Christianity in Europe is dying out, says Russian Orthodox leader | Interface Institute

Metropolitan Hilarion has called Christians to unite in fighting the imminent death of Christianity in Europe. He also stated that Christians in the region “must keep on defending their values and heed the cries of the persecuted and suffering believers” throughout the world.

Source: Christianity in Europe is dying out, says Russian Orthodox leader | Interface Institute

Metropolitan Hilarion called for unity between and among Christians:

“Christians in Europe must strive to defend their values ​​on which the continent has been built for centuries, and listen to the lamentations and sufferings of Christians from all over the globe,” he continued.

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Multiculturalism Is Splintering the West

Multiculturalism is leading to the “partition,” the separation of European societies.

Source: Multiculturalism Is Splintering the West

Anyone who claims to be surprised by this is either lying, or has had their head in the sand for years. As I have commented more than once, in this and other fora, a proper multiculturalism is a recognition of the rights of diverse peoples to pursue their own destinies within their respective historical, cultural, and geographic spheres, both honouring and preserving the distinctiveness of cultures (while allowing for trade and legitimate cultural exchange). “Multiculturalism” defined as the enforced mingling of cultures cannot be anything but divisive and damaging, especially to the “host” (imposed-upon) cultures.

In the field of ecology, one often speaks of invasive aliens: plants and animals that move (or are brought) into an area to which they are not native, and in which they often choke out the indigenous flora and fauna, ultimately leading to a decrease of diversity in the ecosystem – even though their presence may have appeared, temporarily, to increase its diversity. Examples abound, and include multiflora rose, autumn olive, Japanese stiltgrass, water hyacinth, and the infamous kudzu in the plant kingdom, and starlings, European sparrows, nutria, mute swans, and Asian carp in the animal kingdom.

Why are we not able to comprehend that this principle applies equally to human ecosystems?

Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev – Aleteia

Participating in a London conference on the topic of “The Christian Future of Europe,” Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the External Relations Departments of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, spoke on September 22 at the Russian Embassy to Great Britain, and his talk was something of a warning to the Churches of the West.

Source: Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev – Aleteia

Excerpts from Metropolitan Hilarion’s speech:

“I would like to remind you all that in Russia before 1917 nobody ever proposed that the collapse of a centuries-old Christian empire would happen and that it would be replaced by an atheistic totalitarian regime. And even when that did happen, few believed that it was serious and for long.

“The modern-day decline of Christianity in the western world may be compared to the situation in the Russian Empire before 1917.

“The revolution and the dramatic events which followed it have deep spiritual, as well as social and political, reasons. Over many years the aristocracy and intelligentsia had abandoned the faith, and were then followed by common people.”

He also added,

“And when half a century after the creation of the European Union its constitution was being written, it would have been natural for the Christian Churches to expect that the role of Christianity as one of the European values to have been included in this document, without encroaching upon the secular nature of the authorities in a unified Europe.

“But, as we know, this did not happen.

“The European Union, when writing its constitution, declined to mention its Christian heritage even in the preamble of the document.

“I firmly believe that a Europe which has renounced Christ will not be able to preserve its cultural and spiritual identity.”

I fear he is correct.

Would the world be a better place if Germany won World War 1? (Part 1) – YouTube

An interesting take on “alternate history”!

Many people either instinctively realize or have discovered through study that the defeat of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria) by the Allied Powers (Britain, France, Russia, and eventually the United States) – and especially the draconic surrender terms insisted upon by the French – led directly to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany, and everything that followed.

(World War One, of course, was a completely unnecessary and horribly destructive “brother’s war” which accomplished absolutely nothing positive and much to the contrary, and the negative effects of this debacle continue to ripple through Europe and the world on many levels to this day. But I digress…)

But what if the Central Powers had won? Not just attained a negotiated peace (which would almost certainly have happened, were it not for a violent Communist insurgency within the Fatherland itself which forced Germany to sue for peace – it strains both language and credulity to claim that Germany “lost” the war when its troops were inside enemy territory on all fronts), but actually won outright?

Unlikely, perhaps, but not inconceivable – especially if the United States had stayed out, as we would have been well-advised to do. Allied propaganda aside, would the world have been a worse place… or a better one? This videoPart 2, and Part 3 suggest that the latter scenario is the more likely. Despite my pride in my paternal grandfather, who fought for the U.S. in WW I, I am inclined to agree. These three videos (the second and third are embedded below) do a very good job, in my opinion, of explaining why.

London bombing shows danger of Islamification in Britain and Europe. Is the US next? | Fox News

The terrorist bombing Friday of a train on the London Underground, which injured 30 people – including one of my very close friends – was yet more evidence of a painful truth: the Islamification of the United Kingdom and Europe is well under way, changing the very character of the continent that gave birth to Western Civilization.

Source: London bombing shows danger of Islamification in Britain and Europe. Is the US next? | Fox News

This is indeed an excellent essay, and the fact that it is written by someone who was, herself, touched by the latest bombing in London – through a friend of hers, who was fortunate that when the bomb detonated in her train compartment, it did not go off properly. I strongly recommend that you “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” this essay!

But like most other writings on the subject of Islam, in her commendable zeal to protect religious liberty and avoid tarring with too broad a brush, Ms Davis misses a few important points.

She quotes the Brookings Institute definition of Islamism, which of course is quite accurate, as far as it goes. However, consider: any religion worth its salt believes that its “values should play a role in public life,” and that it “has things to say about how politics should be conducted, how the law should be applied, and how other people – not just themselves – should conduct themselves.” If it does not, it hardly qualifies as a religion at all: at best, it is some form of nebulous personal spirituality.

Certainly, Christianity has things to say about these issues. Buddhism (more so in the East than in the West, but in some places even here) has things to say about these issues. Hinduism and certainly Taoism have things to say about these issues. The difference lies in how those values are promoted and expressed, and what the religion in question sees as its ultimate role in society.

I don’t feel that I can speak authoritatively for the other religions mentioned, but I do believe that I can speak fairly authoritatively for Christianity, having degrees in medieval studies and theology and being an ordained Christian minister. And what I can say is that while Christianity has certainly not been immune to the temptations to power-politics and even violence that come from a too-close alliance with secular authorities, such things are foreign and even contrary to the teachings of the Christian faith itself.

The fundamental teachings of Christianity are encapsulated in Christ’s summary of the law: “Love the Lord your God… and your neighbor as yourself.” This concept is repeated and reinforced in such passages as “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,” and “a new commandment I give unto you: that you love one another.” Similar teachings appear in the writings of the Apostles, Christ’s successors after His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.

And his final instruction was to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Baptize. Not conquer. Not subjugate. Not kill. Baptize. That is a voluntary action: one must make a choice to receive the teachings, before baptism can take place (1). Nowhere is violence called for (2). Nowhere are Christians called to fight, kill, or make war against the “infidel.” Nowhere are they told to make non-Christians second-class citizens (dhimmi) who must die, convert, or admit they are inferior and pay protection money (jizya).

Beyond that, Christians are supposed to be the “leaven in the loaf” of the body politic, not its rulers and dominators. Christ was clear about this, stating “My kingdom is not of this world,” and instructing his listeners to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” His Apostles followed the same track, exhorting the early Christians to “honour the king,” and to obey the secular authorities, including the (then pagan) Roman Emperor. Christians were – and are – intended to seek to exert a positive influence on the actions of secular and political authorities by example and moral exhortation, not, as I say, domination and rulership.

So Christianity has, and God willing will continue to have, “things to say” about “how politics should be conducted, how the law should be applied, and how [people in general] should conduct themselves.” The important point is that the Christian faith itself – regardless of what deluded or over-zealous devotees may have done on their own initiative – does not teach that Christianity, or its followers, should politically dominate the world, and it does not teach violence as a way to spread its teachings. You can search the New Testament, and for that matter the Fathers of the Church (approximately corresponding to Islamic prophet Mohammed’s immediate successors), in vain for any such teachings.

And that is the point that so many otherwise intelligent and perceptive individuals – on both sides of the political aisle – consistently miss, or misunderstand: Islam is not just another religion. It does not merely believe that “its values should play a role in public life.” It does not simply have “things to say about how politics should be conducted, how the law should be applied, and how other people… should conduct themselves.” Would that that’s all it were! But it is not.

It is a religious / spiritual / theological justification for absolute dominance, conquest, and subjugation, in all realms: religious, political, judicial, economic, and military. One is either part of the Dar al-Islam, the Realm of Submission to Allah, or one is part of the Dar al-Harb, the Realm of Conflict, and thus subject to conquest so that submission to Allah may be enforced upon you. Those are the choices. And that is why the present contest between the West and Islam is a civilizational, existential conflict, whether one likes to think of it in those terms or not. Islam has not left us any choice in the matter.

All of that said: this is nonetheless a cogent and timely article, and an important warning for us, here in the U.S. It is well worth a read! Just don’t let yourself get caught up into too erroneous concepts, which this otherwise superb essay implicitly accepts: a) that Islam / Islamism is just a religion, and that b) no other religion has, or should have, things to say to and about the rest of (secular) society.

Personally, as The Anglophilic Anglican, I am heartsick at what is happening in Britain, and I pray it’s not too late to reverse it. But it will take some doing, and it may take sterner measures than people nowadays have the stomach for, unfortunately.

I also pray that we may resist this evil – and yes, it is an evil, both Islam and its Sharia law, and the loss of Western values, ideals, and the history and heritage of our Western civilization to Islam – here in the United States. Better not to let it gain any more of a foothold than it already has, rather than trying to get the camel back out once it’s already in the tent!


 

(1) Yes, I know there were some mass, forced baptisms in the course of the conversion of Europe. But those were the exceptions rather than the rule; they were done by secular rulers for primarily political purposes; and they were clearly contrary to the teachings of the Christian faith. Everyone has sinned and fallen short, and Christians are no exceptions.

(2) Christ’s most violent action was to make a whip of knotted cords and drive the money changers out of the Temple, turning over their tables. Not, please note, killing them! And when he exhorts his disciples that “let he who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one,” and is told they have two swords (for twelve disciples) he says, “It is enough.” When one of them actually uses his sword, cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s servant, Christ heals him. Contrast that to the actions of the Prophet of Islam and tell me there is moral equivalency between the two!

Does Immigration Mean The End Of Western Civilization?

“In the long term, Europe can either prefer its own civilization and culture, and defend it, or capitulate to another. But it cannot… absorb masses of unassimilated members of another culture and expect to survive. It will be changed forever, and the change will be in the direction of the immigrants’ way of life, and away from that of the native-born. This is a difficult truth to accept in our egalitarian age.”

Source: Does Immigration Mean The End Of Western Civilization?

The situation is, of course, most critical for Europe. But if Europe falls, it is unlikely that America will be far behind.

The Greeks really do have near-mythical origins, ancient DNA reveals | Science | AAAS

Ever since the days of Homer, Greeks have long idealized their Mycenaean “ancestors” in epic poems and classic tragedies that glorify the exploits of Odysseus, King Agamemnon, and other heroes who went in and out of favor with the Greek gods.

Although these Mycenaeans were fictitious, scholars have debated whether today’s Greeks descend from the actual Mycenaeans, who created a famous civilization that dominated mainland Greece and the Aegean Sea from about 1600 B.C.E. to 1200 B.C.E., or whether the ancient Mycenaeans simply vanished from the region.

Now, ancient DNA suggests that living Greeks are indeed the descendants of Mycenaeans, with only a small proportion of DNA from later migrations to Greece…

Source: The Greeks really do have near-mythical origins, ancient DNA reveals | Science | AAAS

The title of this piece is a touch misleading, in that it may seem to imply that the ancient Greeks really were descended from the gods, or at least their heroes were. But although the truth is somewhat more prosaic, it is no less interesting!

In addition to the usefulness to historians, archaeologists, mythologists, and students of literature of confirming that there was and is a Mycenaean – and indeed, Minoan – connection with modern Greeks, and a very significant one, this also is further evidence that ancient myths and legends, originally carried down through the oral traditions of a people and only later put to writing, may nonetheless have striking validity.

This is not news to many of us, of course; but it may be to others, who have bought into the popular misrepresentation of “myth” as a synonym for “fallacy.” Leaving aside the 19th centuries discoveries of such men as the highly controversial Heinrich Schliemann (Troy) and the brilliant but political Arthur Evans (Minoan Crete), it is remarkable how many biblical accounts have been either confirmed or at least rendered markedly more probable by archaeological discoveries.

Nowadays, it seems that genetics is following in those hallowed footsteps!