Archaeologists unearthed a 1,500-year-old structure, believed to be a church, in the northern city of Acre, Israel.
It is the first time the Israel Antiquities Authority has found solid proof that the city of Acre played a role in early Christianity.
“This is an important discovery for the study of Acre,” said Nurit Page, head of the excavation, according to Israel’s Haaretz Daily Newspaper. more >>
[UPDATE] 6/11 4:20 p.m.
Rep. Anthony Weiner is requesting a leave of absence to seek treatment to become a better husband. Weiner's request comes amid numerous calls from Democrats to resign following his Twitter scandal.
Spokeswoman Risa Heller said Saturday that Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment. "In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well." more >>
Eritrean Christians fleeing persecution in their homeland are facing imprisonment, torture, beatings and sexual assault in Egypt, reports Barnabas Fund.
The charity, which supports the persecuted church worldwide, estimates that hundreds of Eritrean Christian refugees have been subjected to terrible abuse after arriving in Egypt.
Egypt is the most popular destination for Christians escaping from Eritrea, one of the most hostile countries in the world for followers of the faith. more >>
As Egypt attempts to lay the foundations for its new long-term government, a recent poll suggests that most Egyptians only want an advisory role for religious leaders.
A Gallup survey released earlier this week indicated that Egyptians, although on the whole were positive about their futures, and their country’s economic prospects, they were cautious about religious leaders taking any mainstream roles within the new government setup.
It was found that 92% of Egyptians thought it vital to include freedom of speech in drafting a new constitution for the country. In addition, 67% said they would also draft a provision for freedom of religion. more >>
Critics of American exceptionalism dismiss it as dangerous, nationalistic arrogance, pointing to unilateralism as evidence of a defiant refusal to play by the global rules. Jim Wallis warned of the Bush administration’s “theology of empire.” Kevin Phillips denounced “hubris-driven national strategic and military overreach” fueled by blind faith and religious excesses in the American empire’s illusory, crippling belief in its own exceptionalism.
Without a sense of America’s special role in the world, we are reduced to multilateral cooperation under global values created by multilateral committees. That was certainly not the position of the United States in the cataclysmic world wars of the twentieth century-and millions of people have reason to thank God that it wasn’t. Is American exceptionalism the “delusion” that we are different? Or is it the conviction that when we can do something to prevent horrible evils, and others won’t act, we have an obligation to do so, based on the blessings God has poured out on us and the ability God has given us to do something about such evils?
I believe that if we do not act in such circumstances, we become morally culpable. Now, there are times when terrible things are happening, but the consequences of our intervention would be as horrible or even more horrible than what we’re trying to stop: North Korea is a good example. Probably no country in the world is routinely committing more atrocities against its own people and crushing more human rights on a daily basis than the North Korean government. If we were to attempt to intervene militarily either unilaterally or multilaterally, in the first week or two alone, the intervention likely would cause the deaths of between five hundred thousand and a million North and South Koreans and several thousand Americans. The only institution that functions in North Korea is their military, and they would respond to any attempt by us to intervene with massive attacks on South Korean and American facilities. The disproportionate death toll among Koreans as well as Americans seeking to intervene would outweigh the intended good of such action. more >>
International Christian Concern has reacted with alarm to a proposal by Muslim clerics and politicians for the Bible to be banned in Pakistan.
In a statement on Thursday, ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said: “We are concerned by this call to the Bible in Pakistan. This demand by the Islamists is additional evidence of the worsening persecution of Christians in Pakistan.”
Last month, the leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Samiul Haq) or JUI-S party demanded for the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ban the Bible, saying “blasphemous” portions had been “added to the Bible.” more >>