Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Grand Junction, Colorado

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (AD 73)
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (AD 1922)
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver (AD 1979)

METROPOLIS OF DENVER
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The First-Century Christian Church for 21st-Century America!
Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Reverend Luke Uhl, Presiding Priest
3585 North 12th Street
Grand Junction, Colorado 81506
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Parish phone: 970-242-9590
Father Luke e-mail: fr.luke@denver.goarch.org
Pray for Persecuted Christians!
The Arabic letter “ن” is pronounced “nun,” and is equivalent to the letter “N” in our English alphabet.

In lands controlled by the Islamic State, this Arabic letter “ن” is the modern day equivalent to the Star of David “” which was once used by German Nazis to mark the homes and businesses of Jews in Germany and in the lands they conquered.

Likewise, in lands controlled and conquered by the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL, ISIS, and DAESH), this symbol, ن, is used to target the homes and businesses of Christians marked for expulsion and obliteration.

The Arabic letter “ن” (“N”) stands for the Arabic word الناصري (Nasrani, which means “Nazarene”). It thus signifies that the residents and owners of homes and business so marked are followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and therefore Christians. Once marked in this fashion, they are singled out for persecution, and given the simple choice: convert, submit or die.

Since the rise of the so-called Islamic State, many gruesome stories have surfaced depicting the barbarity of this terrorist organization. Its horrific acts of violence have included summary executions, beheadings, and even crucifixion of their opponents.

Their behavior finally received the international attention and condemnation it deserves following the videotaped decapitations of three Western hostages in 2014, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

As an example of just how drastic the persecution – actually, to be more precise, the genocide and ethnic cleansing – by ISIS has been, consider the fact that during the battles between the Islamic State, insurgents, and government forces in Syria the population of Christians steadily declined, from 1,250,000 in 2011 to less than 500,000 in 2016.

Unfortunately, the plight of one minority being set upon in particular, but not exclusively, by the Islamic State has yet to become the subject of appropriate outrage around the world. Christian men, women and children are being rounded up, raped, robbed and murdered by these and other jihadists across much of the Middle East just because of their faith.

Orthodox Christianity absolutely deplores and condemns discrimination against, and persecution of, any human being for any reason: race, gender, culture, or faith. We unreservedly believe in, and support the universal human right to freedom of expression and freedom to practice one’s faith.

Orthodox Christians call on all men and women of good will – from each and every religious faith, persuasion, and belief – to join in a universal struggle against discrimination. In particular we call upon all people to become aware of the present persecution against Christians in the Middle East and in Africa, as well as in other regions of the world.

Let us consider, and never forget, the immortal words of Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), a prominent Protestant clergyman who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Please click on the following links for more information about contemporary Christian persecution:

U.S. Commission on International Religious Fredom: “2016 Annual Report (April 2016)
http://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/USCIRF%202016%20Annual%20Report.pdf

Wikipedia: “Persecution of Christians”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians

Open Doors USA: “Christian Persecution”
https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/

USA Today (US): “Persecution of Christians isn't rare: Franklin Graham” (May 2017)
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/05/07/christian-persecution-world-egypt-iraq-mexico-column/101279550/

National Catholic Reporter (US): “Global persecution of Christians is 'growing worse than ever'” (April 2017)
https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/global-persecution-christians-growing-worse-ever

Fox News (US): “Christian persecution seen in more locations across the globe, new report shows” (February 2017)
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/02/christian-persecution-seen-in-more-locations-across-globe-new-report-shows.html

Fox News (US): “Christians the most persecuted group in world for second year: Study” (January 2017)
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/01/06/christians-most-persecuted-group-in-world-for-second-year-study.html

CNN (US): “Christian persecution reached record high in 2015, report says” (January 2016)
http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/17/world/christian-persecution-2015/

The Guardian (UK): “Dying for Christianity: millions at risk amid rise in persecution across the globe” (July 2015)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/27/dying-for-christianity-millions-at-risk-amid-rise-in-persecution-across-the-globe

Independent (UK): “Christians: The world's most persecuted people” (July 2014)
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/christians-the-worlds-most-persecuted-people-9630774.html

HuffPost (US): “The Most Persecuted Religion in the World” (undated)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-james-clark/christianity-most-persecuted-religion_b_2402644.html


Rome, First Century
Persecution of Christians
in the Roman Empire

Soviet 1918, Moscow
The Taboo Crucifixion
of the Russian Orthodox Church

Soviet 1919, Moscow
Religion in the Soviet Union:
An Archival Reader

Soviet 1926, Solovetsky
The Church
and the Terror State

Soviet 1937, Butovo
Бутовский полигон:
лекарство от коммунизма

Soviet 1937, Butovo
Synaxis of the
New Martyrs of Butovo

Serbia 1942
The Croatian
Jasenovac Extermination Camp

Bangladesh 2011
Village Burned, Muslim Settlers
Force Out Tribal Christians

World 2013
Millions of People Victims
of Religious Conflicts in 2013

Crete 2013
Churches Vandalized
and Icons Burned in Crete

Crete 2013
Orthodox Church on Crete
Desecrated by Neo-Pagans

Israel 2013
Christian Gravestones in Jerusalem
Destroyed by Israeli Extremists

Israel 2013
Attack on Jerusalem Graves
Unnerves Christians

Nigeria 2013
Slaughter and Torture of Christians
Not a Priority for UK Government

Syria 2013
Over 60 Churches and Monasteries
Destroyed in Syria

Syria 2013
Syrian Christians Flee
Kidnappings, Rape, and Executions

Syria 2013
Mass Grave Found
in Freed Syrian Christian Village

Syria 2013
Sombre Ecumenical Service
for Four Children Killed in Damascus

Syria 2013
Islamist Rebels Abduct 12 Nuns
from Orthodox Monastery in Maaloula

Syria 2013
Militants Burn Down Church
in Tel Abyad, Syria

World 2014
OCN Reports: “Persecution of Christians:
What You Should Know”

World 2014
Growing Religious Persecution
Threatens Everyone

World 2014
As-Safir on the History of the
Persecution of Middle Eastern Christians

Middle East 2014
Barbarism 2014:
On Religious Cleansing by Islamists

Australia 2014
Vandals Desecrate Graves
in Sydney Cemetery

China 2014
Christian Persecution
in China

Croatia 2014
Ustasha Graffiti
on Serbian Orthodox Church

Iraq 2014
Militants Intend to Destroy
all Churches in Mosul

Iraq 2014
Thousands of Christians Flee
as ISIS Militants Burn, Loot Mosul Churches

Iraq 2014
The Cleansing of Nineveh Christians
is Entering its End Game

Iraq 2014
ISIS Begins Persecuting
Christians in Mosul

Iraq 2014
Killing, Violence and Destruction
of Mosul Churches Under ISIS Caliphate

Iraq 2014
Wiping Out Syrian and Iraqi Christians
to Remap the Middle East

Iraq 2014
ISIS Behead Four Children in Iraq
After They Refuse to Convert to Islam

Iraq 2014
90% of Iraqi Orthodox Christians Displaced
30 of 600 Baghdad Orthodox Families Remain

Iraq 2014
ISIS Beheads Christians
but Nobody Believes it

Kosovo 2014
KLA Graffiti
in Zociste Monastery Yard

Syria 2014
ISIL Crucifies
Eight Rival Fighters

Turkey 2014
Orthodox Church Vandalized
in Istanbul

West Africa 2014
A Faith Under Siege
in West Asia

Croatia 2015
Vandals Desecrate
Serbian Orthodox Church in Karlovci

Serbia 2015
KLA Graffiti on
Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Prizren

World 2017
Christians the Most-Persecuted Group
in World for Second Year
Email: fr.luke@denver.goarch.org
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