Monday, 31 August 2015

Bible ownership and Bible knowledge slumped

In the UK household ownership of the Bible has slumped, readership of the Bible has declined (with only around one in ten reading it at least weekly and three-quarters less than once a year, or never).

In the midst of previous century Europeans could be surprised when they came into Great-Britain finding so many churches full of people and finding a popular BBC program like Songs of praise.

The 'Journal of Contemporary Religion published 123 national sample surveys of the UK adult general population. Also the analysis, published by Clive Field, from the Universities of Birmingham and Manchester, included as well 35 national and local sample surveys of adult religious populations.

Entitled, 'Is the Bible Becoming a Closed Book? British Opinion Poll Evidence', the investigation suggests one interpretation of this mass of data might be that Christianity is becoming 'de-coupled' from the book on which it is founded.

It is not only a problem in Great Britain that we can hear people talking about their faith and telling about believes which have nothing to do any more with what is written in the Bible.
Many churches had already gone astray for some years but the population not only got mist in their eyes from the many sermons but also continue to be carried away by more magical or fantasy rich ideas which could let have them dream about many things, like having their soul going into an other body or at an other place when they die.

Knowledge of the content of the Bible is decreasing in the UK like it is everywhere in Europe.
Many also lost the faith in the truth of the Bible. Some also because they became confronted with the contradiction form what the Bible said and what their pastors or priests said. Only a small and dwindling minority believes the Bible to be true, word for word. Key storylines in the Bible -- Creation, Virgin Birth, gospel miracles, Resurrection -- are being progressively rejected as historically inaccurate.

Read more about it >
Opinion Polls Reveal Dramatic Decline in Impact of the Bible

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Synagogue of Magdala unearthed

English: Parish church Saint Vinzenz - Sacred ...
English: Parish church Saint Vinzenz - Sacred Heart altar - Mary of Magdala washes the feet of Jesus Locality: Heiligenblut Community:Heiligenblut Deutsch: Pfarrkirche Hl. Vinzenz - Herz-Jesu-Altar - Jesus und die Fußwaschung durch Maria Magdalena Ort: Heiligenblut Gemeinde:Heiligenblut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Historians believe Jesus may have once walked the town of Magdala.

Mary of Magdala, popularly known as Mary Magdalene, is one of the figures in the Bible's New Testament which has been the subject for many discussions. She was one of the women who stayed with Jesus Christ until his crucifixion, while his apostles were afraid to be around at places where they could be recognised as followers or disciples of Christ.

Mary of Magdala was not at all afraid to show her face and wanted to be close to the one she liked very much. She was also among the first persons to whom the resurrected Christ showed himself.
It is known that Jesus went to many places and proclaimed the Kingdom of God in them. It is not sure he also taught at the synagogue of Magdala.

The synagogue of Magdala, at the moment, is the only synagogue of the time of Christ been discovered discovered in the area Galilee. It could be possible that Jesus preached there.

Magdala may be one of the most important finds discovered in Israel in the last fifty years.
Along with the synagogue which is considered ornate, with mosaic flooring and frescoes, an ancient altar or "bimah" was also uncovered. This is now being called "the Magdala Stone" by archaeologists.

The archaeologists also uncovered a 2,000-year-old bowl, which may have even been used by Jesus Christ to wash His hands before entering the synagogue.
In addition to these, Dr. Marcela Zapata, an archaeologist, said her team also found coins and pots, which needed some restoration, in the site.

"Each piece tells a story about the common life—about the cooking, about the materials,"
 Zapata explained.

At the site bought by Father Juan Solana, normally a Christian retreat house would be build.

Solana said he hopes these new discoveries will strengthen the faith of Christians and Jews alike.

"It is not for me. This is for millions of people that will come see this, will enjoy this as I did, and hopefully will be able to discover our common roots at the center," Solana said.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Propaganda war and ISIS

English: Map of the Muslim Population by Perce...
Map of the Muslim Population by Percentage in the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All places with connection to Christian culture, like St. Elian's tomb, the monastery around it (Mar Elian Monastery), an ancient structure located just outside a Syrian town captured by the group earlier this month, got bulldozed down.

What began as demonstrations against the nation's Ba'athist president, Bashar al-Assad, has become a complex fight among the Syrian regime; moderate rebels; Kurds; and Islamists, such as al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State. Muslims made use of it to convert people to what they call the true Islam and to go and destroy all 'heathen' monuments.

Places where archaeologists have worked excavating and preserving like the site of Palmyra for 40 years are destroyed for being a witness in later centuries.

The torture and beheading of leading Syrian archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad had to be again one of the many killings to frighten people and to make them choose for ISIS.
Already hundreds of Christian families have fled central Syrian towns as Islamic State fighters advanced toward them. But also Muslims are looking for an escape of the terrorist so called Muslim fanatics. More and more Mohammedan people are daring to speak out that it can not be that those ISIS people would be real Muslims. Problem is that some Muslims are finding ways to accuse Israel of infiltrating and funding groups against Muslim groups so that the Muslim world would be destabilised. Some said to me that they had seen video where when zoomed in could be seen fighters wearing a David star. I myself did not see any proof of that yet and consider it propaganda material which is used to set one group of people up against an other group.

The Druze, a centuries-old Arab community and an offshoot of Shia Islam, is the latest religious minority in the Levant to suffer the wrath of Islamic extremists. Jabhat al-Nusra or the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliated group fighting the Assad regime in Syria, in June of this year killed nearly two dozen members of the Druze community in Syria’s northern region near the town of Idlib. Nusra, like the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) and other radical Sunni groups, views the Druze, much like the Shia, as “apostate” Muslims that should be killed. Islamic militants have already attacked Shia and Christian communities and their places of worship in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.
In her thoughtful New York Times Magazine article, “The Shadows of Death,” Eliza Griswold has chronicled the plight of Christians in the Middle East and how attacks by radical Islamic groups have led to the Middle East emptying itself of Christians. This is a sad tale for the Christian community, for other religious minorities, and for the region as a whole. The Druze community in Syria is becoming understandably apprehensive about whether it would face a similar fate.
As the intolerance of religious minorities —Christians, Druze, and Shia— bubbles to the surface, the Sunni majority becomes more regressive. The artistic, cultural, economic, religious, and social diversity, which has been part of the multiethnic and multi-religious mosaic in the Levant and across the region, is rapidly disappearing to be replaced by backwardness and retrogression.

In the mean time those looking for a better place to live in Europe are considered by several Europeans a threat to their Judeo-Christian society with a danger of having Muslims infiltrating our Western culture, plus finding people who do not want to adapt to our Western culture, but making stronger groups of people they fear would become 'parasites' in our economy and having them wanting to have mosques build in our regions.

ISIS has released pictures of the destruction of St. Elian's place in Homs and the Baalshamin Temple in Palmyra

ISIS has released photos of the destruction of St. Elian's tomb, chapel and monastery in Homs, Syria.
The abbot of St. Elian Father Jacques Mouraud was kidnapped in the area on May 21st and is still missing.

On Sunday, Syrian activists reported that the ISIS militants blew up the Baalshamin Temple, which dates back to two thousand years, in the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria.
Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s antiquities chief, said ISIS placed a large quantity of explosives in the temple of Baalshamin on Sunday and blew it up, causing much damage.
“Our darkest predictions are unfortunately taking place,” Abdulkarim told the AFP news agency.
Another Turkish-based activist, who is originally from Palmyra, told the AP news agency, that sources from the city said the temple was blown up today.
The ancient city, which is a Unesco World Heritage site, is famed for its well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins, and the Baalshamin temple, built nearly 2,000 years ago, is one of the city’s best-known buildings.
Palmyra is a large site, visited by millions
Palmyra is a large site, visited by millions
The oldest parts of the Baalshamin temple dated to the 1st Century AD

Coming of the Messiah is imminent according Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky

English: Chaim Kanievsky
English: Chaim Kanievsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, who is a pillar of the Jewish community, leading authority in mainstream Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and known for his authoritative books on Torah law, has been giving clear and unequivocal messages recently that the coming of the Messiah is imminent. He is urging Jews to make Aliyah as soon as possible. Aliyah, the Hebrew verb for “going up”, refers to immigrating to Israel, which is seen as higher spiritual action that can help herald in the coming of the Messiah.

After a lifetime of immersing himself in classical Jewish texts, Rabbi Kanievsky’s study partner informed various media sites that the Rabbi is talking about the messiah “all the time.” Since last summer’s war in Gaza, the Rabbi has been spreading this message of imminent return. In one instance, Rabbi Kanievsky instructed a Jew from Argentina who asked for a blessing that he should “gather your family and come to Israel. Otherwise, there won’t be enough room for you on the airplanes.”