Home East Coast New York St. Nicholas of Manhattan in Ruins while Mosque Rises

St. Nicholas of Manhattan in Ruins while Mosque Rises

St. Nicholas church before the Sept 11 attacks.

George Demos, the Conservative Republican Candidate for Congress in New York’s First Congressional District issued the following statement on the proposed mosque amid the sacred ruins of Ground Zero and expressed outrage at our own government’s refusal to rebuild the only house of worship that was actually destroyed on September 11th- the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

George Demos said:

“On September 11, 2001, over 3,000 Americans, including 168 residents of our community in Suffolk County, were taken from us by the evil acts of Islamic extremists bent on destroying our freedoms. Amid the thick smoke and choking ashes of that fateful day, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was reduced to dust.

Since 1922, St. Nicholas Church had stood as a quiet sanctuary of prayer and reflection amidst the tumultuous and bustling crossroads of commerce. For nine years the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey has used bureaucratic obstacles and false promises to hinder the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church. This must end and it must end now.

What an outrage that our government has put roadblocks in the path of its own citizens trying rebuild their beloved Church destroyed by Islamic extremists, while Saudi Arabia, a nation that prohibits people from even wearing a Cross or the Star of David, now provokes the families of those who lost loved ones by apparently funneling money to build a mosque at the same location.

As our Congressman, I will always remember that our Constitutional freedom of religion starts with respecting our own sacred Judeo-Christian heritage. Now is the time for the Port Authority to stop hiding behind its bureaucracy and to facilitate the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church that was taken from us on that quiet September morning nearly a decade ago.”

More at George Demos’ campaign website

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  • leonithas

    this is terrible news. i am shattered that America allows something like this to occur. its an extremely sad day in American History

  • http://forrest-long.blogspot.com Forrest Long

    Where are the people to speak up on behalf of this church being rebuilt? Until I read this article I had never heard about this. The message needs to be spread across the country so there will be a massive volume of support for the rebuilding of the church. And people of conviction need to speak up now against the building of a mosque near the 9/11 site. There's no way this should go ahead. How blind can people be?

  • rustypolymath

    It is a sign of just how cowardly and craven Americans have become that this is even going ahead at all. Nobody wants this. The only argument from those who do want it is "religious freedom" and accusing their opponents of being "bigots." Unfortunately enough dumb influential people are too afraid of being called "bigots" to stand up for anything.

    Moreover, the American Right needs to ditch its unhealthy marriage to the "Constitution" and to big business and start defending the country's true patrimony. We are too vulnerable to critics who accuse us of having a double-standard.

    Finally, all Christians worldwide should demand that a visible Church be erected in Mecca and then in Medina–and that Christian pilgrims be allowed inside–before one more Mosque building permit be granted in any Occidental country.

  • Tk

    Maybe if christians paid for it, they would rebuild it. This mosque is not being funded by the state or Government, so grow up and rebuild the church yourself.

  • Servant of Humanity

    How is opposing a mosque not bigoted. You cannot tell me that if a church or synagogue or a Sikh temple were being built near ground zero, it would receive the same opposition.

    "A visible Church be erected in Mecca and then in Medina" This has absolutely nothing to do with the Ground-Zero Mosque. Those countries are controlled by EXTREMISTS, not the moderates that want to simply worship the same god as the Judeo-Christian Iehovah or Yahweh. It is a completely unrelated issue.

    "American Right needs to ditch its unhealthy marriage to the 'Constitution'" What the hell is this. The whole reason we have religious freedom in this country, and the constitution to protect it, is because people like you will take it away from anyone dissimilar to you. You should do like the Presbyterians did. When their Muslim neighbors' Mosque burned down, they opened the doors of their church for them and allowed them to worship there.

    It is unfortunate that the church was destroyed and cannot be rebuilt, but this story does not say why. There are hundreds of legitimate reasons to not grant a building permit, and if few were attempting to get the permits, then I am not surprised that it has taken more the 9 years to acquire them.

  • Groo

    Hold on. Federal funds are not going to the building of the Cordoba Project. If there is interest in rebuilding the church, the supporting community (worshippers, associated churches and organizations) should come together to fund the reconstruction.

    If the issue is that the federal government has funded reconstruction of other buildings except this one, the issue is more of how the federal government defines the allocation of funds.

    This is a shameless attempt to mix two entirely separate issues and scenarios. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

    The federal government, or any government level for that matter, is not funding or supporting the mosque. They are saying that there is no legal juristiction for them to stop it.

    Seriously, the bigotry/double standard is ridiculous.

    Read and think before you write/speak. Try to step away from your emotions and think pracctically/logically, if you have the capacity. If not, get some ice cream and chill.

  • Evan

    This article is incomplete and likely misleading. Id imagine that the people wishing to rebuild aren't using the correct channels. Plus, why is it the government's responsibility to rebuild a house of worship. The mosque is being built by private parties and is a separate issue than those church.

  • OKCityFedBld

    How dare a Christian group try to build a church in this country after the abominable acts committed by christian terrorists on May 31, 2010 in Wichita. These Christo-Fascists want to celebrate the death of innocents by building a trophy to their insane violence. We've got to stop these maniacs in the only way we can, by attempting to thwart the building of a church which in no way supports the type of violence we want to condemn.

  • john david

    Stop b*tching. Do not blaim muslims for this. Do you want them to build this chirch for you? Or, do you really expect govt to build it for you? People should build it, eg. church congregation. Do not blaim other people who are willing to build their own house of worship, such as muslims in this case. Get your own church congregation to do it. It is that simple

  • Austin

    Why doesn't this church's congregation (or former congregation) fix the church themselves? The Muslims are building their mosque themselves, NOT making the gov't do it.

    The answer: that's not what this article is about, actually. It's about religious intolerance. It's about a bunch of people who don't realize that the extremists do not represent a religion as a whole. Are you Christians the same as the Westboro Baptist Church? Is it God' great glory to kill our American soldiers because of our tolerance of homosexuality?

    Because, by your logic, you must be.

  • http://usa.gov Andrew Latti

    People we must remember, our history is filled with revenge and also with generosity. We will not spare the culprits but we must also provide those innocents with freedom and opportunities regardless of their background or belief. Please, Please let America shine in the world, so every country in the world can follow its great example. Let people live as long as they are not harming anyone directly. How could a building harm us? My uncle died in the world trade attacks when he was working as a server in the restaurant, and the surprising part is he would have never want anyone to be deprived of their freedom. So please I will pray that we must understand those who are peaceful but avenge those who have attacked us. I just served in Iraq and people are good all over the world, its just the minority who are making it hell for everyone. Try to understand. God bless the USA!!!

  • Phaeth

    This is straight from the WIKI for St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. It took less than 20 seconds to find.

    "The plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center complex include building a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church quite close to the original location. The church will again house a worshiping congregation. A museum will also be built for the projected large influx of visitors that will come to the site.

    On July 23, 2008, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached a deal with the leaders of the church for the Port Authority to acquire the 1,200-square-foot (110 m2) lot that the church had occupied for $20 million. $10 million is coming from the Port Authority and $10 million is coming from JPMorgan Chase & Co."

    If they received $20 million for the tiny plot of land near 1 WTC and they haven't rebuilt a church in another location… It isn't the fault of anyone but St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. It's not some sort of Muslim Conspiracy. Use the Right Side of your brains not the Reich Side.

  • freeyourmind

    @Forrest, as blind as you are:

    "There’s no way this should go ahead."

  • Abby

    It's true, all morals and standards have been thrown out the window. We provide cowardly excuses and loopholes- how quickly we forget our united stance the morning after the attacks. Thanks a lot.

    "O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

    Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land

    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

    And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."

    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"

    *Last verse in the Star Spangled Banner

  • Ralph

    @rustypolymath – I want it. I think it is a testament to the religious freedoms that the American way of life promotes. I'm a veteran and served in the middle east. Stop trying to speak for the country rusty. You don't. The simple fact is, there is no legal justification to prevent the building of the mosque. The building is not considered a landmark and is owned by a corporation that wishes to build a mosque there. To attempt to block it because of emotional concerns (which I'm not saying aren't real and visceral) is simply invalid under the law and undermines the very value system that we espouse.

    Now, I don't know what the roadblocks are for rebuilding the church but I do think that they should be looked into and cleared if possible. That being said, I don't see how one has anything to do with the other. They are separate cases and I assume have different legal considerations. The fact that they are both religious facilities near the site of "ground zero" seems to be their only connection and is irrelavent with respect to them being built/re-built or not.

  • Dante

    Why exactly should my tax dollars be used to rebuild this church? I'm not Christian so I won't be using it. At least the Mosque/community center is being built by private funds.

  • Mike OBryan

    To make matters worse, the Imam of the new mosque is the same one that said the 9/11 disaster was Americas fault and we deserved it. He also refuses to condemn Hamas and admits being a supporter.

    He is also insisting that NY let them practice Sharia Law in the new mosque.

    If I were one of the construction workers, I might accidently leave a gas line open.

  • Constitutionally Ame

    Quoting George Demos: "As our Congressman, I will always remember that our Constitutional freedom of religion starts with respecting our own sacred Judeo-Christian heritage."

    Anyone Congressman who holds that one religion should be dominant over another has a very weak understanding of the document he has sworn to uphold. May such a person never be elected.

    For the record, there were "roadblocks" placed in front of the Cordoba Institute too. Those roadblocks would have applied to any organization seeking to build at the location they desired. St. Nicholas, too must face all the roadblock or decide to move to a location.

    Demos, stop whining about values being under attack and if you are serious about getting the church rebuilt, take the action to ensure that it gets rebuilt. This is a false comparison of a the Cordoba Institute which is not at ground zero to St. Nicholas which was. St. Nicholas was offered at least $20mil and a building location. The church will also be rebuilt as a very small part of a multi-billion dollar construction project that I would wager is already over budget and behind schedule. Do you really think any delay is about attacking values? Is this the kind of leadership you intend to bring to congress. If so, you you will be a part of the problem

  • David

    It's another example of this liberal govt. kowtowing to the muzzies. It was the MOSLEMS who took down the Twin Towers killing over 3, 000 innocent souls. So WHY, pray God, are the NYC authorities allowing the MOSLEMS to build a mosque while a beautiful old Greek Church which was also destroyed BY THE MOSLEMS is NOT allowed to be rebuilt? Ask our Moslem president. Harrumnph.

  • Hildy Toohey

    As a survivor on the 9/11 attacks I am appalled that the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is red tapping the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. If anyone is on Facebook I started a page of solidarity of my Greek Orthodox brethren. I am not Greek but my hometown is Astoria, Queens, New York where I received my appreciation. Please join me and my friends to show the PANYNJ that the red tape should be shredded. Thank you.

  • Jerro

    Government do not build religious centers. 2nd of all, it's the NY state gov't who is in charge. Go read the constitution. If the article is saying that private entities are being prevented from rebuilding the church, then you are right, the gov't shouldn't block one group while allowing the other. If you you argue against the NY state gov't allowing Muslim center then the NY state gov't shouldn't allowing the rebuilding of the church, constitution is pretty clear about that. But the article calling for government to rebuild the churches is another case of right-wing contradictions.

  • Ad

    I have read this article. Read today's 6-Aug10 CNN "Afghan War lost.. Pakistani EX-General.

    American's have still no evidence to present to the world that who were behind 9/11.

    The started the War again terror to defuse pressure without any proper evidence that Al-Qaeda or A afghani Talibans envolvement.

    Afghanis are poor nation use donkeys for transportation…

    Millions and millions of people killed. President bush never allowed the pictures of afghanistanis.

    Now just unbanned 5 Taliban leader by UN ( See reports or CNN)

    Plz don't follow media … do research.

    Who is responsible the wastage of Tax payers money.

  • OKCityFedBld

    @Mike OBryan so you're a murderer huh? Awesome, way to celebrate Christianity.

  • Jason

    Christians dont want o pay for rebuilding the church. But whine and complain when someone else uses their hard earned money to build another place of worship?

  • Jason

    Mike, you are a moron. how the heck done one practise shariah law in the mosque? that doesnt even make any sense.

  • Troy Davis

    The Islamic cultural center known as the Cordoba House is proposed for a location two blocks north of the World Trade Center site. It is not "amid the sacred ruins of Ground Zero". It is not the 9/11 Mega Mosque as it has been referred to. These are lies intended to ignite intolerance, bigotry and hatred.

    The US constitution guarantees religious freedom. This includes all religions. There are no legal grounds for stopping construction of the Cordoba House.

    The St. Nicholas church should definitely be rebuilt at the World Trade Center site. This is the first I've heard that it might not be.

  • r deaver

    @david-

    your comment serves no purpose other than to expose your ignorance and your need to take a refresher course on logic and debate.

  • http://bedroomdecor.tumblr.com/ Robt Cokins

    My spouse is Muslim (Iranian; I am Asian). The father of the family is a professor and the mother is a stay at home mom. They are living the Americian dream– block parties, a collie dog in the frontk yard, paying into the system, a mini-van to bring the kids to swimming practice, the whole enchilada. They also happen to be devout Muslims. We should not think in terms of "us" and "them," we're all "us." Don't let those dumb terrorists divide our amazing, affluent Muslim community from the rest of America.

  • http://Facebook Veronique

    What a double set of standards and one that casts further doubt and suspicion over Islam and divides the community. "Divide and Conquer". The other alternative is to once again appease these people who would insult America and the rest of the world by buiding their victory mosque at ground zero. Regardless of what you may say about the site, it is still in the damage area and still is a vile, unholy and competitive thing to do.

  • Nur el Masih Ben Haq

    By Nur el Masih Ben Haq
    Unless the Christians in the West check the activities of the atheists, who are used by the Muslims to systematically conquer Christianity, Western heritage and ultimately the West as a whole, very soon the complacent Christians and the greedy atheists will regret.