Offering table confirms oldest church find
In 1998, North Carolina State University archaeologist Thomas Parker announced that he'd discovered the oldest Christian church in the world in Aqaba, Jordan. Excavations have continued, and this summer Parker found important evidence showing the building, erected in the 200s, was truly built to be a church: an offering table. Before 300, Christians used other buildings as churches.
Anti-conversion mob attacks Christian meeting in Malad, India
As about 4,000 Christians met for a Holy Spirit conference at a school in Malad, India, yesterday, more than two dozen protesters literally gatecrashed the event. "The whole thing was over in about ten minutes," said one attendee. "They threw down chairs and a video camera. They also climbed onto the stage and broke the windows of a bus." No one was injured, but India has seen a rise in violence against Christians. Police looked into the matter, and say some attendees were "abused" by the mob, but the deputy commissioner also blamed the victims. "The sounds from the conference must have led residents to believe that people were being duped with false promises of miracles," he said.
Meanwhile, a group known as the Dalit Panthers of India, which represents a number of India's low-caste Hindus, says that 25,000 of its members will convert to Christianity next month to protest a law in the state of Tamil Nadu banning many religious conversions. "The upper class has been torturing the Dalits for centuries, and now, by passing the bill, the government has decided to shackle us in a society where we are denied even our basic democratic rights," a Dalit activist tells today's Washington Times.
"No person shall be condemned to death by stoning in Nigeria"
Tensions between the Nigerian national government and state governments that have installed Islamic Shari'ah law are coming to a head as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dubem Onyia emphasized Saturday that Shari'ah death penalties will be blocked.
The national government, he said, "will not fold its arms while the rights of its citizens are abused. … [Nigeria will use] its constitutional powers to thwart any negative ruling, which is deemed injurious to its people. … We restate that no person shall be condemned to death by stoning in Nigeria."
But Onyia didn't say exactly how the government will stop the stonings.
- ROM repairing box linked to Jesus | Exhibit opens on Friday: Stabilization techniques will not hide crack (The National Post, Canada)
- A trip to hell and back lifts the murky lid on 'Jesus box' | The ossuary that may once have held the bones of James, brother of Jesus, is being readied for exhibition in Canada (The Globe and Mail, Toronto)
- Ossuary's owner to speak in Toronto | Israeli collector has been reclusive up until now (Canadian Press)
Catholic abuse scandal:
- Bishops gather on abuse reforms | Clerics look to revise policy, assure critics (The Boston Globe)
- Abuse scandal is deterring catholic donors, poll says | Two out of three American Roman Catholics who attend Mass regularly say the nation's bishops have done a "bad job" facing the crisis of sexual misconduct by priests (The New York Times)
- Making the policy clear | A time for bishops to speak clearly about a densely written document on abuse. (Peter Steinfels, The New York Times)
- Church's revised abuse rules stir debate | Canon, civil law may conflict, experts say (The Washington Post)
- The bishops and the law | Any policy that allows clergy sexual abuse of children to go unreported to public authorities is a policy that grievously harms more than it helps (Editorial, The Washington Post)
- In facing evil, the Vatican blinks | By shifting power to canonical standards, the Vatican has unwittingly invited scrutiny of the church's core crisis: its lack of oversight capacity (Jason Berry, Los Angeles Times)
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