Category Archives: Eastern Europe

New MH17 footage (shot by Russian seperatists) discovered

An Australian news company has released footage they uncovered that was taken soon after the crash… Read the captions (or listen is you understand Russisn) and the implications may be as clear to. You as they are to me… 

Click here

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Russia vetos UN resolution on Srebrenica genocide: meanwhile 1000s march for peace

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20 years ago

A few years ago this week, I joined a pastor and a journalist on a pilgrimage of sorts, to the small town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia. We were traveling to attend the annual memorial service. Each year as more remains are found they are buried in the cemetery that has become a national memorial.

Because we were traveling to the memorial service, and there was an American in the car. The car we were in was subjected to a very thorough search and my fellow travelers were carefully questioned at the border. This delay caused us to miss much of the service but we found the service on the radio.

This film is a reminder from that day.

There are many events remembering that atrocity of 20 years ago this week. This is a report from the BBC from London today.

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Obama, Merkel and Putin seen through a lens from 20 years ago

In a discussion of civilization 20* years ago, Samuel Huntington said the following:

… Russia,…, has been a torn country for several centuries…

Russia’s relations with Western civilization have evolved through four phases. In the first phase, which lasted down to the reign of Peter the great, Kievan Rus and Muscovy existed separately from the West and had little contact with Western European societies. Russian civilization developed as an offspring of Byzantine civilization and then for two hundred years, from the mid thirteenth to the mid-fifteenth centuries, Russia was under Mongol suzerainty. Russia had no or little exposure to the defining historical phenomena off of Western civilization: Roman Catholicism, feudalism, the Renaissance, the Reformation, overseas expansion and colonization, the enlightenment, and the emergence of the nation state. Seven of the eight previously identified distinctive features of Western civilization-religion, languages, separation of church and state, rule of law, social pluralism, representative bodies, individualism-were almost totally absent from the Russian experience. The only possible exception is the Classical legacy, which, however, came to Russia via Byzantium and hence was quite different from that which came to the west directly from Rome. Russian civilization was a product of its indigenous roots in Kievan Rus and Muscovy, substantial Byzantine impact, and prolonged Mongol rule. These influences shaped a society and a culture which had little resemblance to those developed in Western Europe under the influence of a very different forces. (p. 139-140)

As of 1995 the future of liberal democracy in Russia and other Orthodox republics was uncertain. In addition, as the Russians stop behaving like Marxists and began behaving like Russians, the gap between Russia and the West broadened. … A Western democrat could carry on an intellectual debate with a Soviet Marxist. It would be impossible for him to do that with a Russian orthodox nationalist. (p. 142)

Think on these when you hear Obama and Merkel talk about “negotiations” with Putin.

From: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington, 1996, Simon and Schuster.)

* When I first posted this I had indicated 30 years and then realized my math was off. I am operating on the assumption that Huntington did his writing in 1995 and published and 1996.

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Filed under culture, definitions, Eastern Europe, Ukraine

Looking back to Sarajevo

On this trip I was on my own a lot and was able to explore beautiful Sarajevo on my own terms.

Here are a series of pix I took in a neighborhood up the hill from Old Town. They are of a kind of neighborhood mosque with many graves from 1992-1995 and the main mosque in the Old Town.

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My assumption is that these died in the siege during the war when Serbs bombarded the city from the surrounding mountain tops.

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Down the hill, I went to the main mosque, it’s minaret was visible down this alley…

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And upon entering you are given the rules…

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On Fridays this mosque is filled with Muslims…

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Walking by the side I noted the extra prayer rugs stacked in the window…

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Martin Luther said that Muslims (among many others including Jews and many “Christians”) worship the same God, but they worship him incorrectly. As I study Islam (for my Cross Cultural Studies program) and read from many sides of this discussion, it seems Luther makes a sound argument. The enemy of God wishes to keep people away from him and the best way is a way that looks right while being wrong. A one degree error send KAL 007 into Soviet airspace and hundreds died when the Soviets shot it down. Worshipping the right God the wrong way, through works, may look good, but is not His way.

We depend on grace alone, trusting in the final and complete work of Jesus: death, burial and resurrection. In Christ alone.

Allow not a desire for pluralism to water down the way and the truth.

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Filed under being a disciple, culture, culture > disciple making, definitions, disciple making, Eastern Europe, experience, from the Balkans, photos along the way, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, travel notes

Home

Not unpacked: either baggage

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or in my head, but it is so good to be home after a great trip. Some fresh thoughts on disciple making are brewing after this trip.

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Filed under being a disciple, culture > disciple making, disciple making, Eastern Europe, photos along the way

Szeged memories

Years ago, from 1997 – 2006 (or so) about a hundred of us, 10 or 15 at a time, went to Szeged, Hungary on mission trips from Covenant. I’m in Szeged right now and had a day pass and some time so I went to see some of those places…

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Our teaching location at Deák! Remember wiffle ball?

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I will never forget the lunches at the Hobiart Bistro, just ordering in the line was an event!

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Remember this bakery down the tram line from Deák?

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This was my arrival from my Balkan loop today, I was squinting because this was the first time I’d seen the sun in over 3 weeks.

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Filed under Eastern Europe, experience, photos along the way, things Central European, travel notes