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Author Topic: St.George Indian Orthodox Church in New York Vandalized  (Read 1981 times) Average Rating: 0
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High Elder
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« on: April 24, 2008, 12:56:34 PM »

Link  http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/1208688343309320.xml&col\l=1

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- For the past few years, the congregants at the nation's first Malankara Orthodox church have kept relatively quiet about what they call a pattern of vandalism, harassment, and other abuse at their quiet Indian parish.

But when they showed up yesterday afternoon to find broken glass and rocks littering the pews and the floor in front of their altar, and two side windows smashed, the leaders of the St. George Malankara Orthodox Church in New Dorp Beach decided they'd seen too much.

"What we need is protection. This kind of action should not happen," said Babu Philip, the church's treasurer.

Two summers ago, someone slapped a swastika sticker on one of the outside walls of the Cedar Grove Avenue house of worship, and rather than make an issue of it, the church's leaders said they just painted it over.

Vandals frequently throw eggs at the church, and once, piled up meat and chicken outside the front door, they said.

And earlier this year, during an evening prayer service, three men burst into the church, and blew an air horn "while the worship was going on," said Varughese Mathew, a member of the church board of trustees. "Hundreds of people were inside."

They called the police, but a witness wrote down the wrong license plate number, and the car was long gone when cops showed up.

Two small metal pellets, likely from a pellet gun, rest inside one window frame from another incident, one of them rusted, another still uncorroded.

"Imagine, when they used the pellet gun, if some people were standing there, what would have happened?" said Jacob Mathew, the church's former treasurer. "Being a Christian, forget and forgive, what can we do? But how are we going to forget and forgive on this thing?"

Though they don't know the exact motive, the church officials feel bias may be at the root of the various incidents.

"Because we are different," said Jacob Thomas Vilayil, noting that some members of the congregation have been harassed and mocked in the parking lot across the street from the church.

He added, "We actually believe in the same Christian faith."

The Malankara Orthodox Church traces its roots back to 52 A.D., when the apostle Thomas traveled to India to establish Christianity there.

St. Thomas Christians, also known as Syrian Christians, exist in several denominations, but the majority belong to the Malankara Orthodox Church, which has its headquarters in Kerala State.

The Cedar Grove Avenue church was purchased in 1980 and consecrated during a service on June 8 of that year. It was the first church building owned by a Malankara Orthodox Church of India in the Western Hemisphere.

The congregation began with just seven families, and has since grown to close to 100 families and about 450 members.

John Annese is a news reporter for the Advance. He may be reached at annese@siadvance.com.

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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2008, 01:03:23 PM »

Lord have mercy.
Christ warned us we would be hated and persecuted for His sake.

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
I am not a pessimist - I'm just grimly realistic!
High Elder
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If only my family were this normal !

« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 01:35:49 PM »

It can't pay for the damage or change the hateful actions of the person(s) doing this, but I think the congregation would feel like they are not alone if other Orthodox Churches (Eastern & Oriental Orthodox) would send them cards of encouragement signed by their parishioners.  If we are going to be one united Orthodox Church, the hurts done to one of our members affect us all. 

On the spiritual path somewhere between the Simpsons and St. Theophan the Recluse, but I still can't see the Springfield city limits sign yet.
Fr. George
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May the Lord bless you and keep you always!

« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 01:36:41 PM »

Bunch of savages in this town.

May the Lord, who voluntarily went forth for His Passion and Death, have mercy on the faithful, the perpetrators, and the whole world.

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 01:45:49 PM »

Lord, have mercy.

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 02:20:55 PM »

Lord have mercy on the Malankaran Orthodox and may the hearts of the cowardly tormentors be convicted so they repent.

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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2008, 07:26:06 PM »

Shameful what they did....God forgive them,,,,,
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2008, 07:29:06 PM »

Lord have mercy.

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2008, 08:06:46 PM »

Lord have mercy.

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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2008, 03:15:04 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2008, 01:15:18 AM »

Thank you GM , for posting the link.
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