Dragi crestini, Poate multi suntem deja la curent cu ce se-ntampla in Orientul Mijlociu, acolo unde crestinii devin martiri pentru Biserica lui Hristos in zone extrem de greu-incercate: Irak si Siria. Prin intermediul Patriarhiei din Antiohia, parohiile romanesti au primit un strigat disperat de comuniune in rugaciune, mesaj redat mai jos: "Dear All, I have received these two emails from our missionary friends, one yesterday and one this morning. I just wanted to pass it on so that as many people as possible can pray specifically for our brothers and sisters. Much love and blessings This is so sad... A friend just got a text message from her brother asking her to shower him and his parish in prayer. He is part of a mission and ISIS has taken over the town they are in today. He said ISIS is systematically going house to house to all the Christians and asking the children to denounce Jesus. He said so far not one child has. And so far all have consequently been killed. But not the parents. The UN has withdrawn and the missionaries are on their own. They are determined to stick it out for the sake of the families - even if it means their own deaths. He is very afraid, has no idea how to even begin ministering to these families who have seen their children martyred. Yet he says he knows God has called him for some reason to be his voice and hands at this place at this time. Even so, he is begging prayers for his courage to live out his vocation in such dire circumstances. And like the children accept martyrdom if he is called to do so. She asked me to ask everyone we know to please pray for them. These brave parents instilled such a fervent faith in their children that they chose martyrdom. Please surround them in their loss with your prayers for hope and perseverance. She was able to talk to her brother briefly by phone. She didn't say it but I believe she believes it will be their last conversation. Pray for her too. She said he just kept asking her to help him know what to do and do it. She told him to tell the families we ARE praying for them and they are not alone or forgotten -- no matter what. Her e mail broke my heart. Please keep all in your prayers. Thanks This came this morning... Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts. "We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food too. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated it's staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!" Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region. May I plead with you not to ignore this email. Do not forward it before you have prayed through it. Then send it to as many people as possible. Send it to friends and Christians you may know. Send it to your prayer group. Send it to your pastor and phone him/her to pray on Sunday during the service - making a special time of prayer for this. We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians." Biserica Ortodoxa Romana nu a ramas indiferenta la suferinta fratilor nostri din Irak si Siria, astfel ca pe tot cuprinsul Patriarhiei Romane s-au organizat colecte prin intermediul parohiilor. La indemnul Mitropoliei Europei Occidentale si Meridionale, parohia noastra a contribuit din fondul parohial cu suma de 150£. Totusi crestinii ortodocsi din aceste zone, au nevoie mai ales de rugaciunea noastra comuna pentru ca Milostivul Dumnezeu sa-i intareasca in aceste grele incercari, dar mai ales in ultimul moment al vietii lor, multi dintre ei devenind deja martiri pentru Hristos si Biserica. Astfel in parohia noastra se vor savarsi rugaciuni de izbavire pentru acesti crestini dupa urmatorul program: 1) In fiecare Duminica, in timpul Sfintei Liturghii, incepand cu ora 10.30; 2) In fiecare zi de Miercuri, in timpul Slujbei Acatist, incepand cu ora 18.00; Dumnezeu sa-i intareasca si sa-i ocroteasca pe acesti martiri!