FOUR Orthodox Churches burn all on Orthodox Easter

Three Orthodox Churches torched in three cities on Orthodox Easter

New York:

Today, this fire was “deemed suspicious”

Fire officials say a raging fire that has damaged the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in Midtown Manhattan has been deemed suspicious for now, though the investigation is continuing.

The fire started at about 7 p.m. Sunday, just hours after its Orthodox worshippers celebrated Easter, and sent plumes of smoke billowing into the city’s skyline.

“We had a very heavy volume of fire on arrival, which is always a concern,” said Deputy Assistant Fire Chief Mike Gala at the scene. “We deemed the fire suspicious.”

The blaze was largely extinguished three hours later, but firefighters had to beat back small pockets of flames. The fire gutted the building and destroyed the church’s roof and stained glass.


Authorities in Melbourne and Sydney investigating Orthodox church fires

Australia’s second oldest Greek Orthodox church has been saved, but a Macedonian Orthodox church was gutted

Firefighters survey the scene of a fire at the Annunciation of Our Lady Greek Orthodox Church in Melbourne.
 Firefighters survey the scene of a fire at the Annunciation of Our Lady Greek Orthodox Church in Melbourne. Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

Authorities in Melbourne and Sydney are investigating fires in two Orthodox churches.

Australia’s second oldest Greek Orthodox church has been saved after a fire broke out in Melbourne, a day after Orthodox Easter celebrations. The cause of the fire at the 115-year-old Holy Church of Annunciation of Our Lady in East Melbourne on Monday afternoon is still under investigation.

RUSSIA: Fire rages at Russia’s revered Valaam monastery

A reader sent in a very likely explanation:

Lecture 5: The Serbian Revolution and the Serbian State

When fighting resumed at Easter in 1815, Milos became supreme leader of the new revolt. He advocated a policy of restraint: captured Ottoman soldiers were not killed and civilians were released. His announced goal was not independence but an end to abusive misrule. Wider European events now helped the Serb cause. The final defeat of Napoleon in 1815 raised Turkish fears that Russia might again intervene in Turkey. To avoid this the sultan agreed to make Serbia autonomous. The specific terms of the settlement addressed many of the original complaints of 1804:

1) taxes were precisely defined and would be collected by Serb officials without Turkish involvement;

2) all janissaries were excluded and the Turkish garrison or administrators were confined to a few fortress towns;

3) Serbian merchants gained the right to travel freely and conduct business anywhere in the Ottoman Empire;

4) there was an amnesty and Serbs kept their arms;



About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

3 Replies to “FOUR Orthodox Churches burn all on Orthodox Easter”

  1. Given the way the Moslems want to attack on historically significant dates this is probably the best explanation. Since the attacks were based on defeats of the last Caliphate the most probable group to make these attacks is the new Caliphate. This pretty much limits the suspect list to ISIS or one of the nations supporting them.

  2. NYPost: Coordinated attack feared after massive cathedral blaze
    The historic Manhattan cathedral that was gutted in a massive fire was one of four Christian Orthodox churches to go up in flames on Orthodox Easter Sunday — sparking fears of a coordinated attack on the religion.

    While FDNY officials said the blaze at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava on West 25th Street does not appear suspicious, members of the Orthodox community have doubts.

    They are worried that the blaze — along with church fires in Australia and Russia — were set in retaliation for the religion’s role in blocking the canonization of Croatian Nazi supporter Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac — whose potential sainthood has created a rift between Serbia and Croatia, with the leaders of each lobbying Pope Francis.

    Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic discussed the issue in a visit to the Vatican in early April, while Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic made his case last September.

    Francis decided last week to postpone the ceremony for Stepinac, prompting concerns about potential retaliation.

    “Too many churches have burned to call it an accident,” said Dr. Dušan T. Batakovi?, a former Serbian ambassador who is now director of the Institute for Balkan Studies in Belgrade.

    “It is very strange that it happened, that the fires all took place on Easter, the greatest Christian Orthodox holiday,” he said. “Some kind of terrorist action cannot be excluded.”

    In addition to the fire that engulfed St. Sava, churches in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, and in northern Russia were all engulfed in flames just hours after Easter services.

    “Within the last six months, the Serbian church was urging Pope Francis not to canonize into a saint Cardinal Stepinac, for his complicity in the large-scale massacres and genocide against the Serbs, Jews and Roma [Gypsies],” Batakovi? said.

    “Despite protests from the Croatian church, the pope postponed the decision of making Stepinac a saint, and there is a lot of anger, because he is considered as one of the key church members in the Croatian history.”

    In a letter to Francis, Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej said, “We are afraid that there are too many open questions and wounds which Cardinal Stepinac symbolizes.

    “His canonization, to our great regret, would return the relations between Serbs and Croats, as well as between Catholics and Orthodox faithful, back to their tragic history.”

    Barry Lituchy, executive director of the Jasenovac Research Institute, a Brooklyn-based human-rights nonprofit, told The Post he has been bombarded with calls from worried Orthodox community members.

    “This is a terrible tragedy, and the thought that this is an attack has not escaped us,” he said. “This deeply affects everyone in the Serbian community.”

    In Sydney, fire reduced the Macedonian Orthodox Church of the Resurrection to rubble, rending the 126-year-old sanctuary in two, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
    In Melbourne, the 115-year-old Holy Church of Annunciation of Our Lady, a Greek Orthodox church, was heavily damaged by a fire that was contained to the roof, authorities said.

    In Russia, some 70 parishioners were evacuated from the historic Valaam Monastery in Lake Ladoga after it caught fire during their Easter celebration.

    Lituchy said investigators need to take a close look at recent Catholic-Orthodox relations when trying to determine what may have caused the fires in Australia and Russia.

    He added that during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s — when the Serbs fought the Croatians in the former Yugoslavia — threats were made against the Cathedral of St. Sava.

    The church also had deep financial troubles and is battling a major Manhattan developer over a $100 million project that fell through two years ago.

    St. Sava had seemingly found an angel to rescue its congregation and crumbling 1850 landmark building from financial ruin in May 2014, when it struck a deal with Madison Equities.

    Under its terms, the firm would get a $100 million, 99-year lease to build a commercial building on an adjacent lot in exchange for paying rent and $250,000 to repair the church.

    But the developer found that it would have to pay an “exorbitant” $13.5 million real estate broker’s fee — six times the market rate — to a third party called TenantWise to ink the deal, court papers show.

    Madison Equities sued to void the deal and sought $500,000 to recoup the repair payment and other costs.

    A judge tossed the developer’s case in January, finding the firm was aware of TenantWise’s involvement in the leasing of the church’s land. The developer is appealing.

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