UNESCO has officially designated as a World Heritage site the location of the baptism of Jesus Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Scholars have said it is not known whether the exact location falls on the Jordanian or Israeli side of the river, which has long stirred a tourism dispute between the two countries.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that although the U.N. cultural agency declared that most Christian churches believe the Jordanian side to be the location of Jesus' baptism by John, as found in Matthew 3 and other passages, scholars say there is no way to be certain which side of the river was the precise location.
Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that UNESCO's decision "has nothing to do with archaeological reality." more >>
Many remember the tragedies of the Second Sudanese Civil War and the historic peace agreement made in 2005. To help bring about this peace process, the Bush Administration appointed Senator John Danforth as Special Envoy to Sudan in 2001. Without Senator Danforth's efforts and dedication serving in the role of Special Envoy, the civil war may have continued and the nation of South Sudan might not exist.
After a year of the bloody campaign waged by the Islamic State in the Middle East, the current Administration has the opportunity to appoint a Special Envoy focused on this region.
The position of Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and Central Asia was signed into law one year ago, but since its creation it has remained empty. more >>
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says lives were changed after he sponsored a trip to Israel where Hall of Fame football players were baptized in the Jordan River.
Kraft, 74, paid for the trip called, "Touchdown in Israel: Mission of Excellence" where 19 Hall of Famers were invited to participate in community events, witness the country's latest technological advancements and take part in spiritual rituals.
Tim Mahoney's ground-breaking documentary "Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus," which examines evidence of the biblical Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, is being released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Aug. 4 through Capitol Christian Distribution.
Twelve years in the making, "Patterns of Evidence" explores the question: Is there any evidence that the Exodus story actually happened? Mahoney strives to answer the question by chronicling an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt while corroborating the biblical text.
Consequently, the filmmaker and his team uncover evidence that call decades of archeological studies into question regarding the Israelites' descent into slavery, their Exodus out of Egypt, and the conquest of the Promised Land. more >>
Islamic militants claiming to be representatives of terror group ISIS in Jerusalem have threatened to "cleanse" Israel of all Christians and "non-believers" unless they leave the country. The extremists are accusing Christians of encouraging Muslims to abandon their religion.
"Those who work with the Zionists also encourage Muslims to leave their religion and become more secular and open, and they spread evil," Arabic-language leaflets warns, according to The Jerusalem Post. "They take these Muslims away from us. ... We know where they are, but we need help to find them all — all those Christian collaborators."
The message continues: "ISIS soldiers will work to kill these people so this country is clean of them and ... will clean this country and the Muslim Quarter from these Christians during this holy Ramadan." more >>
The Jerusalem Municipality will now have to consult with the city's Rabbis before allowing Christians to host events in the city after the haredi, a group of ultra-orthodox Jews, accused Christians of forcing conversions at a conference held there last month.
The respected orthodox Jewish officials issued complaints to the municipality and the management of the city's multi-purpose sports arena where the conference was held and called the event which hosted thousands of Christians from around the world a "major show of forced conversion," according to YNetNews.com.
Haredi media charged that the event was aimed at convincing Jews to join Christianity with the help of missionaries who came to Israel for that purpose. The city's rabbis demanded that the Municipality cancel the event, but they were unsuccessful due to legal issues. more >>