Evidence of what one bishop described as the "end of the world" plague has been unearthed by Italian archaeologists in Egypt.
Archaeologists with the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor [MAIL] recently discovered a large monument used as a burial site in modern-day Luxor. The monument contained some human remains covered in lime, as well as bones charred by a giant bonfire. The archaeologists believe this evidence, along with the nearby discovery of three kilns used to make lime, are proof that the momentous plague of the 3rd Century A.D. that wiped out vast portions of the Roman Empire, including Egypt.
Francesco Tiradritti, director of the MAIL, told LiveScience that in ancient times, the lime was considered to be a disinfectant, and was likely used on the bodies in an attempt to halt the spread of infection. The bodies of plague victims were also burned, again to stop further contamination. more >>
Christians in Egypt are hopeful following the election of a new Egyptian president that they will be protected from Muslim extremist attacks.
Reuters reported on Thursday that retired Field Marshall Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has received more than 95 percent of the 25 million plus votes that were cast. It was the first elections since the fall of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last year, who was removed following a public uprising that led to clashes between army forces and pro-Islamist supporters. Many Christians were also targeted by Islamic mobs who blamed them for supporting Morsi's removal.
"Many Christians, and even Muslims, think that Sisi saved them from the Islamic groups and he is the hero and savior that we are all waiting for. In Egypt you have to choose from two choices: Military or Islamist. So, if I am Christian, for sure I'll choose the military even if I don't like them," said Mahmoud Farouk, executive director of the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies, according to International Christian Concern. more >>
Archaeologists claim to have recovered a tomb near Cairo, Egypt, dating back to 1100 B.C., a find that excavators say adds a new "chapter to our knowledge" about the area.
The tomb was discovered by the Cairo University Faculty of Archaeology at the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, south of Cairo. Mohamed Ibrahim, minister of the country's Antiquities Ministry, told the Associated Press that the tomb belonged to Paser, a guard who protected the army archives and also served as the royal ambassador between ancient Egypt and foreign countries.
Ibrahim added to the AP that this discovery adds "a chapter to our knowledge about the history of Saqqara." The tomb reportedly contains very clear and detailed inscriptions telling of the guard's funeral procession and his future in the afterlife. One image in blue, red and yellow colors shows Paser's wife crying over her deceased husband, while another shows Paser's children offering gifts to the gods. A third relief shows Osiris, the god of the Egyptian underworld, presiding over Paser's funeral. more >>
In a letter to Pope Francis, the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Tawadros II proposed making one date for Easter celebrations for all Christian Churches.
According to Fides News Agency, Tawadros II's letter was delivered to the Apostolic Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Exc. Mgr. Paul Gobel. The letter also marks the anniversary of the first meeting in the Vatican between the two popes.
Francis' representative has in turn invited a representative of the Coptic Church to the next Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops, which is to be held in October. more >>
A group of Spanish archaeologists claim they may have recovered one of the earliest images of Jesus Christ, painted on the inside of a 6th Century, underground structure near burial tombs in Upper Egypt alongside Coptic inscriptions and plant motifs.
Josep Padro of the Catalan Egyptology Society led a team of archaeologists in discovering the image, which was painted on the wall of an underground structure among burial tombs in the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus in Upper Egypt. The town has been considered to be archaeologically rich because of its ancient people's worship of the Egyptian God Osiris, but this most recent find is from much later, the 6th Century, and relates to the Christian religion.
As Padro told La Vanguardia newspaper, his team discovered "five or six coats of paint on the walls [in the underground structure], the last of which was from the Coptic period of the first Christians." more >>
In a mass trial on Monday, an Egyptian judge sentenced 683 supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi to death for their alleged involvement in post-coup violence following Morsi's departure from office in 2013. The recent ruling has been denounced by human rights groups which argue such mass trials fail to find justice.
Judge Said Youssef announced his ruling Monday in the city of Minya, south of Cairo. Youssef said the 683 defendants, the majority of whom were tried in absentia, were guilty of participating in post-coup violence in August 2013. The violence occurred after the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and was prompted in part to violent clashes between police and Islamic protesters in Cairo.
The judge said his verdict must still be approved by the Grand Mufti, the leading Islamic in the nation, although this portion of the sentencing is reportedly considered to be a formality. more >>