Tag Archives: Holland

United Congregational Church plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center

In Europe we find that many Christian Churches which have not enough members any more to fill their churches and to cover their costs for keeping those churches open have to close them down and sell them. Many Christian churches in Holland are sold to private owners to give them different apartments or shops, or are finding a new use as community centre, library or theatre.

Perhaps in the States the churches are also facing a similar problem. One of the oldest and historic Christian Churches in Bridgeport, CT, The United Congregational Church said Monday it plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church, built in the 1920s, to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center for $1 million.

The two groups will also form a partnership to provide community programs including soup kitchen and a homeless shelter from the site of the current church.

In recent years, more Muslim communities across the U.S. have begun to engage in the types of fundraisers and social-service projects that Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues often host or organize, said David Grafton, professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn.

“As the national landscape has become much more suspicious of Muslims, and as Islamophobia has become more common, Muslim communities have consciously engaged in the process to normalize—or become part of the religious landscape of organizing into voluntary associations that form the bedrock of American civil and religious life,”

he said.

The lineage of the United Congregational Church dates back to colonial days. It was first established in 1695 and called the Ecclesiastical Society of Stratfield. It later merged in 1916 with another congregation to form the United Congregational Church.
Rev. Sara Smith said the Bridgeport church had 3,000 members when the main structure was built, but the numbers have now dwindled to 300. She said it made financial sense for the congregation to look for a new home.

UnitedCongregationalChurchBridgeport.jpg

877 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut – United Congregational Church: a historic large brick Georgian Revival structure designed by architects Allen & Collens and built in 1925-26 for a congregation with nearly 300 years of history

The United Congregational Church will be renting space in another part of Bridgeport till they find a new space to buy, Rev. Smith said.

“We are not dying, we are just moving,”

she said.

It has been a challenge for Muslim organizations to find real estate for mosques or other religious uses since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that challenge has become more difficult in recent years, said Reza Mansoor, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.

“The Muslim community has had to reach out to places of worship to buy their properties in Connecticut towns and cities like East Hartford, Avon and New London,”

Dr. Mansoor said.

Ahmed Ebrahim, the leader of the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center, said his organization bought the church because it had the space needed for prayers and was zoned for religious use. About 1,000 families in the greater Bridgeport region are expected to use the mosque.

“It’s a perfect fit for our needs,”

Dr. Ebrahim said.

The main sanctuary will be used as a prayer space, Dr. Ebrahim said. The congregation from the United Congregational Church will help prepare the space by removing a cross from the altar and modifying the stained-glass windows in the church.

Ellen Carter from Fairfield, Conn., says her family has been a member of the church for 11 generations.

“It’s sad”

we are moving locations, Ms. Carter said.

“On the other hand, it’s necessary, and we are happy it’s again going to be used as a house of worship.”

The closing of the sale is scheduled for May 1. The church was designed by Allen & Collens, the architectural firm that also designed the Cloisters Museum in Manhattan and the Central Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. {Source: The Wall Street Journal}

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Bringers of agony, Trained in Belgium and Syria

These days the west came to understand how seriously Islamic State group wants to launch “enormous and spectacular attacks,” as jihadis broaden their focus to target Western lifestyles.

The heart of Europe was severely hurt on the 22nd of March with up to 35 deaths and 396 wounded (as registered on the 31st of March).

The Paris and Brussels attacks have rightly caused outrage across the globe. However, while millions in the West took to social media to share their grief, there are numerous attacks across the world that go largely unreported in the mainstream media are which are forgotten or not remembered by lots of Westerners.

The “black flag of jihad” as used by jihadist militants since around the late 1990s

File:Régions naturelles de Belgique.jpg

Ardennes (in ‘darker’ green)

Our regions do know that IS is no longer content to simply radicalise people through propaganda, but is “trying to build bigger attacks.” for several months now that rebel group is also trying to bring jihadis trained in Syria into northern Europe to launch strikes, helped by those who are trained in West Flanders and in the Belgian Ardennes.

On 21 March, the Kurds celebrated the biggest cultural event of their year, Newroz or New Year, but once again they too were under attack by Turkey but also by groups of their own, namely the PKK.

Pro-Assad media hails recapture of ancient city as ‘strategic victory’ but others allege collusion between Damascus and retreating militants


A Syrian soldier looks at graffiti in Palmyra reading: “The Islamic State is staying’ (AFP)

Ruins of Palmyra

The ruins of Palmyra in 2010

The dramatic recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra by the Syrian army and its allies on Sunday prompted some commentators in the Arabic-language media to declare the beginning of the end for the Islamic State (IS) group, while others predicted a long and drawn out battle to come with regional and global consequences. {- See more at: Middle East eye}

Four days after the Brussels attacks the terrorists showed they were not at all only focussing on fakir Christians. At least 41 people were killed and 105 wounded when a teenage ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up at a small soccer stadium in the Iraqi city of Iskanderiyah, less than 30 miles south of Baghdad. The attack targeted the crowd watching an amateur soccer match on Friday evening in the mixed Sunni and Shiite town, and the city’s mayor, who was presenting awards to the soccer players at the time of the bombing, was among those killed. The BBC also reports that 17 of the dead were boys between the ages of 10 and 16. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack using its social media channels, according to the Site extremist monitoring group.

IRAQ-CONFLICT-UNREST

epaselect PAKISTAN SUICIDE BOMB BLAST AFTERMATHOn Sunday the 27th of March Pakistan got its share also with a bombing that killed 72 people and injured more than 350 at a crowded park on Easter Sunday. Though the violent Pakistani Taliban offshoot known as Jamaat-ul-Ahrar — which boasted that it targeted Christians in a crowded park in Lahore — once publicly declared support for ISIS, but has hit more Muslims and Hindy people than Christians.

Now it’s the subject of an intensive crackdown in the world’s second-most populous and only nuclear-armed Muslim nation. On dealing with the threat of Islamic State, Obama said he had invited participating nations to work on improving intelligence-sharing to prevent terrorist attacks.

“At our session on ISIL this afternoon there was widespread agreement that defeating terrorist groups like ISIL requires more information sharing,”

Obama said on Friday April 1, using an acronym for the militant group.

Pakistan, a country long considered an al Qaeda stronghold, feels more and more also the negative pressure of that group and similar related groups which want to govern lots of people, telling them what they can or not can do.

Those “cowardly” suicide attacks shall continue. And with them we can see the Biblical prophesies of having the religions coming up against religions, after the period when the people living in the land of Euphrates and Tigris would have fought against each other (Iran & Iraq).

Whilst US President Barack Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons yesterday after arriving in France for a Nato summit, where he won French endorsement of his new Afghanistan strategy, we should be fully aware that the war on terror continues and shall bring forth some other serious attacks form underground people or different cells which sprout up like ulcers.

It are those rebels who misuse the name of God and try to get religious people against each other. Believers in God should be very careful not to fall in the trap and going to one or another religious group. In Belgium, Holland, France and some other Western countries we can see movements from right as wall as extreme left wing organisations defiling the Muslim community.

Flag of Taliban

Flag of Taliban (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For sure the Western states do have to get a grip on rising violence by al Qaeda and Taliban militants driven from power in 2001 but never completely defeated. But Christians should be careful not to be carried away by hatred and should abstain from any violent action. They also should show their love for those who are different than them and who have an other faith than them, but who also sincerely believe in the Divine Creator.

We always should remember that those who rape and sell children, kill innocent people, burn Koran‘s, mosques and bring terror on so many places are all doing things which are against Koran teaching and as such against real Muslim faith.

They are not only misusing and defiling the Name of God, but they are bringing discredit to all those believers who belong to the Islam.

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Attacks targeting civilians linked to or inspired by ISIS Since January 2015, outside Iraq and Syria.
Circles represent number of deaths of confirmed ISIS-related attacks.
Attacks by ISIS 2015-2016 March

Islamic State claimed responsibility for several explosions causing many deaths and severely wounded, creating lots of horror and pain

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Preceding / Voorgaande

Tears for Belgium

A darker and stranger place

In tijden van gemeenschappelijk verdriet

Belangrijke onderbreking

Hoe te reageren op aanslagen in Brussel

peace not war

 

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Find also to read:

  1. Daesh hits heart of Europe
  2. A Black day for Belgium – Brussels Airport ravage
  3. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  4. ISIL will find no safe haven
  5. ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  6. Condemning QSIS or the self-claimed Islamic state ruler, al- Baghdadi their extremist ideologies and to clarify the true teachings of Islam
  7. Al Qaeda regaining foothold in Middle East bubonic plague for American elections
  8. ISIS has released pictures of the destruction of St. Elian’s place in Homs and the Baalshamin Temple in Palmyra

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Further related articles:

  1. Obama offers vision of world without nuclear arms
  2. Dundar: Turkish journalists are ‘freedom-fighters’ whose ‘fight has just begun’
  3. Suicide bomber kills dozens at football stadium in Iraq
  4. ISIS claims suicide attack on Iraqi stadium that kills 25

  5. IS Claims Suicide Bombing on Stadium in Iraq That Killed 29
  6. Suicide bomber kills 29 at football match near Baghdad
  7. Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar forms in northwestern Pakistan
  8. Pakistan Militant Group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar Threatens Fresh Wave of Violence
  9. Lahore bombing: what is Jamaat-ul-Ahrar?

  10. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar: Group behind Lahore blast part of ‘saturated’ jihadist market
  11. Lahore Bombing Fuels Fears of ISIS Foothold in Pakistan
  12. ISIS Suicide Bomber Kills 41 at Soccer Game in Iraq
  13. Baghdad suicide attack: Death toll of Isis football stadium bombing rises to 41
  14. Where ISIS Has Directed and Inspired Attacks Around the World

 

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Poppy Day 2014

We like to present some photo’s from Remembrance Sunday of the poppies at The Tower of London, reminding that the poppy has been a symbol of remembrance in Britain since World War I. For them it reminds of death while in Belgium it reminds us of life. We can imagine those on the battle field, seeing all the dirty water and brown earth full of corpses, and then at spring those beautiful flowers coming up and giving a sign of life on that earth of dead.

When a poem from the era recalled the fragile flower melding with the dead in Flanders, Queen Elizabeth II observed the two-minute silence privately at the English ceremony.

The last few days several remembrance ceremonies also took place in Belgium in the medieval town of Ypres, where the buglers of the Last Post under the Menin Gate played their haunting tribute to the dead, but also in the cities of Liege, Mons and Leuven, were leaders from all over the world paid their tribute for the fallen.

Ever since the start of the centenary in August, the buglers at the massive gate have drawn large crowds of tourists and pilgrims. The gate’s vaulted ceiling lists the names of more than 54,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives during World War I and have no known grave.

Artificial "remembrance poppies" at ...

Artificial “remembrance poppies” at a war memorial in Ypres, Belgium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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  • tower of london ceramic poppies (onenewspage.us)
    As the United Kingdom commemorates the lives of servicemen who paid the ultimate price in the Great War, the final poppy representing a fallen soldier was laid. In all, volunteers put in countless man hours to lay […]
  • Tower of London’s stunning poppy installation creates national sensation (washingtonpost.com)
    The poppy exhibition at the Tower of London has become a national sensation, with some 4 million people expected to have seen it by the time the last of the 888,246 poppies — one for every Commonwealth soldier who died in the First World War — is planted on Nov. 11, the day the war ended in 1918. The throngs of onlookers were so thick this past weekend that organizers asked visitors to postpone their trip.While the Great War is not on the minds of many Americans, here it remains profoundly relevant. The government has pledged $80 million for four years of events to commemorate the centenary. There have already been numerous official and non-official events — new books, plays, museum exhibitions, a massive “lights out” event — but the popularity of the “Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red” poppy installation stands out.
  • Army Cadet honoured by laying final poppy at Tower of London on Armistice Day (telegraph.co.uk)
    French President Francois Hollande laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier under Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. Later, he will head to northern France to inaugurate an international war memorial at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in the presence of German, British and Belgian officials. The Ring of Memory carries the names of 600,000 soldiers who died in the region during the war. Names are listed alphabetically without their nationalities.
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    In Britain, thousands gathered at the Tower of London, where a blood-red sea of ceramic poppies has spilled into the moat as part of an art installation paying tribute to soldiers killed in the fighting.
    A 13-year-old army cadet, Harry Hayes, planted the final poppy – the last of the 888,246 glass flowers – one for each of the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the war. Among the dead was Hayes’ great-great-great uncle, Pvt. Patrick Kelly of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.”It is an amazing honor,” Hayes told Sky News. “Seeing all these poppies and I managed to plant the last one.”
  • New First World War memorial unveiled in France remembers those who perished on both sides (ww1.canada.com)
    The morning sun picks out and burnishes hundreds of thousands of names engraved on an ellipse of tall and regimented golden metal sheets. It rises to salute the Asbachs and Behrens, Bartons and Beastons, the Adolfs and Alfreds, Roberts and Johns, the Georges and the Jean-Baptistes slaughtered in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais during the Great War.They are all remembered in the compelling new International Memorial of Notre Dame de Lorette, a “Ring of Remembrance” at Ablain-Saint-Nazaire north-west of Arras.

    Among so many German, French and British names, my fingers trace that of Gabar Sing Negi VC, 21, of the 2/39th Garwhal Rifles. Born and raised in sight of the Himalayas, he died 6,400 kilometres from home in what soldiers on all sides called the “cemetery” of Flanders and the Artois, and news reporters as “Hell in the North”.
    French chief of staff General Benoit Puga walks along the Memorial, Tuesday Nov. 11, 2014, during the inauguration of the International Memorial of Notre Dame de Lorette, where the names of the 580,000 soldiers who died in northern France during WW1 are listed alphabetically without nationality or rank. The First World War military cemetery of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette is located in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, northern France. Francois Hollande hosted German and British officials for Armistice Day events in Paris and northern France, as Europe marks the centenary of the First World War with an emphasis on unity and cooperation.

  • 100 Years: Armistice Day in London (annecarolinedrake.com)
    Because it is difficult for most of us to wrap our heads around the millions of people who died during WWI, set designer Tom Piper created Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red.  Ceramic artist Paul Cummin and legions of volunteers created 888,246 hand-made, individualized poppies to serve as tribute to each British Commonwealth soldier who died during WWI.Spill of poppies from the Tower of London

     

Echoes of the Past

Photos’s from our visit last Sunday of the poppies at The Tower of London.  The fade photo of the young man with his brother is James Martin, my uncle who died in WW2 in Holland just before the end of the war, it was his 21st birthday.  This is the only photograph there is of this brave young man and he was my mothers big brother, whom she loved dearly.  The photo of his headstone was taken in Holland some 40 years ago, I have visited his grave twice and what was lovely is that families in Holland used to look after a grave of a soldier.  I’m not sure if this happens anymore, but it was wonderful being taken by the family to see the grave.

The other photos of a WW1 solider is my Mother’s father, also James Martin, he survived the war, but was shot in the…

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by | 2014/11/13 · 5:28 pm
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