Category Archives: Eastern Church

Coptic Church celebrates the Lord’s nativity amid tragedy, oppression

Pope Shenouda III, Coptic Cathedral in Cairo Jan. 7, 2010.jpgThe Coptic Church, along with other non-Chalcedonian churches, are celebrating Christmas today. Besides some Christological differences, the Copts (the Egyptian Orthodox Christians; there are Coptic Catholics, too!) follow the Julian calendar which is a number of days behind the Gregorian calendar. About 10% of the Egyptians are Christian.

In this season of Christian-killing by fanatical muslims, truly a season of martyrdom, let us pray for the Copts and give thanks for their witness to Christ. Blessings to Pope Shenouda III. Merry Christmas.

Egypt’s civil & religious leaders condemn attack

The various news agencies are reporting that Egypt’s civil and religious leaders are condemning the New Year’s Eve suicide bombing of a Coptic Church which killed 21 people and wounded a reported 100 others. The attack happened with 30 minutes of 2011.

Pope Shenouda III joined with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and the Egyptian government’s Minister for Religious Affairs, Mahmud Hamdi Zaqzuq at a press conference condemning the attack.

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Christmas at Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral, Baghdad 2010

The commemoration of the Nativity of the Lord in all places of the world moves my heart as it does for all people of good will. More than ever the Christmas observance in Baghdad at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation, the place of the brutal killings of Christians –laity and clergy alike– on October 31, 2010.

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May the newborn Savior, Jesus –Emmanuel– lead us more deeply into our humanity
and to perfect union with God the Father.

Orthodox Christians in the USA grow 16% in a decade

Whitney Jones for ENI, wrote that “America’s Eastern
Orthodox Parishes have grown 16% in the past decade, in part because of a
settled immigrant community according to new research.” Her article follows:

Krindatch, research consultant for the Standing Conference of the Canonical
Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, said the 16 percent growth in the number of  Orthodox parishes is “a fairly high
ratio for religious groups in the United States,” Religion News Service

The number of Orthodox parishes has reached 2,370, and the Orthodox
community in America consists of more than 1 million adherents across 20
different church bodies, according to the 2010 U.S. Orthodox Census.

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The top
five largest Orthodox churches in the United States are Greek Orthodox
(476,900), Orthodox Church in America (84,900), Antiochian Orthodox (74,600),
Serbian Orthodox (68,800) and Russian Orthodox (27,700).

Two of these church
bodies – the Bulgarian Orthodox Eastern Diocese and the Romanian Orthodox
Archdiocese – experienced a growth rate of more than 100 percent. Both churches
began with a small number of parishes in 2000 and are supported by a community
of established eastern European immigrants.

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Christiani Iraquiae, orate pro nobis

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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