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Posts Tagged ‘Christians’

Neda Soltani, symbol of the Iranian protests, was a Christian

Posted by Mats on 13/09/2010

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/026843.php#respond

neda-kreuz.jpg

This is the poor young woman who was shot dead by Iranian security forces, and whose bleeding face became an image of the brutality and humanity of the mullahs. Now it turns out the Neda Soltani was a Christian — a telling indication that the analysts who dismissed the protesters as simply wanting more Sharia, or better Sharia, or Sharia with a different face, were wrong: it just wasn’t that simple.

It is also telling that the cross around her neck was cropped out when this photo circulated around the world.

Jihad Watch reader Andrea informs me that while “many had mourned her thinking she was a Muslim. According to some German press reports, it turns out she instead was a Christian:”

http://www.pi-news.net/2009/06/neda-symbolfigur-der-revolution-war-christin/

Posted in Islam, Religion | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Europe Marches on to the Criminalization of Christianity

Posted by Mats on 11/07/2010

By Hilary White

ROME, June 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – When a European Christian pro-family group applied to join the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) of the EU’s Human Rights Agency, they did not expect to be denounced as promoters of “hate.”

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) objected to a statement by the Alliance of Romania’s Families (ARF) calling same-sex “marriage” an example of “human degeneration,” and denied their request for membership.

The ARF, a group lobbying to retain Romania’s traditional Christian social and legal underpinnings, had written on their website that, “So-called alternatives such as ‘families’ consisting of same-sex, are nothing but expressions of human degeneration.” The FRA responded, saying, “The qualification of other people’s sexual orientation as human degeneration is not an acceptable basis for creating a structured and fruitful dialogue.”

In a letter to the ARF’s president, Peter Costea, the agency called this “a fundamental rights perception that is incompatible with the participation in the FRP.” The agency also explained that their position was based upon the belief that ARF’s views amount to “hate speech.”

Costea responded to the FRA, saying that the rejection was “ideological and political.” He defended his organization, saying that members “believe in human rights and dignity for all, in diversity and mutual respect.”

“We believe in civilized dialogue and robust debate on issues of wide social impact and importance. Nevertheless, we need to point out, respectfully yet unambiguously, our view that your decision to deny ARF membership … is discriminatory and improper.”

“To us it evinces an attempt to weed out organisations that express, based on their freedom of expression and religion, views that are different from those officially espoused by the Agency.”

In 2009 the Fundamental Rights Agency invited all “stakeholding” nongovernmental organizations from EU countries to submit applications for membership in the Platform. The purpose of the platform, the agency says, is to engage in a “structured dialogue with civil society,” to ensure that the EU and national governments respect the fundamental rights of all persons.

While turning down the ARF, the Fundamental Rights Agency accepted the application of the British Humanist Association (BHA), one of Britain’s most outspokenly anti-Christian lobby groups that works for the removal of all signs of Christianity from public life in Britain.

The BHA features a who’s who list of Britain’s most hostile anti-Christians, including atheist Richard Dawkins and its current president, radical feminist journalist Polly Toynbee. The group is best known recently for its “atheist bus” campaigns and its political work to disestablish the Church of England, to abolish daily worship in schools and to “reform” religious education to exclude religious belief.

Posted in Politics, Religion, Society | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Unprecedented: Egyptian Government Suppresses Christian Doctrine

Posted by Mats on 04/07/2010

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Translations of this item:

It is not enough that the Egyptian government facilitates persecution of the Copts, Egypt’s indigenous Christian minority. Now the government is interfering directly with the church’s autonomy concerning doctrine. According to the Assyrian International News Agency:

The head of the Coptic Church in Egypt has rejected a court ruling that orders the church to allow divorced Copts to remarry in the church. In a press conference held on Tuesday June 8, Pope Shenouda [III], reading from the statement issued by the Holy Synod’s 91 Bishops, including himself, said: “The Coptic Church respects the law, but does not accept rulings which are against the Bible and against its religious freedom which is guaranteed by the Constitution.” He went on to say “the recent ruling is not acceptable to our conscience, and we cannot implement it.” He also said that marriage is a holy sacrament of a purely religious nature and not merely an “administrative act.”

Though little reported in the West, this issue is rapidly boiling over. There is even talk that, if he does not submit to the court’s ruling, the pope will (once again) be imprisoned. What is behind such unprecedented governmental interference with the Coptic Church’s autonomy?

Reading Egypt’s national newspaper, Al Ahram, one gets the impression that, by trying to make divorce and remarriage easier for Copts, the Egyptian government is attempting to “liberalize” Coptic society—only to be challenged by an antiquated pope not open to “reform.” It quotes one Copt saying that the “Pope’s limiting divorce and remarriage to cases of adultery is unfair. It is against human nature.” Even the manager of the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance claims that his position “exposes Pope Shenouda’s desire to impose his will over the Christian community” (a curious statement, considering that some 10,000 Copts recently demonstrated in support of the pope, and that the Catholic and Orthodox churches—which guide some 1.5 billion Christians—hold similar views on divorce and remarriage).

At any rate, lest the reader truly think that the Egyptian government is becoming more “liberal,” there are a few important facts to remember:

First, according to the Second Article of the Egyptian Constitution, Sharia law—one of, if not the most draconian law codes to survive the Medieval period—is “the principal source of legislation.” This means that any number of measures contrary to basic human rights are either explicitly or implicitly supported by the Egyptian government, including polygamy, the obstruction of churches, and institutionalized discrimination against non-Muslims and females in general. Put differently, Sharia law can be liberal—but only to male Muslims, who (speaking of marriage and divorce) can have up to four wives, and divorce them by simply uttering “I divorce youthrice (even via “text messaging“).

Moreover, the Egyptian government—again, in accordance to Sharia law—prevents Muslims from converting to Christianity. Mohammad Hegazy, for instance, tried formally to change his religion from Muslim to Christian on his I.D. card—yes, in Egypt, people are Gestapo-like categorized by their religion—only to be denied by the Egyptian court. (Many other such anecdotes abound). In other words, while the Egyptian government portrays itself as “modernizing” the church’s “archaic” position on divorce and remarriage, it—the government, not Al Azhar, nor some radical sheikhs, nor yet the Muslim mob—prevents (including by imprisonment and torture) Muslims from converting to Christianity.

As for those who accuse Pope Shenouda of behaving no better than “closed-minded” radicals, consider: he is not forcing a law on individual Copts; he is simply saying that, in accordance to the Bible (e.g., Matt 5:32), and except in certain justifiable circumstances (e.g., adultery) Copts cannot remarry in the church: “Let whoever wants to remarry to do it away from us. There are many ways and churches to marry in. Whoever wants to remain within the church has to abide by its laws.”

If this still sounds a tad “non-pluralistic,” know that at least Copts have a way out: quit the church. No such way out for Muslims: Sharia law—Egypt’s “primal source of legislation”—mandates death for Muslims who wish to quit Islam.

Nor has the inherent hypocrisy of the government’s position been missed by Egyptians: “The Pope evaded answering a question presented by a reporter in the press conference on whether the court would dare order Al Azhar [Egypt’s highest Islamic authority] to agree to a Muslim marrying a fifth wife and not only four, comparing it to the interference of the Court in the Bible teachings through its recent ruling.” A good question, indeed.

Finally, the grandest oddity of this situation is the fact that, for all its inhumane practices, Sharia law does, in fact, permit dhimmis to govern their communities according to their own creeds, a fact not missed by the pope himself, who “pointed to Islamic Law, which allows religious minorities to follow their own rules and customs.”

In short, the Egyptian government is behaving even more intolerantly than its medieval Muslim predecessors who, while openly oppressive of Christians, at least allowed the latter to govern their own, personal affairs according to Christian doctrine. As Pope Shenouda declared at the emergency Holy Synod, “the ruling must be reconsidered, otherwise this will mean that the Copts are suffering and that they are religiously oppressed.”

Indeed, when Copts are violently persecuted by Muslims, the government claims that it cannot control the actions of a minority of “extremists.” However, now that the Egyptian government is personally tampering with the church’s ability to live according to Christian doctrine, what more proof is needed that it seeks to subvert Coptic society and is therefore an enabler of Coptic persecution?

Posted in Religion, Society | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Archaeologists Find Oldest Paintings of Apostles in Roman Catacombs

Posted by Mats on 26/06/2010

AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito

A cameraman films a painting discovered with the earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul in a catacomb located under a modern office building in a residential neighborhood of Rome, Tuesday, June, 22, 2010. Restorers said Tuesday they had unearthed the 4th-century images using a new laser technique that allowed them to burn off centuries of white calcium deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath. The paintings adorn what is believed to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman and represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity.

ROME — The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under an eight-story modern office building in a working-class neighborhood of Rome, Vatican officials said Tuesday.

The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew. They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath.

The paintings adorn what is believed to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman in the Santa Tecla catacomb and represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity, Vatican officials said in opening up the tomb to the media for the first time.

Last June, the Vatican announced the discovery of the icon of Paul — timed to coincide with the end of the Vatican’s Pauline year. At the time, Pope Benedict XVI also announced that tests on bone fragments long attributed to Paul “seemed to confirm” that they did indeed belong to the Roman Catholic saint.

On Tuesday, Vatican archaeologists announced that the image of Paul discovered last year was not found in isolation, but was rather part of a square ceiling painting that also included icons of three other apostles – Peter, John and Andrew – surrounding an image of Christ as the Good Shepherd.

An Atztec tomb, the oldest known paintings of Peter and Paul, the graveyard of the gladiators, the world’s oldest shoe and more. The latest discoveries from the ancient world.

“These are the first images of the apostles,” said Fabrizio Bisconti, the superintendent of archaeology for the catacombs, which are maintained by the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology.

The Vatican office oversaw and paid for the two-year, euro60,000 restoration effort, which for the first time used lasers to restore frescoes and paintings in catacombs. The damp, musty air of underground catacombs makes preservation of paintings particularly difficult and restoration problematic.

In this case, the small burial chamber at the end of the catacomb was completely encased in centimeters (inches) of white calcium carbonate, which under previous restoration techniques would have just been scraped away by hand. That technique, though would have left a filmy layer on top so as to not damage the paintings underneath.

Using the laser, restorers were able to sear off all the layers of calcium that had been bound onto the painting because the laser beam stopped burning at the white of the calcium deposits, which when chipped off left the brilliant darker colors underneath it unscathed, said Barbara Mazzei, the chief restorer.

Posted in Bible | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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