British scientists have recently discovered a unique tattoo of the Archangel Michael on a 1,300-year-old female mummy from Egypt.
The British Museum announced its discovery earlier this week, saying that the female mummy was from 700 A.D. and discovered in 2005 on the banks of the Nile, in what is now Sudan. The female, suspected to be aged 20 to 35 at the time of her death, was wrapped in linen and woolen cloth at the time of her burial.
After conducting advanced Computed Tomography (CT) scans, researchers discovered a tattoo on the mummy's upper right inner thigh with the letters "M-I-X-A-H-A" spelled out, meaning "Michael" in Ancient Greek. It is suspected that the women lived in one of the many Christian communities that dotted the Nile, and perhaps had the tattoo as a form of protection, either from sexual attacks or to protect a pregnancy. more >>
Syrian Islamist forces have killed Hilal Assad, a relative of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and key commander of the government military forces who was defending the Armenian Christian city of Kassat last weekend.(Photo: Reuters/Hasan Shaaban)Syrian girls hold up signs as Lebanese and Syrian Christian Maronites pray for peace in Syria, in Harisa, Jounieh September 7, 2013. The signs read, "For Syria we pray" (L) and "Syria, the love and peace" (R).
Led by Al-Nusra forces, fighters from Ahrar al Sham, the Islamic Front, and others affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took over the 1,700 person town on Sunday, filled with many believed to be backing President Bashar al Assad in hopes that he could better ensure their safety than Islamist rebels, according to the AP. The victorious rebels walked through the streets shouting and praising Allah, the Christian Broadcasting Network has described. more >>
Seeing the horrors of Syrian war as told by the faces and stories of those suffering its consequences in the news is overwhelming-and as I saw it for myself in person, my eyes welled up with tears at their pain. As a new father, the suffering of families and children is getting harder and harder to see. The only words I could form consistently was, "Lord, have mercy."
Let me introduce you to some of the people I met:
I shared lunch with Yousef*, a grandfather and teacher who is now a refugee in Sidon. Today he volunteers as a teacher of refugee children in Lebanon and sometimes in return gets paid a small stipend. He and 21 of his extended family fled the fighting in Syria but he told me through tears of grief how they fled too late for two of his nephews whom he held dead in the streets from bullets. He now shares a three-bedroom apartment with 21 of his relatives and confided how going home at night is hard because he wants to be a grandfather and bring gifts to his grandchildren … but it's all he can do to help provide their most basic needs. more >>
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us (2 Cor 5:17-19, NIV).
I write today from Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Christian faith and the region where 2 other world faiths were established. A region so gifted yet at the same time, a region over which we cry and mourn deeply because of the violence and wars that tear nations and people apart.
In the past twenty years Arab Christians have been killed, raped, abducted and tortured. Their children have also been killed, raped, abducted and tortured. more >>
BAGHDAD — Human rights groups have condemned an Iraqi bill that would permit girls younger than nine from the country's majority Shiite population to marry.
"Passage of the Jaafari law would be a disastrous and discriminatory step backward for Iraq's women and girls," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. "This personal status law would only entrench Iraq's divisions while the government claims to support equal rights for all."
Known as the Jaafari Personal Status Law, the bill was approved by Iraq's Council of Ministers on Feb. 25, and would permit girls to marry, with their father being the only authority who could approve or deny the partnership. The proposed legislation would affect the country's Shiite population, which makes up between 65 and 70 percent of the country's 32 million people. more >>
More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans responding to a poll on Syria said the U.S. government should help the 9.3 million Syrians in need of humanitarian aid as a result of the ongoing civil war.
Among those who said they are familiar with the Syrian conflict, 47 percent said that increased humanitarian aid is one way the U.S. can help. The same percentage also voted for increased diplomatic pressure. Thirteen percent voted for military action and 14 percent suggested some other way. Less than a quarter (24 percent) said the U.S. should not help in any way.
Other notable statistics from the survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Christian humanitarian organization World Vision, Feb. 28-March 4, among 2,040 adults, showed that one in five, or 21 percent of American adults, admitted to not being at all familiar with the conflict. more >>