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Indian Orthodox Church donate to help Syrian refugees

DUBAI: A delegation of representatives of seven Indian Orthodox Churches in the UAE met Emirates Red Crescent officials in Dubai and handed over Dhs115,000 worth of goods.

The community donation for the UAE Compassion Tarahamu campaign included blankets, foodstuffs and warm clothes.

The UAE Compassion Tarahamu campaign was launched to provide relief to thousands of Syrian refugees in the Levant who are exposed to blizzard and freezing winter in make-shift tents with inadequate facilities.

The Supreme Head of Indian Malankara Orthodox Church and Catholicose of All The East Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II had instructed all church members in the UAE to actively participate by putting heart and soul in the campaign launched as per the directives of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and reiterated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Mohammed Abdullah Alhaj Al Zaroni, Manager of Dubai Office of Emirates Red Crescent, and his team of officials and volunteers received the delegation headed by Rev. Father Shaji Mathew, Vicar of St Thomas Orthodox Church in Dubai, at the Red Crescent headquarters in Umm Ramool in Dubai on Sunday.

The other members of the delegation were Jacob Mathew, Managing Committee Member, MM Kuriakose, Trustee, Thomas Joseph, Secretary, CG Babu and Dr KC Cheriyan.

A short documentary on the relief work under by the Emirates Red Crescent in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries was screened for the delegation.

Al Zaroni thanked the delegation for the contribution made by over 30,000 church followers in the UAE following the call made by Supreme Head of Indian Malankara Orthodox Church and Catholicose of All The East Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II.

Rev. Father Shaji Mathew told the Red Crescent team about the enthusiastic response to the campaign by the Indian Orthodox Churches in the UAE. He said an encyclical by the Primate was read out in all Indian Orthodox Churches in UAE during the Friday worship and they adored the magnanimous efforts of the UAE leaders in humanitarian activities like the UAE Compassion campaign.

The delegation praised the noble humanitarian values of the UAE and its wise leadership which undertakes acts of tolerance, peace and humanitarianism among those in distress around the world and helping the needy and disadvantaged people without distinction of race, religion, gender or affiliation.

He recalled that Supreme Head of Indian Malankara Orthodox Church and Catholicose of All The East Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II had praised the religious tolerance and freedom in the UAE contributing towards making the UAE an oasis of peace and stability, at a time when many countries in the region are witnessing conflicts.

He pointed out that the UAE was a model for the world in terms of tolerance and religious freedom and coexistence between different religions and nationalities.

Source: The Gulf Today

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Barack Obama takes in grand Republic Day parade

Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama watch the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (Source: PTI photo)
Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama watch the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (Source: PTI photo)

NEW DELHI: President Barack Obama on Monday took in a grand display of Indian Military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels, becoming the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day festivities.

The crowd erupted in cheers as Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama, emerged from his armored limousine and took his place on the rain-soaked parade route in the capital of New Delhi. The parade was the centerpiece of Obama’s three-day visit to India, which is aimed at strengthening a relationship between the world’s largest democracies that has at times been fraught with tension and suspicion.

Obama’s attendance at the Republic Day celebrations was unlike any other event he has participated in during his overseas travel as president. He spent about two hours on an outdoor viewing platform, an unusual amount of time given Secret Service security concerns.

Republic Day marks the anniversary of India’s democratic constitution taking force in 1950. Beyond the show of military power, the parade included ornate floats highlighting India’s cultural diversity. Obama gave a thumbs-up to the acrobatic balancing act of several groups of men on motorbikes while Mrs. Obama smiled broadly at dance performance by young children.

Following the parade, the Obamas was to attend a reception along with dignitaries at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the sprawling presidential palace.

Obama said Modi’s “strong personal commitment to the US-India relationship gives us an opportunity to further energize these efforts.” And the Indian leader declared that “the chemistry that has brought Barack and me closer has also brought Washington and Delhi closer.”

Obama was to close the visit Tuesday with a speech to young people. He had planned to tour the Taj Mahal, India’s famed white marble monument of love, but scrapped that stop and instead will go to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to the royal family following King Abdullah’s death

Source: Associated Press

Editorial Features

Incarnation: a theodicean perspective

Our thesis is that the incarnation of Christ our Lord, the second Person of the Holy Trinity is an ultimate act of love which continues until He reaches the sufferings of crucifixion and gives up His life for the redemption of humanity. The Triune God consisting of three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is love and He can never be but love. His salvific activities for the sake of humanity are the ultimate expression of His substance in which love is ontologically identical to Himself. The purpose of this rather lengthy treatise is to investigate the notion of Godhead in different religions and find what makes the Christian God so unique that He is concerned about the human race that He became incarnate to deal with its afflictions. Our primary focus is the essence or substance of God, and love of God, which is substantially identical with Himself. In this season it is proper to study the tremendous love that was instrumental behind His incarnation.

For several years as a professor of philosophy this writer had the opportunity to teach the science of theodicy, which is a subdivision of metaphysics, one of the three major branches of philosophy; being the holder of one of the ranks of Orthodox Christian ministry, he loved to explore the theological ramifications of theodicy and teach it.

There are three types of religions in the philosophy of religion; natural religions, artificial religions and revealed religions. All these different religious groups have different approaches to the notion of Godhead.

Natural religions are those religions that were naturally formed by the human craving for a higher being which is supposed to protect men from inclement or unfavorable climates, natural calamities, diseases, and conditions which are generally beyond their control. Thus we have all the tribal and basic religions of Africa, Native American religions, and ancient Indo-European religions from which a much more sophisticated, and sometimes flavored with metaphysical undercurrents, Hinduism developed. Hinduism is a combination of pantheism and polytheism. Modern Hindu reformers want to defend Hinduism as a one-god religion when classical Hinduism according to their books and practice tells the contrary.

Artificial religions, by their very name, are those adapted by their proponents through an eclectic approach by fusing important tenets of more than one major religion; e.g, Manichaeism, Gnosticism, Bahai, Sikhism, Scientology, Theosophy, Christian Science, etc.

Revealed religions are those that are claimed to be revealed by their founders and adherents. They are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The members of these religions do believe that their religion is the only revealed religion, and the claims of any other revealed religion, which they do not believe in, are false. For example a Muslim believes that Islam is a revealed religion, and that it is the ultimate revelation through their prophet Mohammed. Islam, however, does accept a partially revealed nature of Judaism and Christianity, and teaches that Judaism and Christianity became corrupted. On the other hand, Judaism has no room for recognition of Christianity and Islam as revealed religions. It positively does not accord divine legitimacy to either Christianity or Islam. Christianity, which developed as the perfection of Judaism, totally accepts the revelation received by the ancient patriarch Abraham, and thereafter by the Hebrew prophets, and