Letter to the Editor (published)                                        4 January 1998
The Washington Times
Washington, D.C. 

"Media's attack on the Russian Orthodox Church reeks of hycocrisy"
by Stella L. Jatras

As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I was stunned to see the the Dec. 27 Lurie cartoon depicting
"other Christian faiths" being crucified on the cross of the Russian Orthodox Church.    This
desecration of the Orthodox Cross expresses more hatred against any one religion than anything
you've published in recent memory.  Had the Koran been depicted with such hatred, the artist
would be joining Salman Rushdie in looking over his shoulder.

Austria recently enacted a new law very similar to that of Russia's (Austrian Parliament puts
faiths in limbo," 11 Dec. 1997) to protect its state Roman Catholic religion by laying down the
law to non-Cathholic religions.    Will Congress and the U.S. media also pursue Austria as
doggedly as it pursues Russia?   Many other nations have state religions that are just as
protective, such as Catholicism in Poland and Slovakia, where the few permitted Orthodox
Churches find it difficult to exist.

Croatia now has its pure Roman Catholic state thanks to U.S. military aid and technology which
made it possible for Croatia to ethnically cleanse 200,000 Eastern Orthodox Serbs in August of
1995.   Saudi Arabia permits neither church nor one synagogue, Islam being its state religion.
It also happens to be where our GIs are literally laying their lives on the line, yet I have
not seen nor heard one congressman speak out against religious intolerance and persecution in
Islamic nations.  The aging Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople must have the
permission of the Turkish government even to repair a toilet in his residence.  This is harassment pure and simple.

The "eighth wonder of the world," the magnificant St. Sophia, is being turned into a working
mosque.  Where are our Christian brethren to this desecration?  Of the over 250,000 Eastern
Orthodox Christians that lived in Istanbul, fewer than 2,000 remain.  Most were driven out by
religious persecution.   A December 28 1994, headline in your paper reads, "Palestinian
Christians flee Holy Land in search of peaceful life, Handful remain to deal with Muslim
fundamentalism,"   Christians who at one time were the majority in the Middle East, have either
been driven out, killed, or have remained to live out their existing days under the Islamic
yoke. The Christian world continues to remain silent.

However, what seems even more ominous to me is that The Washington Times would select
such a blasphemous, destructive and very offensive cartoon to be published.
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Comment by the writer.  Unfortunately, the bombing of the Patriarch's residence in
Constantinople on 3 December 1997, should have been included in the letter.

The silence from our "Christian evangelists" to this outrage was deafening.



On 12/23/97 13:09:36 you wrote:
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