• May 24, 2005
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    Leaders of Orthodox churches from Russia to the ancient Christian centers in the Middle East prepared Monday for a rare gathering forced by a crisis in their ranks: The refusal of the Holy Land patriarch to step down even as his authority is shattered by rebel clerics, angry followers and the hair-trigger issue of land rights in Jerusalem.

    By BRIAN MURPHY, AP Religion Writer, May 22, 2005

    Orthodox Leaders Prepare for Meeting
  • May 05, 2005
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    A large, two-story building built by Southern Baptists in the 1950s of beautiful, locally quarried limestone, with an incomparable view of the city of Nazareth, Israel, Jesus' boyhood home, is being put up for sale.

    The spacious villa, owned by the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention, has become the center of controversy between Baptists in Israel and IMB leadership in Richmond, Virginia. The upcoming sale is part of a series of world-wide property sales held in order to raise funds for IMB ministry projects around the world. Baptists in Israel do not dispute that the IMB is the legal owner of the property but they strongly oppose its sale. The facility is currently being used as center for ministry into the city of Nazareth as well as the Galilee.

    Special For Come and See, May 5, 2005

    Baptists in Israel angry over Sale of Building by International Mission Board
  • April 29, 2005
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    The venerable Rep. Henry Hyde is a staunch supporter of Israel, but he is also a prominent Catholic layman known for telling the truth. He did so two weeks ago to Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres. He made clear how unhappy he was that Israel's government had ignored his previous protests about the destruction of the Christian community in the Holy Land.

    At a closed-door session of the House International Relations Committee that he heads, Hyde told Peres that Israeli security practices ''in the center of Christianity's most holy places'' are "turning them into a military zone." Peres conceded to Hyde these are hard times for Christians in the Holy Land, but predictably blamed their troubles on the Palestinian Arabs.

    BY ROBERT NOVAK, SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST, April 18, 2005

    Congressman Henry Hyde confronts Shimon Peres
  • April 06, 2005
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    The next pope will have a hard act to follow in the Middle East, where Muslims, Jews and Christians alike mourned the loss of a man they saw as a messenger of peace and tolerance.

    Pope John Paul II won a place in the hearts of many in the region by starting off the millennium with a tour of the Holy Land, the first by a pontiff in 36 years. His repeated calls for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his opposition to the war in Iraq also earned him favor here.

    By Paul Garwood, AP, April 4, 2005

    Pope Is Mourned Across Middle East
  • March 30, 2005
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    The word "Allah," written in Arabic, was found etched on the southern corner of the Temple Mount's eastern wall in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

    By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz, March 30, 2005
    'Allah' found etched into wall of Temple Mount
  • March 21, 2005
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    The Greek Orthodox Church is investigating the reported sale of sensitive Jerusalem property to Jewish organizations, a church official said Sunday, as Palestinian Christians staged a protest.

    The reported sale has sparked an uproar among Palestinian followers of the church, who accuse the Greek leadership of betraying the Palestinian cause.

    By LARA SUKHTIAN, AP, March 20, 2005

    Church leaders seek patriarch's resignation
  • March 21, 2005
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    Thousands of Christian pilgrims, waving palm fronds, marched on Sunday from the Mount of Olives into the Old City of Jerusalem to retrace Jesus' triumphant return to the holy city 20 centuries ago.

    The procession, which inaugurated the Christian holy week leading up to Easter Sunday, was much larger than recent years, with many foreigners drawn to the region by a lull in violence.

    News 24, March 20, 2005

  • March 12, 2005
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    The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that the Greek Orthodox Church elections for Patriarch, in which Irineos was chosen, were illegal and must be held again.

    Arutz-7's Shimon Cohen, who has been following the story closely, reports that the Church finds itself in a quandary as a result of the ruling.
    Shimon Cohen, Arutz 7, March 9, 2005

  • February 22, 2005
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    THE ORTHODOX Church of Greece and Jerusalem placed a gag order on all clergy, just two days after press revelations linking Archbishop Christodoulos to a man arrested for heroin dealing one year later. The mounting church crisis, with daily revelations of bishops' scandals, is widely considered Christodoulos' greatest challenge in his seven-year ministry, and some believe it could even jeopardise his position at the church's helm.

    GEORGE GILSON, Athens News, Feb 18, 2005

  • January 08, 2005
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    How can any cash-strapped local authority say `no' to generous donations from devout American Christians, which are earmarked for assisting the poor, the disabled, new immigrants and other unfortunates?

    It is hard to find a cash-strapped local authority in this country that is not supported by contributions from devout Christians from the United States via the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (popularly called the "Friendship Fund" in Hebrew). During its four years of local operation, the fund has become one of the leading philanthropic organizations in the country. In 2004, it contributed about NIS 100 million to Israel - an increase of 12 percent compared to the previous year.

    Ruth Sinai, Haaretz, Jan 7, 2005

    American Christians contribute 100 Million Shekels to Israel in 2004