Mor Gabriel Monastery
Some of you may have received information from Abba Seraphim regarding the dangerous threat to the continued existence of the Syriac Orthodox Monastery of Mor Gabriel near Midyat, south-eastern Turkey.
Briefly, a number of local landowners and politicians have laid claim to the Monastery's lands and, despite legal documents that prove that the Monastery's land and properties are owned by the Syriac Orthodox Church, the false claimants have been allowed to relentlessly pursue the matter in the courts. They have also issued false accusations of illegal activities within the Monastery and the local Bishop Mor Timotheos Samuel Aktas has been summoned to appear in court several times during December (including Christmas Eve) in order to answer to the "crimes" which include praying and religious teaching (!) The local community is also under threat of physical violence.
In order to help forestall further calamitous human rights abuses in Turkey I ask everyone to:
1/ Pray for the continued survival of Mor Gabriel Monastery, and pray that the Holy Spirit may grant us the grace of enough faith the size of a mustard seed to achieve this aim;
2/ Contact your local MP and MEPS detailing the situation and asking for action;
3/ Write letters to every serious national newspaper - the more they receive the better - detailing the plight of the Monastery;
4/ Contact every local Church of whatever demonination asking for prayer.
I also know that not so long ago Prince Charles was in Tur Abdin and met Bishop Timotheos Samuel Aktas. It would be good to get the Prince involved, though, because of my hobnail boots and flat cap I have no idea how to do this!
Again, I ask all of you to help save this jewel of Christian witness.