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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

Security Upgraded for UNESCO Chief After Death Threats Over Jerusalem

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Security for United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) chief Irina Bokov has been ramped up, after she received death threats over her blunt opposition to last week’s resolution erasing the historic Jewish link to Jerusalem.

According to a report broadcast on Israel Radio, “the director-general received death threats and her protection has been reinforced… These threats were made after her criticism” of the resolutions in which Israel was condemned for “violations” at Jewish holy sites and in which the holiest sites in Judaism are referred to solely by their Islamic names, describing them as holy only to Muslims.

Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen described the “appalling conduct” of the Arab countries involved in working on the drafts of the resolution during his interview with Israel Radio.

Hacohen was unsuccessful in convincing the UNESCO board to hold off on ratification of the resolution earlier in the day Monday.

Bokova opposed the motion for the resolution, saying, “Nowhere more than in Jerusalem, do Jewish, Christian and Muslim heritage and traditions share space.”

Nevertheless, the motion – submitted by the Palestinian Authority – passed in committee last week in Paris and was ratified Monday; it awaits validation by the UNESCO executive board on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the passage of the resolution, “theater of the absurd” and invited the members of UNESCO to take a trip to the Arch of Titus to refresh their knowledge of history and view for themselves the treasures of the Second Holy Temple of Jerusalem that were carted back to Rome after they were plundered from the Jewish holy site.

Bayit Yehudi Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who also serves as president of the Israel National Commission for UNESCO, followed Thursday’s passage of the resolution by suspending all professional cooperation with the international body.

Russia’s state-run Sputnik news site said the resolution “acknowledges Jerusalem to be a holy city for Muslims, Christians and Jewish people, but names the Temple Mount a Muslim holy site.” The site posted a piece on Friday (Oct. 14), saying the resolution was a “affront” to Jews, quoting Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar.

“I must honestly and explicitly say: the latest UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem is an affront to the feelings of all religious Jews and completely undermines, in our eyes, the credibility of this organization,” Lazar said, as quoted in a news release.

Lazar added that UNESCO was failing in its educational function by failing to recognize the findings of archaeological excavations, which “indicate that Jerusalem for dozens of centuries has been the unquestioned spiritual center of Judaism.” The Rabbi also noted his dismay at the vote of the Russian delegation in UNESCO in favor of the resolution.

Hana Levi Julian

Cardinal Urging Christians to Convert ISIS Members, Regardless of Obvious Repercussions

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Roman Catholic Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, declared that the mission for Christians to bring other people to the faith includes militants like the Islamic State (ISIS) who are responsible for the highest persecution of Christian believers in the Middle East. Speaking last Sunday in Einsiedeln, Switzerland, the Cardinal argued that 80% of all the people who are persecuted for their faith around the world today are Christians, who are executed without regard to their denominational distinctions.

Cardinal Koch also advocated a thoughtful welcome of refugees knocking on Switzerland’s door. Incidentally, the Swiss have turned sheltering refugees from the Middle East into a lucrative business, as refugees arriving in Switzerland have had to turn over to the state any assets worth more than $1,000 to help pay for their upkeep. It also presents an ingenious pricing policy: whatever you have above a thousand bucks, please. But we digress.

Recalling the words of Tertullian, an emblematic figure of the Christian community in Carthage in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Cardinal Koch told his listeners on Sunday that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of new Christians.” Considering the state of affairs in ISIS controlled areas, this should make for lots of new Christian seeds. Indeed, Koch, formerly the bishop of Basel, Switzerland, suggested that more Christians are persecuted in the world today than they were in the Roman Empire in the first centuries of Christianity.

Since the start of the civil war in Syria, more than 2,000 members of the local Christian minority were killed, and tens of thousands have fled the fighting to seek refuge abroad. More than one hundred churches were damaged or completely destroyed, according to figures provided by AED.

Catholicism is not for the faint of heart, and not for folks seeking self-preservation, never mind a comfortable life. Cardinal Koch noted that while Christians are fleeing the war in the Middle East by the tens of thousands, local bishops have been pleading with them to stay, even at the cost of a swift martyrdom.

But the Church insists on the same disregard for its people’s safety once they have reached European shelters. Faced with the alarming news that about 40,000 Christian refugees are being harassed and threatened by Muslim refugees in shelters in Germany, Church officials have resisted calls to separate the refugees according to their faith. “There’s an educational job to do, it’s a long process to pass the values which are in force in our democracies,” Cardinal Koch said, pointing to the eventual peace that has been reached between Protestants and Catholics in Europe, arguing the bloody conflict between Sunnis and Shiites will inevitably be resolved equally peacefully.

Of course, it’s taken Catholics and Protestants a good six centuries or so to stop murdering each other, and in some parts of Europe and the US the smoke hasn’t yet cleared off of that one completely. But the cardinal is stoic as to the number of victims this approach to conflict resolution will surely exact.

Cardinal Koch told the Daily Telegraph: “We have a mission to convert Muslims to Christianity. We have a mission to convert the people of all the non-Christian religions [except] Judaism.” He also urged Christians to view Judaism as a “mother” – despite key differences between the two faiths – and said they have a unique relationship, unlike the third Abrahamic religion, Islam.

One of the most crucial distinctions in that regard has been that Jews rarely massacre your entire village for daring to invite them to mass.

JNi.Media

Rabbi Appointed ‘Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope’

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) After three weeks and thousands of jokes from 47 countries, the Joke With The Pope Campaign has been concluded, with Rabbi Bob Alper of Vermont receiving the title, “Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope.”

Needless to say, this was the very first time a pope, or his advisers, felt the need for a comedic advisor.

Alper’s joke went: “My wife and I have been married for over 46 years, and our lives are totally in synch. For example, at the same time I got a hearing aid, she stopped mumbling.”

Actor Bill Murray’s joke was: “Did you hear about the two antennae that got married? The service wasn’t so great, but the reception was fantastic.”

Latenight host Conan O’Brien contributed: “The drought in California is so bad, people in Napa are asking the Pope to turn their wine into water.”

“It had it all,” said Andrew Small, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which is behind Joke With The Pope. “It was the kind of joke I think the Pope would use himself, and that’s what befits an Honorary Comedic Advisor,” he explained. “We congratulate Rabbi Bob and we thank all who submitted their ‘jokes and funny stories,’ as Pope Francis asked at the start of this campaign.”

“For me, Joke With The Pope was doing good while having fun,” said Rabbi Bob, who donated the proceeds from his joke to the homeless in Ethiopia. “It’s the joy of the mitzvah,” Alper added, saying he feels Pope Francis “exudes warmth, honesty – and there’s his humor,” and so “We all benefit from his model.”

Rabbi Alper is not the only winner of the current campaign. The Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, the Pope’s own messangers and the brains behind Joke With The Pope, will donate $10,000 to three humanitarian causes in celebration of the large number of joke donations. Money will be provided to three causes on the newly released Missio app: housing the homeless in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; helping children in need in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and feeding the hungry in Nairobi, Kenya. Additional projects can be explored on Missio.

“Joke With The Pope helped spread joy to the world,” said Small. “But more importantly, it inspired many people to download the Missio app as a way to continue that joy by making a difference in the poorest communities of our world. Missio puts the power of change right at your fingertips, connecting you with change-makers and life-saving projects across the globe.”

Small’s own joke went: “How much did it get cost the pirate to get his ears pierced? A buck an ear.”

The Missio app is available through the App Store and Google Play, or at www.missio.org. The new app coincides with the Catholic Church’s celebration of Mission Month which honors and supports the work of Catholic missionaries around the world.

JNi.Media

President Rivlin Flies to the Vatican

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin flew Wednesday night for his first official visit to Rome and the Vatican at the invitation Pope Francis.

Before leaving, he said:

I leave now to meet with a leader who is a true friend of the State of Israel, and of the Jewish people.

Pope Francis is an inspirational leader who believes in dialogue between different faiths and whose activities and statements are aimed at the promotion of this dialogue. He is an emissary of reconciliation and compassion in his endeavors for the sake of humanity.

The President will be received at an official welcoming ceremony on Thursday morning at the Vatican, after which he will hold a private meeting with the Pope.

The two will speak about the need for dialogue “between the peoples of the Middle East and between all those of different faiths.”

President Rivlin’s office added that he “will express to the Pope the importance that the State of Israel places on the preservation of freedom of religion for the different faiths in Israel, and will update the Pope on his visit to the Christian sites in the Jordan Valley last week.

The visits were aimed at developing and preserving the area around the traditional baptism site and to enable greater access for pilgrims and visitors.

Later on Thursday, the President will meet with the Prime Minister of the Vatican and the President of Italy before addressing a special meeting with members of the Jewish community in the Great Synagogue in Rome’s old Jewish quarter.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

2 Days After Pope’s Visit, Bethlehem Church Fire Not Arson?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Just two days after Pope Francis visited the Church of the Nativity in Palestinian Authority-controlled Bethlehem, there was a fire. Coincidence?

The church — important to Roman Catholics around the world — is built over the grotto believed to be the birthplace of the founder of Christianity, Jesus. It is considered one of the holiest sites in the faith.

A cleric at the church, Father Ibrahim Faltas, denied the fire had been set intentionally and claimed a candle tipped over near a curtain, setting it aflame.

The once-mostly Christian town of Bethlehem — controlled today by the Palestinian Authority — is now populated by a Muslim majority. Christian residents have been systematically attacked by local Muslims and quietly have fled, until now only a small fraction remain. The Pope, however, made no reference to the vicious campaign of harassment carried out against his people during his visit to the region, focusing instead of Arab-Israeli relations.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Rare 800 Yr Old Christian Monastery Seal Discovered in Jerusalem

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

A rare 800-year-old Christian monastery lead seal was discovered in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayit Ve’Gan, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Tuesday.

The seal – or bulla, as it is known in Latin – was found during an excavation in the summer of 2012 at the Horbath Mizmil archaeological dig, and has since been identified as belonging to the Saint Sabas monastery. The site was abandoned at the end of the Byzantine period and resettled during the Crusader period (11-12 CE) and reached maximum population during the Mamluk period (13-15 CE). Artifacts discovered during the excavations reflected daily life in a farmstead there – and the seal.

S. Sabas – or Mar Saba, in Syriac – was an important leader among the Christian monasteries during the Byzantine period in the area of the Judean Desert.

The seal bears an inscription for Mar Saba, the saint, in Greek, with his likeness, on one side, and a second inscription attributing the item to the saint’s largest monastery, the ‘Great Laura’ during the Byzantine period in the Jerusalem area. The two parts of the seal, which are meant to be pressed together, are connected by a single thread.

Dr. Yuval Baruch, IAA regional archaeologist for Jerusalem and surrounds, presented the unique find to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who noted its importance for the history of Christianity in the Holy Land and its significance for archaeological research.

Hana Levi Julian

Harvard Students Apologize for Blog on Jews and Jesus Killing

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

The student-run Harvard Ichthus Christian blog website apologized for an anonymous post by a Jewish convert to Christianity who wrote that Jews deserve to be persecuted for killing Jesus.

The apology was issued on Friday, and the original post that was published last Wednesday has been removed from the site.

“(W)e sincerely apologize for breaching the confidence of civil dialogue. This has been a growing experience for all involved here at the Ichthus, and, as students, we sincerely appreciate the patience and grace you have demonstrated towards us,” editor-in-chief Aaron Gyde wrote in his apology.

“We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years,” the post said, according to the Boston Globe.

“This particular piece has led to increasing misunderstanding and disinformation about the author’s views, the Ichthus, and Christianity,” the Ichthus wrote in the apology. “We do acknowledge that many of the claims of Christianity are offensive to those who do not believe it, but we think that much of the offense that has resulted from this article is not the offense of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And for that we apologize.”

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/harvard-students-apologize-for-blog-on-jews-and-jesus-killing/2013/11/24/

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