Eighteen months after the Turkish government seized control of the largest Armenian cathedral in the Middle East, secretly taken photographs inside Diyarbakir’s Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church reveal considerable damage to the sanctuary and walls of the now desecrated church in southeast Turkey.

Published by The Armenian Weekly, the exclusive photographs taken this past July expose broken and sandbagged windows, one defaced crucifix, a massive hole poking through one outer wall, the removal of pews and worship utensils, empty altars, and some chipped columns. Only a few up-ended wooden pews can be seen, with no worship utensils or sacramental hangings in sight.

“So the church is really naked,” a source in Diyarbakir told World Watch Monitor.

The cathedral is located in the predominantly Kurdish city’s Sur district, which was heavily demolished in nearly a year of fierce fighting that broke out in late 2015 between the Turkish military and militants of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

Continue reading at worldwatchmonitor.org.


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The Seraph could not touch the fire's coal with his fingers, but just brought it close to Isaiah's mouth: the Seraph did not hold it, Isaiah did not consume it, but us our Lord has allowed to do both. 

St. Ephraim the Syrian