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Title: Mideast Christians See Russia - Not the US - as Defender of Their Faith
Source: Christianity Today
URL Source: https://russia-insider.com/en/polit ... s-defender-their-faith/ri24077
Published: Jul 10, 2018
Author: Jayson Casper
Post Date: 2018-07-10 08:38:23 by Ada
Keywords: None
Views: 377
Comments: 5

If anything the US has been the cause of their tragedies and the destruction of their communities

War was swirling in Syria. Rebels were pressing. And Maan Bitar was the only hope for American help.

“Because I am evangelical, everyone thinks I have channels of communication,” said the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Mhardeh. “Syrians believe the United States has the power to stop the conflict—if it wants to.”

In the early years of the civil war, Bitar’s Orthodox neighbors were desperate to convince the US and its allies to end support of rebel forces. Mhardeh, a Christian city 165 miles north of Damascus, was being shelled regularly from across the Orontes River.

But salvation came from a different source. Russian airpower turned the tide, and Syrian government-aligned troops drove the rebels from the area.

Russian intervention on behalf of Mideast Christians has pricked the conscience of many American evangelicals. Long conditioned to Cold War enmity, the question is entertained: Are they the good guys in the cradle of Christianity? Or are persecuted Christians just a handy excuse for political interests?

“The news tells us Russian troops are bringing peace to the region, said Vitaly Vlasenko, ambassador-at-large for the Russian Evangelical Alliance. “Maybe this is propaganda, but we don’t hear anything else.”

Created in 2003, the alliance represents all evangelical denominations in Russia. Before assuming his position, Vlasenko worked 11 years with local Baptists in their external relations department.

President Vladimir Putin, recently reelected with evangelical support, “is seen as playing a big role to protect the Christian faith,” said Vlasenko, “and a sense of international brotherhood is deep within the heart of Russian Christians.” He emphasized the historic bond between the region’s Eastern Orthodox churches and the 19th-century Russian wars in their defense against the Ottoman Turks.

By contrast, Russia’s Protestants are more locally minded and concerned to secure their own religious freedom in worship and evangelism, said Vlasenko. “But most evangelicals are like the Orthodox: supportive of Russia’s efforts to protect Christians in the Middle East.”

One example is Sergei Riakhovskii, lead bishop of the Pentecostal Russian Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith.

A member of several governmental councils to help convey the concerns of religious citizens, his church has forged strong connections with Syrian Protestants and organized several food convoys to aid the displaced.

I still don’t understand the actions and statements of some American politicians,” said Riakhovskii. “If it were not for Russia, Christians in Syria might not have survived at all.”

Vlasenko cited local polls which show two-thirds of Russians view the United States as their enemy. Evangelicals are more open, believing Americans want peace.

But the US, viewed widely as an evangelical country, leaves them very confused.

“American policy has created chaos, giving oil to the fire of Islamic terrorism,” he said. “It is hard for Russian evangelicals to understand this.”

By contrast, Russian policy in the Middle East seeks to prevent the spread of radicalism, lest it spill over into its own Muslim citizens. Therefore, Russia sees itself as putting out fires—and expanding regional influence. Following President Donald Trump’s announcement to support Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Moscow quickly offered to replace Washington’s role in brokering peace.

A recent Pew Research Center survey of five nations in the region found that about two-thirds of respondents support greater Russian involvement in the Middle East, compared to 10 years earlier. But though the survey did not include Syria or Iraq, only 35 percent of respondents viewed Russia positively. (Approval of the US was only 27%.)

But whereas a common Orthodox faith paves the way for good relations, American evangelicals have less understanding of traditional churches, said Salim Munayer, head of the Jerusalem-based Musalaha reconciliation ministry.

Russians, meanwhile, engage Palestinian businesses in the pilgrimage sector. And Russia’s oldest NGO has revived its pre-Soviet investment in local schools through the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, founded in 1882.

“Like local Christians, the Russians have real ties to the land, which they view as an icon—a place of veneration,” said Munayer.

“But we also need to remember that imperial powers use religious reasons to have a foothold.”

Russia, in many Christian eyes, is a balancing power to Israel-focused American interests, Munayer said. But local believers should not align too closely with either.

“Otherwise, we will bind ourselves in the trap of political interests, getting manipulated by one side or the other,” he said.

Still, Russia’s Syrian intervention is generally viewed as positive. “Many people believe it is good to have Russian reengagement in the region,” said Munayer. “But we know they will also pull out when it is politically convenient.”

Like Munayer, Philip Madanat of Jordan believes local sentiment esteems Russian policy without buying the religious argument. It is the regime, not the Christians, they care about.

But the evangelical specialist in religious movements sees another factor at play: cross-pollination.

Thousands of Mideast Christians went to study in Russia during the Soviet era, he said. Madanat’s own uncle was secretary-general of the Jordanian Communist Party.

They returned with esteem for the nation that enabled their education, and played key roles in Middle East business and political development.

The children of this generation are now tuned culturally to America, he said, especially in Jordan with its strong US ties. But the fathers’ influence lingers, and has galvanized behind Putin’s charisma.

“We see him as someone who wants to recapture Russia’s lost glory, which was Christian,” Madanat said. “This is attractive to many people here.”

Munib Younan agrees there is an emotional connection to Russia given its Syrian policy and American bias towards Israel.

Recently succeeded as bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Younan stood with Middle East church heads to warn Trump not to move the US embassy.

But he has no opinion if the Russian or American government is “better.”

“Frankly, I don’t see any difference. I don’t know if they care for us or not,” Younan said. “Everyone claims it, but I don’t see anything tangible.”

Outside nations have their own interests, while local Christians are an integral part of their people, he said. They need justice, not protection.

Meanwhile, the struggle between outside nations—including Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the Gulf states—is tearing the region apart.

“Syria is a cake divided,” he said, “and the losers are the people.”

Back in Mhardeh, Bitar asserts these people are looking for anyone to bring them peace. And if Russian evangelicals are right, this is the same desire of Americans.

So within the soul-searching of Christian solidarity and cold geopolitics, Bitar, finally, can meet the assumption of his Orthodox neighbors.

“America can have many friends if she changes her policies,” he said. “But if she doesn’t, let us look to Russia.” Source: Christianity Today

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#1. To: Ada (#0)

The Evil Zionist Empire is no friend of the children of God.

Sad to see so many so-called Christians in USA Inc working for Satan.

"Define yourself as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion."—Brennan Manning

Rotara  posted on  2018-07-10   10:30:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Rotara (#1)

Anyone who heeds the most important rule, which is the Golden Rule, is more of a true Christian than any who call themselves Christian yet don't follow the rule.

"After tomorrow those SOB's will never embarrass me again. That’s not a threat. That’s a promise.” – LBJ to his mistress Madeleine Brown on the eve of JFK assassination

FormerLurker  posted on  2018-07-10   12:30:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Ada (#0)

In the early years of the civil war, Bitar’s Orthodox neighbors were desperate to convince the US and its allies to end support of rebel forces. Mhardeh, a Christian city 165 miles north of Damascus, was being shelled regularly from across the Orontes River.

The jewnighted States govt hates Christianity and makes a specialty of rubbing it out. They picked the "most Christian" cities in Japan to nuke after bombing Monte Cassino to rubble in the Holy War.

You can learn how to fill out a tax form in our USG schools but not about ameriKa's Christian heritage. PeeCee DeeCee murdered Gaddafi and wrecked the country that was giving Christians the most religious freedom in the Muslim world -- Libya. What it does for Izrul, the world capitol of anti-Christian hatred and persecution, is obscene.

"Russian intervention on behalf of Mideast Christians has pricked the conscience of many American evangelicals" -- that would be great. It's easier to imagine ameriKan funnymentalists responding with knee-jerk Russiaphobia. (I prefer the informed, principled kind :-)


USA! USA! USA! Bringing you democracy, or else! there were strains of VD that were incurable, and they were first found in the Philippines and then transmitted to the Korean working girls via US military. The 'incurables' we were told were first taken back to a military hospital in the Philippines to quietly die. – 4um

NeoconsNailed  posted on  2018-07-10   13:07:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: FormerLurker (#2)

Sadly most so-called Christians by definition probably would never be convicted in a court of God as being Christians. The religious so-called Christians have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof (Holy Spirit power) 2 Timothy 3:5-7

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. -

1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

- The kingdom of God is a spiritual place. It can NOT be seen without spiritual eyes and rebirth

John 3 3 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

24 For John was not yet cast into prison.

25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.

26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.

33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.

34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

King James Version (KJV) - God is Spirit.

John 4:24 King James Version (KJV)

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.


The physical world we live in was created by the Invisible.

To enter the kingdom of God requires belief, faith and repentance.

It CAN NOT BE SEEN NOR ENTERED INTO without surrendering to His Holy Spirit.

God is also Love. And not the world's kind of love.

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. - 10 Commandments? Mosaic Covenant?

All fulfilled by the Greatest Commandment:

1) a-Love God with all of yourself: spirit, soul and body

b- love your neighbor as yourself

Matthew 22:36-40

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

King James Version (KJV) - Who is my neighbor? Well, Jesus addressed that in Luke Chapter 10.


The Luciferian Rothschild Zionists once again exposed the carnal, mammon-loving so-called American Christians (and their heretic Scofield disciples) the world over on 911and since to believe that the Arab - Persian - African - Adian 'sand-n****r' 'g**k' 'raghead' etc Muhammadan (or not) is the enemy and that the ever-hating-God-especially-Christ-the-Messiah-and-Christians so-called Jews are somehow always right, never wrong, allowed to run amok on the planet as Satan's favorite pets.


Revelation Ch 2 v 9

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Revelation Ch 3 v 9

9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

"Define yourself as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion."—Brennan Manning

Rotara  posted on  2018-07-10   13:07:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Ada (#0)

Look how they are treated in America - it's ALWAYS about Israel and the Jews:

“With the exception of Whites, the rule among the peoples of the world, whether residing in their homelands or settled in Western democracies, is ethnocentrism and moral particularism: they stick together and good means what is good for their ethnic group."
-Alex Kurtagic

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X-15  posted on  2018-07-10   21:28:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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