Cyprus: Portrait of a Christianity Obliterated
Chiesa ^ | March 9, 2006 | Sandro Magister

Posted on 03/09/2006 6:31:34 AM PST

ROMA, March 9 2006 – The island of Cyprus was the first destination of the “special mission” that the Holy Spirit entrusted to Paul and Barnabas, according to what is written in the Acts of the Apostles, in chapter 13.

On the island they found a Roman governor, Sergius Paulus, “an intelligent man who wanted to hear the word of God and believed, deeply shaken by the teaching of the Lord.”

But if Paul and Barnabas were to return to Cyprus today, to the northern part of the island, they would find not the Romans as governors, but the Turks.

And instead of a Christianity being born, they would find a dying Christianity, with the churches and monasteries in ruin, or else transformed into stables, hotels, and mosques. 
The destruction of these Churches and Monasteries and the war against Christianity in Northern Cypress does not begin to a approach what was prophesied by Christ in Matthew 24, or what is prophesied to come to pass in the Book of Revelation.  

This is documented in a startling report from Luigi Geninazzi, who was sent to Cyprus by “Avvenire,” the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.
The Roman Catholic Church Bishops in Rome thirty years after this began are only now soberly considering its meaning – Even so this report in no way indicates that their eyes are opening to see what shall shortly befall them and all of Europe

Cyprus became part of the European Union on May 1, 2004. But this was true only for the southern part of the island, which is Greek and Christian.

The northern part was occupied by Turkey in 1974, with 40,000 soldiers. The Turkish occupation caused death, destruction, and a forced relocation of populations.
About 200,000 Greek Cypriots of the Christian Orthodox faith who lived in the north of the island fled to the south. And likewise, the Turkish Cypriots of the south, Muslims, moved to the north. Beyond the 200,000 Greek/Christians there were also a lot of wealthy British expatriates that owned large expensive villa’s in the north part of Cypress. All of these have suffered the loss of their houses, and lands, their businesses and their financial holdings that were in Northern Cypress.  Jesus commanded those that would be his disciples to forsake their houses and lands, and families.  But in this materialistic age “believers” are not only ignoring His commandments but in Prosperity Gospel circles the words of Christ are reviled and openly mocked.  And God shall come as a thief in the night and strip away everything that the corrupt church and corrupt believers all of their wealth and riches they have stored up for the last days, all their houses their lands their wives their children -- everything shall be taken from them. “And they shall even have taken away from them  that which they think they have”

Do you desire to understand Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation. They contain all the curses of God in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 This is what shall befall all that do not walk in the Spirit but after the lust of the flesh, the is what shall befall all who do not walk in the light as he is in the light, this is what shall befall the stiff necked hard hearted people that declared themselves to be the Church and God’s children and walk in the ways of their fathers.  There shall come a point where the hand of the Lord shall close the door of the Ark as in the days of Noah and all that are without shall die in their sins. 

Deuteronomy 28:15-68 15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: 16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. 21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. 22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. 23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. 24 The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. 25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. 27 The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. 28 The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: 29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. 30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof. 31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them. 32 Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand. 33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway: 34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. 35 The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head. 36 The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone. 37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee. 38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it. 39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit. 41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. 42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. 43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. 44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. 45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee: 46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever. 47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. 49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shall not understand; 50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: 51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. 52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. 53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: 54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: 55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates. 58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; 59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. 60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. 61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. 62

 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God. 63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. 64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: 66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: 67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. 68 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.

In 1983 Turkey consolidated the occupation by creating a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is internationally recognized only by the government of Ankara: 180,000 persons live there, 100,000 of whom are colonists originally from Anatolia.

A wall guarded by the blue helmets of the United Nations divides the two parts of the island and cuts through the capital, Nicosia. In April of 2004, the UN placed before a referendum a plan of confederation between the two states, but this was rejected by the Greek Cypriots of the south, who are four times as numerous as the Turkish Cypriots of the north.

The Islamization of the north of the island has been concretized in the destruction of all that was Christian. Yannis Eliades, director of the Byzantine Museum of Nicosia, calculates that 25,000 icons have disappeared from the churches in the zone occupied by the Turks.

For a Turkey that aspires to enter the European Union, its actions in the north of Cyprus give a terrible impression of itself.

And what it has done in destroying the Christian presence begun by Paul and Barnabas is described in the report that follows, published in “Avvenire” on Sunday, February 26:

* * * * *

Here's an example of that destruction in only one church - Jesus Christ Antiphonitis Greek Orthodox Church in Kalogrea village

BEFORE - Final Judgment

"They did not even spare the stone altar..."
Yes they shall indeed destroy every idol, and everything that the Lord did not command that the church build, so much so that they shall loot and what they can not loot they shall burn and what they can not burn shall not be left one stone upon another.  And they shall seek out every Antichrist as spoken of by John the Apostle in his Epistles and loot, burn, and destroy them all as well.

by Luigi Geninazzi

Europe ends here, in the most beautiful island of the Mediterranean, torn by a wall that splits it in two. Europe ends abruptly along a barrier of barbed wire, cement, and military turrets that splits Cyprus along its entire width and divides Nicosia, a capital wounded in its ancient heart.

For the UN, which guards over it with its blue helmets, it is the “green line.” But here the people continue to call it the “Attila line,” from the name that the Turks gave to the invasion.

The scourge has left its marks. It has struck Cyprus, the site of the most ancient Christian community on European soil, in its artistic, cultural, and religious treasury: stupendous Byzantine and Romanesque churches, imposing monasteries, mosaics and frescoes of inestimable value. It is a heritage that in the northern part of the island, under Turkish occupation, has been sacked, violated, and destroyed.

To realize this it is enough to cross the “Attila line” at the checkpoint of Nicosia, and there you are in the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which greets the visitor with a large banner on which is written a topsy-turvy welcome: “How happy I am to be a Turk!” (a famous phrase of Kemal Ataturk). The nationalist pride of the descendents of the Ottoman empire has also modified the natural countryside, carving the crescent moon and the red star on the side of the Pentadattilos mountains, which dominate the wide plains.

The Turkish flag billows on the façade of the church of Agia Paraskevi, in the once Greek Orthodox village of Angastina. A sign says that work is underway to transform it into a mosque. The bell tower, which no longer bears a cross, is a strange minaret with the loudspeaker of the muezzin fixed upon an archway.

Christodoulos, the young archeologist accompanying me, is visibly shaken: “I was baptized here,” he says in a voice hoarse with emotion. He is one of the 200,000 Greek Cypriot refugees who, thirty years ago, lived in the north of the island and were chased out of their homes.

Christodoulos kneels on the spot where he was once baptized and lights a candle. The Turkish construction workers, squatting in front of the apse for their lunch break, look at him curiously: “Every time I come back to this area, it’s always worse,” he sighs.

We stop at Trachoni, where a jewel of the Renaissance once stood, the church of the Panagia, Our Lady. Now only the walls are left; the interior bears the signs of vandalism that has not spared even the stone altar, the pieces of which have ended up in a hole dug recently to search for who knows what treasure.

Ours is a sad pilgrimage that at every stop adds to one’s outrage and disbelief, a via dolorosa that retraces the places of Christian memory at risk of disappearing. At the village of Peristerona, on the road to Famagosta, the medieval monastery of Saint Anastasia (see photo) is being used as a stable, with the cows chewing their cud amid what remains of the ancient cells. The tombs of the cemetery have been profaned, and the gravestones broken.

We leave the countryside behind and go to the coast. Here many of the churches have been turned into restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, for the enjoyment of the tourists. At the top of the rock of Lapethos, which juts out over the sea, the church and convent of Agia Anastasia have become a sumptuous hotel with a swimming pool dug into the cloister, and a casino under the bell tower.

Almost the entire artistic patrimony of the Orthodox Church in the territory occupied by the Turks – 520 buildings between churches, chapels, and monasteries – has been sacked, demolished, or disfigured. Only three churches and one monastery, the monastery of Saint Barnabas, which has been turned into a museum, are in a more or less dignified state.

“The ruin is before our eyes, but the European Union prefers to look the other way,” the Cypriot foreign minister, George Iacovou, bitterly tells us. “The only hope is that, in the course of negotiations for Turkey’s adhesion to the EU, someone might pull out the dossier of shame.”

The Byzantine Academy of Nicosia has gathered detailed and meticulous documentation on the occupied churches in Cyprus. And for two years an attempt has been made at religious dialogue, with the support of the Orthodox bishop Nikiforos of the historic monastery of Kykko: “We have met with the Muslim leaders headed by Lefka, and I told them that respect for our places of worship is the basis for cooperation.” Nikiforos is moderately optimistic: “I encountered a lot of understanding. Errors have been made on both sides; we must overcome the divisions of the past and walk together.”

But the last word belongs to the politicians. Huseyn Ozel, a government spokesman for the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, displays great cordiality with the foreign journalist. The destroyed and sacked churches? “There was a war, and bad things happened on both sides,” he explains.

I point out to him that most of the mosques in Greek Cypriot territory have been restored, while his government has authorized the transformation of churches into restaurants and hotels, an insult to the sentiment of believers. “They did this to keep the buildings from falling into ruin, and anyway, these are decisions made by the preceding government, which I do not share,” Ozel counters.

I insist: what do you have to say about the churches that, still today, are being turned into mosques? The Turkish Cypriot functionary spreads his arms wide: “It is an Ottoman custom...”

It as a tradition that, unfortunately, continues. An unsettling calling card for a Turkey that aspires to enter the European club.

An interview with Chrisostomos Englistriota

In Cyprus, the head of the Church has always been an ethnarch, too, a leader of the people. This directly political role was exercised by the famous archbishop Makarios, the charismatic leader of the rebellion against the English domination during the 1950’s, and the first president of the independent republic of Cyprus.

“Our Church doesn’t practice politics anymore, but its authority has not diminished,” recalls the bishop of Paphos, Chrisostomos Englistriota. Since His Beatitude Chrisostomos I was struck by a grave illness, the bishop of Paphos has carried out his functions as leader of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church on the island.
The Church not practicing politics any more was not a willing choice that was made by Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Lutherans or Calvinists. Even as when Adam partook of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (The philosophies and the Wisdom of this world) it took over 900 years for the manifestation of that death to appear – So after the Death of the Apostles the church having partaken of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil has taken a very long time to become manifest in the church it was only 200 –300 years ago that the church first began to loose it carnal rule over the earth. And since that the carnal denominations power and authority among men have diminished until what we see now in this hour.

Q: Your Excellency, Cyprus remains divided. Can the Greek Orthodox Church foster dialogue between the parties? 

A: “It is a situation that saddens us deeply, the result of a completely illegal military occupation.
A true dialogue is impossible, because the Turkish Cypriots do not enjoy any autonomy, the last word belongs to the government of Ankara.” (The Turkish Government)

Q: Are there contacts among the religious exponents?

A: “Some of our bishops have met with the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot Islamic community. It’s important to us to have good relations with them,
but then when it comes time to discuss concrete matters, like the problem of the sacking and profanation of our churches, they don’t know what to say, they refer everything to the political authorities.” The Church in concrete matters has to consult Political authorities for any protection or relief – they have to consult the EU. That is all that stands between the remaining Christians on this island and complete annihilation.

Q: Have you tried to raise the question in international circles?

A: “Yes, of course.
We have repeatedly turned to the European Union to ask for their intervention. The last time was in the autumn of 2004, after Cyprus entered the EU.”

Q: The results?

A: “Nothing so far. My personal conviction is that the European governments should exert pressure on Turkey, above all in this phase of the opening of negotiations for the entry of Ankara into the Union. But they don’t want to take advantage of this opportunity. And so the more time passes, the more our sacred places in the northern part of Cyprus are falling into ruin.
The Turks (Muslims) want to destroy every trace of Hellenism and of Christianity. Only strong international pressure can stop them.”
Read this as:

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.


The newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference in which the report and the interview were published on February 26:

> “Avvenire”