for.

 It is the Faith that has established the universe.

Proclaiming the Truth since 34 AD.

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Moran Mor Ignatios Afrem II Kerim in Antwerpen-Belgium 7


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Holy Universal Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.

Holy Universal Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.

His Holiness Prince Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, His Beatitude Catholics Aboon Mor Bsalious Thomas I and Metropolitans of the Holy Syriac orthodox Church of Antioch at the Patriarchate.


Friday, May 23, 2014

A short documentary film about Syriac Christianity. Music by Gabriel Aydin.


Mesopotamia. Land of two rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris. Descendants of the ancient cultures are Siriacs, Arameic-speaking Christians.

Nowadays the Syriacs inhabit the "Upper Mesopotamia," which includes Northern Iraq, Turkey, and Syria -- as well as Lebanon and Iran.

At the end of the First World War, after the downfall of the Ottoman empire, their life experienced major change. The newly defined borders divided their population into different states. Everywhere they represent a national and religious minority. Over the past 100 years they have been persecuted and their rights violated. Therefore, great numbers of them continue to emigrate to Europe and North America.

Syriacs speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus himself. That is why they became acquainted with his teachings very early and adopted Christianity. Since they lived in the East, outside the borders of the Roman Empire, they were called the Eastern Christians.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU DEAR FATHER

His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphreim II


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU DEAR FATHER 
May the Holy Spirit guide your steps and.
May the Holy Mother cover you with Her protective spirit
We wish his Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aprheim II all the best in this world, and wish him a long life filled with peace, good health and prosperity.  We pray that God confirm him in faith always, and strengthen his special mission of guiding the Holy Church of Jesus  throughout the world.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dedicated to the memory of departed Holy Father


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Syrian Orthodox Symphony


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Malankara World Journal - Passion week specials


Malankara World Journal - Passion Week Specials

"The Passion of Jesus and the subsequent Resurrection from the Dead are the differentiator of Christianity.
Malankara World Journal is planning several special/supplement issues to highlight the significance of these days and what they represent. Here is the plan:" - Dr. Jacob Mathew, Editor-in-Chief, Malankara World

(Please note that the special / supplement issues are likely to be ready only a day before the dates mentioned below)

Issue 208  - Temptation of Christ - Fortieth Friday (Apr 11)
http://www.malankaraworld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_208.htm

Issue 209  - Lazarus Saturday (Apr 12)
http://www.malankaraworld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_209.htm

Issue 210  - Palm Sunday - Hosanna (April 13-15) and Monday and Tues of Holy Week
http://www.malankaraworld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_210.htm

Issue 211  - Pes'ho - Maundy Thursday (April 16-17)
http://www.malankaraworld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_211.htm

Issue 212  - Good Friday (Apr 18-19) and Holy Saturday
http://www.malankaraworld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_212.htm

Issue 213  - Kyomtho/Easter (April 20) - He is Risen!! The Tomb is Empty
http://www.malankaraworld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_213.htm

Friday, April 4, 2014

Patriarch Elect Moran Mor Ignatius Aphreim II Karim

Patriarch Elect Moran Mor Ignatius Aphreim II Karim


His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim has been elected as the 123rd patriarch of Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch by the Holy synod held in St. Jacob Bardeus Monastery in Atchaneh, Lebanon presided by His Beatitude Baselios Thomas I Catholicose of India and his Eminence Mor Severios Hawa, Archbishop of Bagdad and Basra.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A message for the Great Lent


A Message for the Great Lent 
by HE Issac Mor Osthatheos Metropolitan.


A message for the Great Lent by HE Issac Mor Osthatheos Metropolitan.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUrff4RODZ0&feature=youtu.be

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dhukrono - Mor Athanasius Paulose Kadavil


06 Mar'14 23rd is the Dhukrono of Late Lamented Mor Athanasius Paulose Kadavil - Metropolitan of the Evangelical Association of the East entombed at Mor Ignatius Church at Cheria Vappalassery.

May Lord raise such true shepherds in our Church! May the memory of the late shepherd be a blessing for us all!

l-kohnayk aneeh baynoth keené bro dalohob-hoy malkootho d-lo meshtaryo `am qadeeshé.

Dhukrono - Mor Geevarghese Polycarpus


06 Mat'14 03rd is the Dhukrono of Late Lamented Mor Geevarghese Polycarpus (1933 - 2011), Former Metropolitan of Evangelical Association of the East & Honavar Mission.

May Lord raise such true shepherds in our Church! May the memory of the late shepherd be a blessing for us all!

l-kohnayk aneeh baynoth keené bro dalohob-hoy malkootho d-lo meshtaryo `am qadeeshé

Biography


First Friday of the Great lent

വലിയ നോമ്പിലെ ഒന്നാം വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച (07/03/14)    


Lent Message 2014 - Mor Aphrem Mathews (Video)

                Lent Message 2014
St.Thomas Media presents a live recording of Great Lent message (Malayalam) by Mor Aphrem Mathews Metropolitan 

ശുബ്ക്കോനൊ അഥവാ നിരപ്പ്‌. ശുദ്ധമുള്ള വലിയ നോമ്പിന്റെ പ്രഥമ ദിനത്തിൽ ഉച്ചനമസ്കാരത്തോട്‌ അനുബന്ധിച്ച്‌ പരി.സുറിയാനി സഭ ശുബ്ക്കോനോ ശുശ്രൂഷ അനുഷ്ടിക്കുന്നു. അറിഞ്ഞൊ അറിയാതെയോ ജീവിതത്തിൽ വന്നു പോയിട്ടുള്ള തെറ്റുകൾക്ക്‌ വലിപ്പ ചെറുപ്പമന്യേ ക്ഷമയാചിക്കുന്ന ശുശ്രൂഷയാണിത്‌. രാജകീയ സ്ഥനിയായ പ്രഥാന പട്ട്കക്കരൻ മുതൽപേർ ജനത്തിന്റെ മുമ്പാകെ മുട്ടുകുത്തി മൂന്നു തവണ ക്ഷമയാചിക്കുമ്പോൾ ജനം ഒന്നടങ്കം മുട്ടുകുത്തി ക്ഷമിക്കുവാനുള്ള കൃപക്കായി മൂന്നു വട്ടം പ്രാർത്ഥിക്കുന്ന പരിപാവന ശുശ്രൂഷ ഇന്ന് വി.സഭ ആചരിക്കുന്നു. നമുക്കും വി.സഭയുടെ മഹത്തായ പാരമ്പര്യത്തിൽ പങ്കാളികളാകാം. പിതാക്കന്മാരേ! സഹോദരന്മാരേ! വത്സലരേ! മിശിഹായെപ്രതി നിങ്ങൾ ഞങ്ങളോട് ക്ഷമിപ്പിൻ... നമുക്ക്‌ പരസ്പരം രമ്യപ്പെട്ട്‌ ശുദ്ധമുള്ള ൻപ്പ്മ്പിലേക്ക്‌ പ്രവേശിക്കാം. പിതാവേ! ക്ഷമിക്കുവാൻ ഞങ്ങളെ അനുഗ്രഹിക്കേണമേ 03 Mar'14 ശുബ്ക്കോനൊ അഥവാ നിരപ്പ്‌. ശുദ്ധമുള്ള വലിയ നോമ്പിന്റെ പ്രഥമ ദിനത്തിൽ ഉച്ചനമസ്കാരത്തോട്‌ അനുബന്ധിച്ച്‌ പരി.സുറിയാനി സഭ ശുബ്ക്കോനോ ശുശ്രൂഷ അനുഷ്ടിക്കുന്നു. അറിഞ്ഞൊ അറിയാതെയോ ജീവിതത്തിൽ വന്നു പോയിട്ടുള്ള തെറ്റുകൾക്ക്‌ വലിപ്പ ചെറുപ്പമന്യേ ക്ഷമയാചിക്കുന്ന ശുശ്രൂഷയാണിത്‌. രാജകീയ സ്ഥനിയായ പ്രഥാന പട്ട്കക്കരൻ മുതൽപേർ ജനത്തിന്റെ മുമ്പാകെ മുട്ടുകുത്തി മൂന്നു തവണ ക്ഷമയാചിക്കുമ്പോൾ ജനം ഒന്നടങ്കം മുട്ടുകുത്തി ക്ഷമിക്കുവാനുള്ള കൃപക്കായി മൂന്നു വട്ടം പ്രാർത്ഥിക്കുന്ന പരിപാവന ശുശ്രൂഷ ഇന്ന് വി.സഭ ആചരിക്കുന്നു. നമുക്കും വി.സഭയുടെ മഹത്തായ പാരമ്പര്യത്തിൽ പങ്കാളികളാകാം. പിതാക്കന്മാരേ! സഹോദരന്മാരേ! വത്സലരേ! മിശിഹായെപ്രതി നിങ്ങൾ ഞങ്ങളോട് ക്ഷമിപ്പിൻ... നമുക്ക്‌ പരസ്പരം രമ്യപ്പെട്ട്‌ ശുദ്ധമുള്ള ൻപ്പ്മ്പിലേക്ക്‌ പ്രവേശിക്കാം. പിതാവേ! ക്ഷമിക്കുവാൻ ഞങ്ങളെ അനുഗ്രഹിക്കേണമേ

ശുബ്ക്കോനൊ അഥവാ നിരപ്പ്‌.

ശുദ്ധമുള്ള വലിയ നോമ്പിന്റെ പ്രഥമ ദിനത്തിൽ ഉച്ചനമസ്കാരത്തോട്‌ അനുബന്ധിച്ച്‌ പരി.സുറിയാനി സഭ ശുബ്ക്കോനോ ശുശ്രൂഷ അനുഷ്ടിക്കുന്നു. അറിഞ്ഞൊ അറിയാതെയോ ജീവിതത്തിൽ വന്നു പോയിട്ടുള്ള തെറ്റുകൾക്ക്‌ വലിപ്പ ചെറുപ്പമന്യേ ക്ഷമയാചിക്കുന്ന ശുശ്രൂഷയാണിത്‌. രാജകീയ സ്ഥനിയായ പ്രഥാന പട്ട്കക്കരൻ മുതൽപേർ ജനത്തിന്റെ മുമ്പാകെ മുട്ടുകുത്തി മൂന്നു തവണ ക്ഷമയാചിക്കുമ്പോൾ ജനം ഒന്നടങ്കം മുട്ടുകുത്തി ക്ഷമിക്കുവാനുള്ള കൃപക്കായി മൂന്നു വട്ടം പ്രാർത്ഥിക്കുന്ന പരിപാവന ശുശ്രൂഷ ഇന്ന് വി.സഭ ആചരിക്കുന്നു.

നമുക്കും വി.സഭയുടെ മഹത്തായ പാരമ്പര്യത്തിൽ പങ്കാളികളാകാം.

പിതാക്കന്മാരേ! സഹോദരന്മാരേ! വത്സലരേ! മിശിഹായെപ്രതി നിങ്ങൾ ഞങ്ങളോട് ക്ഷമിപ്പിൻ...

നമുക്ക്‌ പരസ്പരം രമ്യപ്പെട്ട്‌ ശുദ്ധമുള്ള ൻപ്പ്മ്പിലേക്ക്‌ പ്രവേശിക്കാം.

പിതാവേ! ക്ഷമിക്കുവാൻ ഞങ്ങളെ അനുഗ്രഹിക്കേണമേ

Friday, February 28, 2014

Most Rev.Dr. Kurien Kaniamparambil

മലങ്കര സഭയുടെ എഴുത്തച്ഛന്‍ - കൂറോസോ ദശ്‌റോറോ ഡോ.കുരൃന്‍ കണിയാം പറമ്പില്‍ ആര്‍ച്ച്‌ കോര്‍  എപ്പിസ്‌കോപ്പ അച്ചന്‌ ജന്മദിനാശംസകള്‍.....

Most Rev.Dr. Kurien Kaniamparambil 


ARCH COREPISCOPO Most Rev.Dr. Kurien Kaniamparambil, who turned 102  on 27th February 2014, is a living legend.His academic contributions in various domains of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, and the spiritual thoughts that he expounded from the depth of his heart is unparalleled in the history of the church.

He is one among the very few living authorities of Syriac, ‘the language spoken by Our Lord’.

He is a shining star of the Universal Syrian Church,and equally loved by the Patriarchs, the Catholicose's and the prelates. He is not only a Friend and guide to the clergy and laity but also a Loving and devoted husband, affectionate father and grand & great grand father.

He has been a pillar of Jacobite Syrian Christians of Malankara (India) for the last seventy years.His greatest achievement in life is the translation of the complete Holy Bible, from ancient Pshitho Syriac text to Malayalam for the very first time. It was released in August 1994.

Our Most revered Ressh Corepiscopo is God’s gift to India, particularly to the Syrian Orthodox Church and to all the lovers of Syriac heritage. His literary works has built up a lasting legacy to all those who want to familiarize themselves with the study of Syriac language, history of Syriac Churches and the biblical traditions of the Churches of Syriac heritage. The Syriac scholars and the Heads of Syriac Churches have shown a great apprecia immensetion for his literary services and achievements.

In recognition of his contribution to the Holy Church and the Syriac language and the Malayalam literature,the Supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, H.H. Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas, elevated him  to the position of REESH EPISCOPO (ARCH EPISCOPO),

At the grand function held on Saturday 25th February 2012 at the Syrian Church headquarters of India at Puthencuriz, Kochi, His Holiness also conferred on him the title MTARGMONO D EETHO and awarded the ST. IGNATIUS MEDAL and CERTIFICATE to the Very Rev. Curien Kaniamparambil.

The Church presented him a STAFF & CROSIER, (used only by the Metropolitans of the Holy Church, The Catholicos and the primate of the Syriac Christian Church in India)

These decorations and awards were given to Most Reverend Curien Kaniamparambil,by His Beatitude Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas-I on behalf of His Holiness the Patriarch in the presence of the Malankara Synod secretary Mor Gregorios Joseph, Metropolitans, clergy and dignified guests.

This is the first time a married priest is elevated to the position of ARCH COREPISCOPO, thereby recognizing his incomparable contributions in the last 70 years.

PATRIARCH MORAN MOR IGNATIUS ZAKKA I IWAS

PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST
Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church
122nd successor of St. Peter in the Apostolic See of Antioch


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fresh start


FRESH START

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect 
in weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9



Friday, February 21, 2014

Our True Nature

Our True Nature

“The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race.  From his throne he observes all who live on the earth.  He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.”  Psalm 33.13-15 (NLT)

The other day I saw a bus that looked perfectly normal until it turned the corner. I was surprised to find that one side has been completely ripped off! 
Have you ever wondered that most people are like that bus?  While we have a good side to project for all around us to see, there is also a very dark side that we consciously hide from others.
We can see such a person in Mathew chapter 19, where a young man comes to Jesus wanting to learn how he could attain eternal life. When Jesus tells him he must obey the commandments, he proudly tells Jesus that he has obeyed and practiced all of them since his childhood. He was showing of his good side to Jesus.
He then asks Jesus what else he must do. Jesus then exposes the dark side of his heart and advises him, “. . . go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  (Mt. 19:20-22)
Projecting only our good sides comes very naturally to us, but we have to remember that God can see our inside out, and we cannot hide our dark nature from Him. But when we pray asking Him to show us our own “dark natures,” and meditate on the saving grace that Jesus can offer us, and present all our sinful nature to Him, our Lord will work on us and we are sure to witness the progress in our lives. let us remember that Jesus can change our entire self both the good and the bad. While this process of change can be a big challenge and will be a big struggle that cause us great pain, very soon the beauty of our nature will be exposed.
Are we willing to surrender our heart to Jesus and allow Him to work on us and bring out a beautiful nature in us?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Do we find the Sunday worship tiresome ?

Do we find the Sunday worship tiresome ?

Are we one of those who find Holy Qurbana (worship) on Sunday morning to be dull and tiresome?

Are we one of those who spend the service thinking about all those things we could have done if we were not at the church?

It is not late to repent for those times we have not devoted proper attention to the Lord in worship.

Let us remember that He is truly present in our midst when we gather together.

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”(Matt. 18:20) So let this be our motivation to delight in Him in the presence of His people.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Passion of Christ is Rated R

The Passion of Christ is Rated "R" 
Tim Stevenson

The "R" of course is because of the violence, the gore.

In movie terms "R" stands for RESTRICTED

but in this movie "R" stands for RELEVANT

for REALISTIC

for it REALLY happened

for a REASON

because we were REBELLIOUS 

we needed a REDEEMER

we needed to be RECONCILED, 

we needed to be RECOVERED, 

we needed to be REGENERATED. 

Jesus needed to be REJECTED 

so that we could have a RELATIONSHIP

not just a RELIGION

The "R" is to REMIND us to REMEMBER 

what Jesus did to REMOVE our sin

to RENDER Satan powerless,

to RESCUE us from eternity in hell.

The "R" rating is to show that Jesus was RESPONSIBLE 

for giving you REST. 

As a RESULT of his death

Jesus RETIRED your debt.

The "R" rating means that some will be REPULSED

some will REFUSE to believe,

some will be RELUCTANT, 

some will think you are RIDICULOUS

in believing that a death was REQUIRED.

The "R" rating means that the RESULT of sin

has been REVERSED 

and now through faith in Christ your REWARD is eternity

and you are now RIGHTEOUS before God

because you have RECEIVED him

as the RULER of your soul.

What a REVOLUTIONARY 

and RADICAL solution

to REDEEM mankind.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jesus came to call sinners to repentance

Jesus came to call sinners to repentance
               
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32 (NIV)

Those who sit in darkness get to see the light, not those who think they are in the light already. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance, not the righteous (Luke 5:32).

This does not mean that there are some who are righteous in themselves.

It means that He saves only those who confess their darkness and admit their need of His light.

Do you understand your desperate situation apart from God’s grace?

Source - Bible Gateway (Tabletalk Magazine)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

God will meets us right where we are.

God will meets us right where we are.

One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that God will meet us right where we are. It means that we don’t have to punish ourselves to have an appointment with him nor do we have to do anything or adhere to any set rules to please HIM or make Him love us, just because we are HIS children. Do we stop loving our children because they have done something wrong ?
The story of Naaman in the fifth chapter of 2 Kings of the Old Testament makes it clear. Naaman, who was a commander of the Aramean army had thought that Israel’s God was just like all the other god of his country. He got healed of his leprosy through the prophet Elisha. This miracle broke Naaman’s arrogance to pieces and made him realize that the Lord was the only true God.
When he went to the prophet Elisha for healing, he had expected that he would be asked to do something great, to please the God of Israel and receive his favor. But he was asked to do only something as simple as bathing in the Jordan River. We find that he was even angry at this suggestion. But we can see that this God more than cured his decease. There was also a change in his nature because Naaman vowed to worship only the Lord, and he would never again worship any other god.
This story illustrates how God who is so rich in mercy can heal us in spite of our sins and what we really are and ready to meet us right where we are.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

“Don’t be afraid. Trust me first.”

“Don’t be afraid. Trust me first.”
Source - Bible Gateway NIV Devotions

According to the locals, weather over the Sea of Galilee in Israel can be equally unpredictable. A squall can rise up at a moment’s notice, hitting with such a fury that fishermen in the area must be quick on their feet and ready for anything. At least four of Jesus’ disciples—Peter, Andrew, James and John—made their living as fishermen. Certainly they knew of Galilee’s infamous storms. Yet as Jesus slept in the ship’s bow, even these seasoned sailors panicked when the storm rose. After waking Jesus from his slumber, they pleaded, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25). Imagine a storm so intense that even hardened fishermen cowered in fear.

Jesus responded with a rebuke: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26). As the disciples faced the greatest storm Galilee had ever thrown at them, Jesus expected them to trust him first. And then he calmed the storm.

Life often seems to rise up against us when we least expect it. A dark spot shows up on an X-ray. A pink slip lands on our desk at work. A quarterly report reveals a serious downturn in revenues. Suddenly our deepest fears rise to the surface. So we look to the sky and plead, “Lord, save us!”

And Jesus responds, “Don’t be afraid. Trust me first.”

The next time the turbulence of life’s trials blows into your life, remember what Jesus asks. Trust him first, no matter how overwhelming the storm appears.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Joseph Martin's Anthem

Joseph Martin's Anthem 

"Just beyond the manger, I hear no lullabies,
I see no golden hay, I feel no starlight.
Just beyond the manger I hear the hammer fall,
I see a rugged cross, I feel the chill of night.
Just beyond the manger, I see no swaddling clothes
I hear no angels sing I feel no candles' glow
Just beyond the manger I see a lonely hill the Savior crying still
I hear the thunder roll….just beyond the manger.
Forgive us Lord and grant us eyes to see in every Christmas, CALVARY.
Implant it in our hearts. Help us recall mid trees of red and gold
That on another tree raised long ago we hung God's brightest Star."



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

He Maketh No Mistake


He Maketh No Mistake
Pastor  A. M. Overton
Source - Malankara World Journal

My Father's way may twist and turn
My heart may throb and ache,
But in my soul I'm glad to know,
He maketh no mistake.

My cherished plans may go astray,
My hopes may fade away,
But still I'll trust my Lord to lead,
For He doth know the way.

Tho' night be dark and it may seem
That day will never break,
I'll pin my faith, my all, in Him,
He maketh no mistake.

There's so much now I cannot see,
My eyesight's far too dim,
But come what may,
I'll simply trust and leave it all to Him.

For by and by the mist will lift,
And plain it all He'll make,
Through all the way, tho' dark to me,
He made not one mistake.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Historic Christian 1200 year site found in china



Historic Christian 1200 year site found in China
Historic Christian site found in China



Nestorian Christian site in China dates back at least 1,200 years.

A niche in a stone wall with a cross carved above it has now been verified by experts as a repository for the ashes and bones of Christians. The experts also confirmed that this is the earliest Nestorian burial place discovered so far in China.

The discovery at the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site in central Henan province, was made in 2009. Its verification was announced to the public this week.

Precise dating has yet to be carried out, but it would have been created at some time during China’s Ming and Tang dynasties of 316-907 AD. It has yet to be established if it is older than the well known Nestorian Stele, an inscribed limestone tablet found in Xi’an, Shaanxi, which dates back to 781 AD and is currently considered the most ancient Nestorian artefact.

The discovery was made by Jiao Jianhui, a researcher at the Longmen Grottoes Research Institute. The grottoes contain thousands of Buddhist and Daoist statues and carvings, There are many similar niches at the grottoes, carved with Buddha statues as well as inscriptions to say that the deceased are buried there.

Originating in the Middle East in the fifth century AD, the Nestorian Christian Church was initially recognized by the Tang Emperor Taizong but suppressed by his successors.

As Jiao pointed out, the discovery of the site puts a different perspective on historians’ beliefs about those early days in China. “Historical records shows  Buddhist suppression of the Nestorian Church in the Tang Dynasty,” he said. “But the niche shows some religious tolerance, as the two religions could coexist harmoniously at the Grottoes.”

- ucanews

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

World Watch List for Christian Persecution

2014 The World Watch List for Christian Persecution (WWL)

Open Doors International compiles a list of countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is most severe. Listed below is the top 25 countries for 2014 (ODI list has 50 countries) and the comparable ranking in 2013.

Note that Syria has leapfrogged from #11 in 2013 to #3 in 2014, the biggest jump in the countries studied. Both Pakistan and Myanmar also had big increase in its rankings, although not at the severity as experienced by Syria.

Country2014 Rank2013 Rank
North Korea11
Somalia25
Syria311
Iraq44
Afghanistan53
Saudi Arabia62
Maldives76
Pakistan814
Iran98
Yemen109
Sudan1112
Eritrea1210
Libya1317
Nigeria1413
Uzbekistan1516
Central African
Republic
16new
Ethiopia1715
Vietnam1821
Qatar1920
Turkmenistan2019
Laos2118
Egypt2225
Myanmar2332
Brunei2427
Colombia2546
India2831

With the exception of North Korea – ranked No. 1 for the 12th year in a row – every other country on the top 10 list had as its source of persecution, Islamic extremism. North Korea's persecution of Christians was due to communist oppression and dictatorial paranoia, explained Open Doors in its 2014 World Watch List. According to the report, the countries with the most extreme persecution besides North Korea are: Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran, and Yemen, respectively.

Open Doors', the Christian persecution watchdog, methodology involved measuring the level of Christian freedom found in five spheres of life: private, family, community, national, and church. A sixth sphere regarding degree of violence also factors in to the rankings.

Monday, January 6, 2014

God has a positive answer for everything

For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it.

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9& Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas gifts

Christmas gifts
Sigrid Undset

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans--and all that lives and move upon them.

He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused--and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”



God goes to those who have time to hear him

God goes to those who have time to hear him
-- Max Lucado

"Off to one side sits a group of shepherds.

They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement.

Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels.

God goes to those who have time to hear him"-- and so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds."