TOTAL AS OF 8/15/22

$2,682 of $10,000

UPDATE 8/16/22: Simon qualified for legal aid and was assigned to a lawyer this past week. Yesterday he met with his lawyer for three hours. Together they submitted his refugee claim. Things are moving along at a good clip!

Please consider helping Simon (not his real name; not him in the photo), a gay refugee from one of Africa’s most dangerous countries for LGBTQI+ citizens, as he crafts a new life for himself in Canada.

Canada is one of the world’s most welcoming countries for LGBTQI+ refugees.

Simon is scheduled to arrive at my apartment during the first week of August. I’m providing him rent-free temporary shelter in my home, mentoring, accompaniment to immigration-related and other appointments, and additional assistance as needed while he works his way through the process of receiving his work permit, health card, and permanent residency.

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“The Angel Gabriel Reveals to the Prophet Muhammad the Eighth Sura of the Qur’an”
(16th-century illustration from the Ottoman Turkish epic “Siyer-i Nebi”)

In his 8th-century refutation of Islam, The Heresy of the Ishmaelites, St. John Damascene laid the foundation for future Eastern Orthodox polemics against Islam and its founder, the Prophet Muhammad. John criticizes Muhammad’s moral character, accusing him of devising the religion of Islam—a Christian heresy by the saint’s estimation—for his own personal gain. Throughout the following centuries, prominent Orthodox Christian writers, from St. Gregory Palamas to St. Justin Popović, continued to attack Muhammad’s moral character, frequently claiming that he had spread Islam by the sword and had commanded his followers to do likewise. Such a view was perhaps inevitable given that Arab and Turkish conquests of Byzantine lands were often portrayed by Muslims themselves as the realization of the Prophet’s military goals. Even the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 was interpreted as fulfilling one of Muhammad’s prophecies in the hadith. To this day, Muhammad is often looked upon by Orthodox Christians as someone who stood in total opposition to our faith. Read More


ahopMatushka Anne “Anya” (Schmemann) Hopko, 78, for the last two decades of Ellwood City, PA, and previously, for many years, of Crestwood (Yonkers), NY, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday afternoon, August 4, 2022, in Quebec, Canada, where she was vacationing with family.

At the time of her repose in the Lord, Matushka Anne was in palliative care in a hospital in L’Annonciation (Rivière-Rouge), Quebec. She had suffered, without warning, a sudden, massive stroke on Wednesday, August 3, while enjoying a late morning cup of tea with family members, together on summer holiday in Lac Labelle, Canada.

Anne Hopko was the wife of the late Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko (+2015). She was the oldest child of the late Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann (+1983) and his wife, the late Matushka Juliana (Ossorguine) Schmemann (+2017). Read More