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We are the Modern Knights Templar, an Ecumenical Christian and Chivalric charitable Order. We do not claim a direct lineage to the original Knights of the Temple, but we do seek to emulate their positive attributes in our daily lives today. We have adopted two of the original Templar missions of Protecting Christians at Risk particularly in the Holy Land and the Middle East and in Keeping the Road to Jerusalem open to all people as our own.

Affiliated with the International Order (OSMTH)





2014 Archive

News (Archive-2014)

The conditions faced by the Christian population across the Middle East are important for caring Christians around the world to understand. Major media outlets too often provide us, however, with an incomplete (and sometimes inaccurate) account of events there and their causes. We present herewith a collection of well-written articles on the Christian situation to help broaden your understanding of this important subject. Articles reflect the authors’ research and opinions, not those of SMOTJ.

January 2014

What the Middle East Would Be Like Without Christians
Christian Science Monitor
December 22, 2013 By Christa Case Bryant

If current trends remain unchanged, we will see a Holy Land in the next few decades with no Christian congregations left. This piece from the CS Monitor provides a picture of how deeply woven into the fabric of Middle East life Christians are and, by implication, how different life would be in their absence.. Read the article

February 2014

Why "Vicar of Baghdad" is a 21st Century Hero
February 6, 2014 By Lela Gilbert

“The Vicar of Baghdad” is one of our own – a highly decorated member of SMOTJ. Fox News pays tribute to this iconic Christian who does God’s work in the hell that is home to many Iraqi Christians. Read the article

April 2014

The Middle East War on Christians
Wall Street Journal
April 16, 2014 By Ron Prosor

The Reverend Canon Brian Cox, an American Templar and a tireless worker for faithbased reconciliation in the Middle East, says that this opinion piece by Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. accurately portrays the Christian situation there. Interestingly, Fr. Brian believes it reflects a nascent warming of relations between the Christian community and Israel in the aftermath of the “Arab Spring.” Read the article

June 2014

Christian Leaders: “Middle East Christians Must Not Be Forgotten”
Washington Post
May 7, 2014 By Adelle M. Banks | Religion News Service

High-ranking American clergymen and Congressmen jointly speak out on atrocities against Christians, declaring that our silence aids the persecutors. Read the article

July 2014

Since the extremist group ISIS seized control of major cities in Northern Iraq and Syria, news of Christianity’s fate has been grim. Even some local Muslims are worried. This article on Christian flight from Mosul is recent evidence.

Islamist Insurgents in Northern Iraq Threaten Christians
Members of Minority Told to Convert to Islam

Wall Street Journal
July 18, 2014 8:00 p.m. ET

BAGHDAD—The Islamic militants who seized large swaths of Iraq last month have threatened Christians with death if they don't convert to Islam, pay a tax or flee insurgent-held areas by Saturday. Read the article

A further update from the BBC on conditions in Mosul, an ancient home for Iraqi Christians that dates back almost to the time of Christ.

BBC News
Middle East
21 July 2014
Last updated at 11:25 ET

ISIS Militants 'Seize Iraq Monastery, Expel Monks'
Islamist militants in Iraq are reported to have seized an ancient monastery near Mosul and expelled the monks.

Analysis by BBC Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher

Local residents said monks at the Mar Behnam monastery were allowed to take only the clothes they were wearing. Read the article

August 2014

The jihadist group now calling itself the Islamic State was virtually unopposed in its campaign to rid the Mosul region of Christianity, until recent days. The intervention of American air power and local ground forces turned the tide for now. But it came too late for most of the Christian population there. This article describes the brutal circumstances more fully than Western reports.

August 7, 2014
The Religious Cleansing of Iraq’s Christians
"Can this really be happening in the modern world?"


Read the article

September 2014

Islam’s leaders have tended toward silence in response to the brutality of their radical brethren who are so active in the Middle East. Thus, this article was a surprise. The leader of Europe’s largest Muslim community condemns that violence and calls on French Muslims to pray for the Christians who are its victims.

September 9, 2014
French Muslims Support Mideast Christians Against Islamic State

By Tom Heneghan

Read the article

Lebanese Christians have watched the violence and atrocities against their brothers in Iraq and Syria. Many decided it’s time for a more pro-active selfdefense to protect themselves and Christianity’s presence in Lebanon.

September 5, 2014
Christians Arm as Middle East Perils Mount

Read the article

October 2014

Many Iraqi Christians survived the Iraq War and the subsequent Iraqi government. Today they struggle to survive ISIS. And they debate where they can finally find a safe place to work and raise their families.

Iraqi Christians' Dilemma: Stay or Go?
With ISIS Threat, Thousands of Chaldeans Face an Agonizing Decision

Wall Street Journal
September 29, 2014

Read the article

Christians’ “Last Stand” in Irbil is a reminder of the horrific price being paid by our Brothers and Sisters in Iraq for holding to their faith in the face of the ISIS onslaught.

With ISIS an hour away, one of the only remaining Christian
communities makes its ‘last stand in Iraq’

National Post
October 5, 2014

Read the article

November 2014

National Geographic looks at religious minorities in this interview with a former British diplomat. As a Christian and a diplomat who spent years working and travelling in the Middle East, he offers a fresh take on tolerance and intolerance across continents and centuries, hoping that these religions can survive in the region of their birth.

Simon Worrall
for National Geographic
published October 26, 2014

Read the article

December 2014

Pope Francis, on his historic visit to Turkey, directly condemned Islamic extremism and urged Muslim clerics to do so, as well. This article focuses more on another message of the trip – the need for inter-religious dialogue and for unity within Christendom.

Updated Dec. 1, 2014 1:28 a.m. ET
The Wall Street Journa

Read the article

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