The Book Of Revelation Chapter #6 Part 2 of 2

The Book Of Revelation Chapter #6 Part 2 of 2

 

The opening of the Fifth Seal and the prayers of the martyred Saints is where we begin part #2 at. Please refer to part #1 for the information on the first Four Seals.  The Souls that are under the Alter in Heaven are the Souls of those that were murdered for their actions, sayings, and for living and following God’s Word, and these are those who lived during the time of the Old Testament Law. In the Book of Luke 11:50-51 our Lord Jesus spoke on this matter when He said the following. “the blood of all the Prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation. From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah, which perished (was murdered) between the Alter and the Temple. Verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation.”

 

With the opening of the Sixth Seal, the Day of Wrath has come. This is the beginning of the end of the Great Tribulation Period. The events of this Sixth Seal are horrifying just to read them. Please reread chapter 6:12-14. Think about how terrifying to be living in this time. Please also refer to chapter 20:11 and to the Old Testament Prophet Nahum 1:5. It is easy to see how little man kind and our puny efforts are in comparison is to the Might of our own Creator. Satan and His Angels have already learned this lesson the hard way. But because of humans self induced blindness and cold hardheartedness toward God and His Word humankind is walking down the path to our own destruction and into the pit of Hell hand in hand with the Demons they so blindly worship and serve here in this life.

 

Folks, why is it that we humans so often choose to walk away from the Light and into darkness? In Matthew 11:28-29 the Lord gave all of us the invitation “come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your Souls.” Friends, why do humans walk away from an invitation from our Creator such as this? Is it ego, arrogance, stupidity? There is no doubt that it is the most eternally ignorant thing a human can do yet billions of people do it still every single day. But folks, do not be angry at those around us who have turned their backs on God. Instead, love them, care about them, pray everyday for them. Try to help them see the Light and the Love of Jesus Christ through the examples that we ourselves portray from our own daily walk with God. For if we ourselves instead walk our daily lives in the Devils Darkness of hate, lies and greed then not only are we condemning our own selves to Hell once we have died but we have also helped lead others down that same pathway to Hell.

 

I do wish that all humans would open their eyes and understand and believe in the love, mercy and power of Jesus Christ. I do believe that the human race’s time left before the Rapture is quite short, and no, I do not know the date nor does anyone else know it.  I do believe that we all need to turn our lives over to our Creator and let Him have the controls of our personal operating systems. We are all known by our actions, our works, the way we choose to live everyday. The people around us, our family, friends, neighbors and coworkers notice what kind of examples we set each day whether they are good or bad and God notices these things also. Friends, the four Horsemen are coming, the end of each of our days here on this planet is coming and none of us know how many days we have remaining. When we are standing at the Judgement Seat of Christ and He asks us why we lived our lives the way we did, what will our answers be? There will be many who will try to lie their way out of damnation but even habitual liars like Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are going to be able to lie their way out of their due rewards.

Obedience to God’s word is spirit filled

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE RICHMOND REGISTER NEWS PAPER)

 

Obedience to God’s word is spirit filled

  • Elder Anthony Phelps/Church & Community Focus

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.(Ephesians 6:1-6)

Upcoming community and church events

• 136th Church Anniversary, Sept. 22, Farristown Baptist Church. Church will be observing their 136th anniversary during Morning Service. The Guest Anniversary Preacher will be Rev. Alvin Farris of Shelbyville, Kentucky. You are invited to join with us in this celebration. Sister Sandra Price, Anniversary Chairman; Rev. Ray Reed, Pastor.

• Tates Creek Fifth Sunday Fellowship Service, Sept. 29, 3:30 p.m., Concord Predestinarian Baptist Church at 286 Charlie Norris Road. Host pastor Elder Anthony Phelps

• Free Lunch Ministry, every Thursday from noon to 3 p.m. at Saint Paul AME Church, 437 Francis St., Richmond.

• Richmond/ Madison County Branch of the NAACP meets the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 302 Francis St., Richmond.

Richmond Human Rights Commission

The purpose of the RHRC is the public policy of the city to promote fair treatment and equal opportunity for all people regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or physical disability of any type. Board: The board is made up of 7 volunteer members with a three-year term limit. The Human Rights Commission meetings are on the 2nd Thursday of the month 7 p.m. in the City Hall Conference Room

If you feel you have been denied your rights because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or physical disability of any type, please contact us with your name, phone number, mailing address, email and brief explanation of event.

Send to Richmond Human Rights Commission, P.O. Box 1113, Richmond, KY 40476; or email [email protected].

Special note

To all churches and civic organizations: To place your church or civic activity in this column via the U.S. Postal Service, please send all information at least one week in advance. Address is: Church & Community Focus, 715 Bonanza Road, Richmond, KY 40475.

Send email announcements to [email protected].

All announcements must be received by 6 p.m on Tuesday of the week you wish your announcement to appear.

Until next week, may the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus stay fresh in your minds, and in all your hearts.

Until we meet again, may God bless you.

A proposed split in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church stokes ethnic, religious tensions

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

A proposed split in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church stokes ethnic, religious tensions

A priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church rests inside the 13th century rock-hewn Church of Bet Giorgis, Lalibela, Ethiopia, November 1, 2007. Photo by A. Davey via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

On September 1, 2019, an ad hoc committee formed by Oromo clerics from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC), declared their plan to establish a new regional parish administration unit in Oromia Regional State. They want to establish a regional “episcopacy” — in church speak — that caters to the spiritual, administrative and linguistic needs of the Orthodox Oromo people.

The EOTC currently has over 50 million members comprised of members from all over Ethiopia.

Oromo church members say that inefficiency and corruption hinders EOTC from addressing their spiritual, linguistic and administrative needs and members of the ad hoc committee threatened to take measures into their own hands — including the launch of a distinct, separate administrative unit — if they don’t hear back within 30 days from EOTC’s ruling body, known as the Holy Synod and Church fathers.

The EOTC has its own unique administrative structure that does not match Ethiopia’s federal government structure, which constitutes nine autonomous ethnic regions — among which Oromia is the largest. The Oromo clerics want to reorganize the church’s structure to follow Ethiopia’s federal political system.

The EOTC has about 35,0000 churches throughout Ethiopia. Some reports suggest about 7,000 are in Oromia. This constitutes about 20 percent of all churches.

If Oromos create a regional parish administrative structure without approval from the Holy Synod, it could create an administrative conflict.

The clerics believe that reorganizing the church’s administrative structure will help revitalize empty and neglected churches whose followers left them for expanding Protestant churches in Oromia.

According to the head of the ad hoc committee, arch-scholar Belay Mekonen, there is already a precedent for doing this. He says that the church has changed its governance structures throughout history to match changes in government structures.

He also insisted that new administrative unit will help the EOTC realize its apostolic mission by bringing the church closer to Oromia people, with plans to consolidate and institutionalize the use of Afan Oromo (the Oromo language) within the EOTC.

Unlike Protestant churches that offer services Afan Oromo, Oromo clerics say the EOTC expects Oromos to worship in Ge’ez, the church’s liturgical language, or Amharic, the working language of Ethiopia’s federal government. But Ge’ez is an ancient language that most people barely understand — not only in Oromia but throughout Ethiopia. And Amharic is a language spoken mainly by people who reside in major cities and towns in Oromia, and less so in rural areas, where Afan Oromo is prevalent.

Another member of the ad hock committee said the new administrative unit will help to bring the people who felt alienated back to church.

A monk reads Ge’ez, the liturgical language of the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church, October 15, 2018. Photo by Rod Waddington via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Stinging, holy rebuke

The committee’s push prompted a stinging rebuke from the Holy Synod, setting up a protracted intra-institutional administrative conflict.

Opposition to the committee has also come from Orthodox faithfuls, who feel the push to establish a separate administrative unit is profoundly disturbing. They say their church is a sacred institution only willed by God.

Others variously labeled the move as an opportunistic shot or attempt to destroy the defining element of their national, cultural and religious identity:

Abiye Teklemariam Megenta@abiyetk

This why I think these new rebels aren’t EOC institutionalists who seek greater inclusiveness. They are cultural vandals who have suddenly got the opportunity to economically and politically profit from the chaos and crisis in one of humanity’s greatest institutions. https://twitter.com/sitinanu/status/1168208368214917120 

Sitina Nuri@sitinanu

hahahaha! okay! chill burh! chill! 🤭

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86 people are talking about this

Mady Yonas@Madyyon

I don’t think I will ever identify with any specific religion anymore but I have a soft spot for EOTC [ which I used to taunt in my college days when I was “ woke” ]
It’s historic and was nurtured and protected by our forefathers. I am proud of EOTC and its wisdom. https://twitter.com/abiyetk/status/1168316302559252480 

Abiye Teklemariam Megenta@abiyetk

I left the EOC as a religion skeptic when I was a 16-year-old law student. Since then I had been to mass a few times just to please my family. But the recent vandalistic attack on this august institution is making me re-embrace my identity as a Tewahedo Orthodox Christian.

See Mady Yonas’s other Tweets

Numerous Addis Ababa-based EOTC organizations and parish administrators have scheduled to hold a rally on Sunday, September 15, 2019, protesting an escalation of violence against Orthodox clerics, laity and the destruction of churches.

Rally organizers said the demonstration is planned to demand the government to provide protection for Orthodox Christians throughout Ethiopia. They emphasized the planned rally has nothing to do with the Oromo clerics and could be called off if they get a practical response.

But the planned rally takes on added significance because the organizers say they support the response the Holy Synod has given to Oromo clerics.

The Oromo clerics have also gotten lukewarm support from an unlikely source: Daniel Kibret, a prominent EOTC personality, writer and strong ally of Ethiopia’s reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed.

In a lengthy blog post, he wrote that while he agrees with the clerics’ analysis of the problem in the EOTC, he also wrote the clerics’ solution is wrong.

But members of the ad hoc committee insist that they do not want to splinter the EOTC in Oromia. They have not proposed a distinct theological element nor introduced a new canon and ritual activities, they say.

Religious tension, ethnic rivalries

Crucially, the dispute has also become an important manifestation of religious tension freighted with ethnic rivalry among political elites of Ethiopia’s several ethnic groups.

On social media, the clerics’ move has amplified increasing ethnic tensions, due to a long-standing rift between Amhara and Oromo people, two of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic groups: Conflicts over land, history, economy and culture have intensified, nearly a year after their ruling elites entered a tactical alliance within the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Party (the EPRDF), to bring down the supremacy of Tigryan elites who ruled for 27 years.

Both Amharas and Oromos practice a wide range of religions. Christianity and Islam are the main ones.

Statistically, 30.4% of 25 million Oromos follow the EOTC, while 82.5% of 19 million Amharas are Orthodox faithfuls.

The Amharas have a tangled relationship with the EOTC. A prominent historian Harold Marcus describes the Amharas alongside the Tigrayans as inheritors and avatars of Orthodox Christianity.

This contrasts sharply with the Oromos’ relationship with EOTC. Although there is a significant number of Orthodox Oromos, some argue Oromo nationalists have tended to promote the development of secular nationalism as a unifying ideology.

In fact, a long-held belief among Oromo nationalists asserts that when Oromos and other southern peoples of Ethiopia incorporated into modern Ethiopia, the EOTC was an active agent for assimilationist policies of successive Ethiopian emperors.

They contend that most of bishops and priests historically appointed to Oromia were native Amharic speakers who aimed to “Amharize” Oromos by discouraging the use of Afan Oromo in church.

The latest dispute between Oromo clerics and the Holy Synod is a new incarnation of a long-standing strand of EOTC’s intra-institutional conflict — albeit with different features and players.

In 1991, after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) troops assumed control of the country, a prolonged intra-institutional conflict broke out within the EOTC, when the TPLF-led regime plotted to force the abdication of the fourth Patriarch, Abune Merkorios.

Following the abdication of the Patriarch, a movement supported by members of the Ethiopian diaspora in the US formed a Holy Synod in Exile in 1996.

This resulted in division among clergy and faithful that stemmed from ethnic and political tension between the Amhara and Tigray.

The EOTC in exile also operated as an anti-EPRDF body based in Washington, DC.

In July 2018, Prime Minister Abiy assisted the reunification of the Synod of the EOTC and the Synod of the EOTC in exile.

Regardless of one’s ethnic background and recurring intra-institutional conflict, most Orthodox followers consider the church a defining element of Ethiopian national identity. Even people who describe their affiliation to the church as cultural rather than faith-based feel a connection.

But Ethiopians who live in regions dominated by non-Orthodox faiths emphasize that their identity is not predicated on Orthodox religiosity.

American Christians Love The Father Of Habitual Liars And His Puppets

American Christians Love The Father Of Habitual Liars And His Puppets

 

I used to think that the people in the U.S. who call themselves Christians would never ever back a person who is well known to be a constant liar, I have realized that I was wrong. After all when a person is know to lie constantly how could anyone ever trust anything that comes out of their mouth? Even when such a person is telling you things that you want to hear, then you are the one who is a total idiot for listing to them and believing that what they are telling you is the truth. Top that with the knowledge of the fact that this liar is a total idiot who basically knows nothing about the real world or your life experiences. I am totally embarrassed that we have such a person as our President. If Ms. Hillary had won (which she actually did by 3 million votes) we would still have had a habitual liar for our President. About the only differences in the two is that she is actually smart and that it is believed by some that she has her own set of balls, that is compared to Mr. Trump who has never had any.

 

I have studied the Book of Revelation for decades now and there was only one part of it that I was having trouble with and this comes back around to the people who consider themselves to be Christians here in the States. I know that what I am getting ready to write will anger many people, Christians and non-Christians alike but I refuse to lie just to try to sugarcoat the truth. Near the end of days the Devil himself will sit upon the Temple Mount as the King of the world. The Great Whore of Revelation is the Catholic Church who will sit upon the seven continents and the Babylon of Revelation is “the eternal city”, Rome. The Devil’s army will destroy the Catholic Church and God will destroy Rome. The Catholic Church has fornicated with the world now for two centuries, the “Church” is the “Bride of Christ” that He is coming back to get but this ‘Bride’ is highly unholy and will be destroyed. There will be a time where 10 Nations will control most all of the world’s governments and they will give their power to “the Beast”, the Devil. Then the 10 powerful Nations will filter down to three and they will attack Israel and will not leave one stone upon another. You have the Orient which will be controlled by the atheistic China, the middle of the three will be Europe which will be controlled by the atheistic Nation of Russia, then you come to the Americas. Here had been my quandary, what Nation besides the U.S. would be strong enough to gather the other Nations together as one to go and fight against Israel. I had thought that it would be impossible for it to actually be the the U.S. but I have been proven wrong by how our Nations people have fallen in behind the evil Demonic Republican and Democratic political parties.

 

I do know that actual Christians will never fall in line like that but the problem is a financial one for most all people. The time is not far off that currency will be worthless, everything that we can buy, sale, trade or eat will be done through the chip in our hands, forearms. When you can’t work, buy food, gas, transportation or a place to live, most all people will give in, even those who call themselves Christians. For those of you who have never bothered to read or study the Book of Revelation, it says very plainly what Armageddon is. It is when Satan gatherers the Nations together to fight against Christ and His Angels at His return. I had always hoped that the U.S. would never be part of the Devils unholy army but Christians backing and voting for habitual liars has proven that hope to be an empty one. May God have mercy on our ignorant Souls because the Devil sure as Hell, will not. When Christ returns the Devil and His Angels will be cast straightway into Hell as they have already had their judgement day. All that will be left will be the humans who were tricked, fooled into believing in and Worshiping the Beast and the humans will be crushed like grapes in a wine press and their blood will run to the horses reins. Then, everyone of us will have a date at the Judgement Seat of Christ whether we did or did not fall in line with our evil Satanic Leaders.

Understanding The Book Of Revelation: Chapters 2 & 3

Understanding The Book Of Revelation: Chapters 2 & 3

 

In this letter to you tonight I am just going to use about a dozen or so verses from chapters 2 and 3. I would like you to read these verses to see what you think of the subject matter, and even what the subject matter is. I want you to form your own opinions of the material to see for yourself to yourself, what you think. I will give you my opinion at the end of the letter to see if you and I were forming the same conclusions, or not.  If you think that I may be “cherry picking” material to create a false narrative of what the Scriptures are actually saying, please open up your Bible and read the full chapters of #2 and 3. I have no intention of trying to mislead you on the material at all and I do not want to accidently mislead you either. So if you would, please read these verses and see what you think. I will start with chapter 2 verse 5.

2: 5—(Jesus speaking to the Apostle John)—This is addressed to the Church at Ephesus, modern day Turkey.—“Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and practice the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your Candlestick out of its place, unless you repent.”

2: 10—(Jesus to John about the Church in Smyrna)—“…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.”

2: 13—(Jesus to John about the Church in Pergamum)—“I know where you are living, where Satan’s Throne is. Yet you are holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in Me even in the days of Antipas My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan lives.”

2: 15—(Jesus to John, still to the Church at Pergamum)—“So you also have some who hold to the teachings of the Nicolaitans (fake Christians) Verse 16: “Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and make war against you with the sword of My mouth.”Verse 17: “Let everyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. To everyone who overcomes I will give…..

2: 23—(Still Jesus to John to the Church at Thyatira)—“And all the Churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. Verse 25: “Hold fast to what you have until I come. V:26—: To everyone who conquers and continue to do My works to the end, I will give authority over the nations…”

3: 3-6—(Jesus speaking to John to the Church at Sardis)—“Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. (4) Yet you still have a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with Me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. (5) “If you conquer, (overcome the world) you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the Book of Life, I will confess your name before My Father and before His Angels.””To anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

3: 10-13—(Jesus to John to the Church at Philadelphia)—“Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. (11) I am coming soon; hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your Crown. (12) If you overcome I will make you a Pillar in the Temple of My God; you will never go out of it. I will write on you the name of My God, and the name of the City of My God, the New Jerusalem that comes down from My God out of Heaven, and My own new Name. (13) Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

3: 15-16—(Jesus to John to the Church at Laodicea)—“I know your works; you are neither cold or hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. (16) So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of My mouth.”

3: 19—(Jesus to John)—“I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest therefore and repent.

3: 21—“To the one who overcomes (the ways of the world) I will give a place with Me on My Throne, just as I Myself conquered and sat down with My Father on His Throne.”

 

To me, my conclusion on these writings is that people of faith must keep their faith and continue in the teachings of God. We must all continue to do the teachings (works of God) or Jesus will ‘blot out” our name from the Book of Life. As the Apostle Paul stated several times that faith without works is dead and works without faith is dead. If we truly believe in Christ we will do what He asks us to do. If we do not do as He asks of us then we obviously do not love Him. This is why faith and works go together, neither one by itself will save us from the hour of destruction. The two are married together or God will spit us out like lukewarm water. Okay, your turn, what did you get from these passages?

 

5 of the Most Stunning Churches from Around the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 of the Most Stunning Churches from Around the World

Even if you’re not a religious person, there’s something humbling and awe-inspiring about the masterful architecture of beautiful churches. You can’t help but appreciate the design and effort that went into building these structures. And, you just might be surprised to find that there are eye-catching cathedrals around the world, not just in Europe.

St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City

Credit: TomasSereda / iStock

Of course, we start with Europe because this is really where grandiose churches and cathedrals began. While most people might focus on France, probably one of the most iconic religious structures is also the home of the Roman Catholic Church. Next time you head to Rome, be sure to take a trip to the Vatican to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, which is technically located in Vatican City, a papal state within Italy.

The structure took roughly 120 years to build between 1520 and 1626. It is considered one of the best examples of Italian Renaissance design and was a collaborative effort from some of the era’s top creatives: Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Even though St. Peter’s Basilica is the oldest church in the world and carries significant symbolism for Catholics worldwide, it is not the mother church of the Catholic Church or even the primary cathedral for the Diocese of Rome.

Las Laras Sanctuary – Ipiales, Colombia

Credit: erenmotion / iStock

South America contains one of the largest demographics of practicing Catholics in the world. For a nation steeped in magical realism, the story behind Las Laras Sanctuary makes perfect sense. In 1754, an indigenous woman and her daughter claimed that they experienced a religious vision when the Mother Mary appeared to them after lightning hit a stone while they sought refuge during a storm.

Their location, Las Laras, became a religious pilgrimage site as countless followers visited it to marvel at the image of the Virgin Mary in stone—which you can still see today. A shrine was initially built in the mid-18th century, and in 1802, the shrine was converted into an actual cathedral. Today, the current Las Laras Sanctuary is a reimagination from the older sitem, built in the early 20th century. However, it’s an architectural feat because it rises 330 feet above the canyon bottom and includes a bridge that spans 160 feet to the other end of the canyon.

Notre-Dame Basilica – Montreal, Canada

Credit: S. Greg Panosian / iStock

It’s understandable that a country with close ties to Europe would follow in its architectural traditions. Montreal is located in Quebec, one of the two provinces in Canada that speak French. The Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal is the first Gothic Revival style cathedral in the country. The sanctuary is best known for its colorful interior and accents. Colorful touches aren’t just limited to stained glass windows. In fact, various portions of the cathedral are painted bold blues, purples, reds and greens.

Also interesting is the fact that the stained glass windows don’t depict common scenes from the Bible. Instead, the windows show the history of Montreal. The church was initially built in 1672 and began various refurbishing and renovation projects in 1785. In 1824, a congregation boom served as the catalyst for a completely new build, giving way to the current iteration of the Notre-Dame Basilica. Construction on Notre-Dame ended completely in 1891.

Church of St. George – Lalibela, Ethiopia

Credit: mtcurado / iStock

Depending on how plugged in you are to religious trivia, you may or may not be surprised to find out that the largest population of Christians is actually in Africa. The Church of St. George, located in Lalibela, Ethiopia, is the oldest structure on this list and is the only one that is not a place of worship for Catholics. Built from volcanic tuff—the only material used in creating the church—construction occurred between the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Church of St. George is one of the most recognizable symbols for members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, a division of the Episcopal faith. The church was commissioned by King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, who wanted to recreate Jerusalem. Because it is a rock-hewn church, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral – Singapore

Credit: Jimmy1984 / iStock

Last but not least, Asia also makes this list. There are a number of beautiful cathedrals and churches across the continent, many of which are popular destination wedding sites. But Singapore often tops the list when you look at Asia because of the variety of classically built structures. And, if you have even a passing knowledge of Singapore’s colonial history, this shouldn’t be surprising.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral traces its roots to Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, who personally selected the land where the church stands today. The first version of the church was completed in 1837, but multiple lightning strikes caused the cathedral to be condemned in 1852. Undeterred, parishioners set to work planning the church’s replacement and opted to design it in the Early English Gothic style. Construction on the second version was completed in 1862.

Which churches do you think are the most stunning? Have you had the chance to visit any of these beautiful places yet? If not, be sure to add them to your next vacation itinerary.

Christmas Should Be Celebrated On October 6th Not On December 25th

Christmas Should Be Celebrated On October 6th Not On December 25th

 

Throughout my years of life here in a country (U.S.) that at least used to say they were a Christian Country there has been the debate about not only what year but also on what day Jesus was born in Bethlehem. First on the year, Jesus I believe was born in either the year 4 or the year 3 BC. and he lived for 33 years so he would have died in either the year 29 or 30 AD. By the customs of the time a man had to be at least 30 years old to be allowed to speak in the Synagogues and then Jesus taught for 3 years before he was killed. But this letter to you today is about the date in which He was born.

 

Historians and Scholars alike have made the very obvious observation that there was no way that the correct date was December 25th yet this is a date that the early Catholic Church in Rome set for a date. They believed that He was born on the winter saultus yet there is no Biblical information to back this up. There are a couple of things I would like for you to consider about His birth date. Most all of the Scholarly papers I have read throughout the years have stated that they believe that Jesus would have been born somewhere between March and October. A lot of their reasoning is/was because of the weather patterns in Israel that there would have been no Shepards out at night watching over their sheep simply because the weather would have been way too cold for that.

 

Please consider now the two reasons I have come to the October 6th date. One, it was the time of year where people from all over the Nation of Israel returned to the place of their birth to pay their taxes to the Romans. Most of the people only had crops to pay their taxes with, either directly with the crops or with the money they got from selling their crops. This would have required a fall date after the crops had come in. During the spring, summer or winter would not have made any sense because the vast majority of the people would have had nothing to pay the taxes with. A fall date is the only time of year that is at all logical. Now for the date of October 6th. The reason that I say that this date makes the most sense is because in the Hebrew calendar they believe that they have traced the time back to the date that Adam was created by God. That date is Saturday October 6th in the year 3760 BC. They believe that this was the first Sabbath. For those of you who read my material on this subject matter you know that I believe that Adam was the first human of the Royal Bloodline but that there were millions of men and women before him for at least hundreds of thousands of human years, just not of the Royal Bloodline. If the Jewish Scholars are correct about the October 6th date then it would make logical sense that this may well have been the date that Jesus was born into this world in the flesh, into this Royal Bloodline. This date would coincide well with the bounty of the crops so that people would be able to pay their taxes with their crops or the money from them.

 

This article is just something that I would like you to consider being it is obvious that the Catholic Church is and was wrong about the late December date. I was not given this exact date by some kind of Divine intervention, it is only my belief and now you know why I believe that this October date is a logical one. Besides, look what mankind has done to the December 25th date, it is now not much more than a commercial Holiday that is all about seeing how much money and misery that can be garnered from the populous, not about the birth of The King.

Sri Lanka Attacks: Relatives Of Key Suspect Zahran Hashim Killed

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Sri Lanka attacks: Relatives of key suspect Zahran Hashim killed

Sri Lankan army personnel stand guard at a checkpoint as they search people and their bags at a check point in Kattankudy near Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, 28 AprilImage copyright REUTERS
Image caption Searches have been carried out in Kattankudy

The father and two brothers of the alleged organiser of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, Zahran Hashim, were killed in a security forces operation on Friday, police say.

Hashim, who blew himself up at a hotel in Colombo, founded an Islamist group, the NTJ, which has now been banned.

Police have raided the group’s HQ in the eastern town of Kattankudy.

The Sri Lankan president has announced a ban on face coverings, aimed at Muslim women following the attacks.

The attacks targeted churches and hotels, killing at least 250 people.

Sunday church services were cancelled across the country as a precaution but worshippers in the capital gathered to pray outside St Anthony’s, which was badly damaged in the attacks.

How did Hashim’s relatives die?

Security forces raided a house in Sainthamaruthu, near Hashim’s hometown Kattankudy, on Friday.

Gunmen opened fire as troops moved in, police say, and three men set off explosives, killing themselves, six children and three women. Three other people died in gunfire.

The headquarters of the NTJ under police guardImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionPolice sealed off the NTJ’s headquarters on Sunday

A close family relative confirmed for BBC News that Hashim’s father and two brothers died in the raid.

Police sources who spoke to Reuters news agency named the three men as Mohamed Hashim, and his sons Zainee Hashim and Rilwan Hashim.

All three had been seen in a video circulating on social media calling for all-out war against all non-believers, Reuters adds.

In Kattankudy itself, police searched the headquarters of the NTJ (National Thawheed Jamath), which Zahran Hashim had led.

Presentational grey line

‘Safe house’ discovered by chance

By Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC News, Sainthamaruthu

GV of house that was raided
Image caption The safe house was discovered after local people alerted police

When I entered the house where the Islamists and their families were killed on Friday evening, the smell of death was unbearable.

A police officer at the site also said Zahran Hashim’s mother was also believed to be among the victims.

Security forces have been conducting raids across the country but this safe house was discovered by chance, when the suspicious house owner and local people alerted the police.

Every day, police are making arrests, seizing weapons, explosives and jihadist material suggesting the radicalisation process, however small it may be, has been happening over a period of time. If the security agencies had missed this, then it is a colossal failure.

The ongoing raids and discovery of weapons and material are gradually building up tensions among the communities. A hotel owner said she was worried because she was a Catholic. Muslims say they are nervous to visit Sinhala-majority areas. Some foreign governments have warned that there is a possibility of further attacks and if those happen, fragile ethnic relations could be further strained.

Presentational grey line

Announcing the ban on face coverings, which will begin on Monday, President Maithripala Sirisena said he was taking the emergency measure on national security grounds.

The announcement made no specific mention of the niqab and burka – worn by Muslim women – but instead said people’s faces should be fully visible so they could be identified.

What happened on Easter Sunday?

Sri Lanka has been on high alert since a co-ordinated wave of bombings last Sunday, which also wounded more than 500 people.

The bombings targeted churches that were packed full for the Easter holiday, as well as hotels popular with tourists.

As well as St Anthony’s Shrine, bombers struck churches in Negombo and the eastern city of Batticaloa, and hotels in the capital, Colombo.

Most of those killed were Sri Lankan, but dozens of foreign citizens were also among the dead.

Media caption‘This is Sri Lanka’: Fighting back with peace

While the authorities have blamed the NTJ for the attacks, they say they must have had help from a larger network.

The Islamic State group, which carried out mass attacks on civilians in Paris and other locations in recent years, has said it was involved, but has not given details.

How are the victims being remembered?

Christians in Sri Lanka prayed at home while the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, held a televised Mass, attended by the president and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

He called the attacks an “insult to humanity” in the service, broadcast from a chapel in his residence.

Media caption Sri Lankans pray and light candles, one week after a string of bombings by Islamist militants

“Today during this Mass we are paying attention to last Sunday’s tragedy and we try to understand it,” he said.

“We pray that in this country there will be peace and co-existence and understanding each other without division.”

Scores of people gathered for the public service outside St Anthony’s, where Buddhist monks joined Catholic priests in a show of solidarity with the Christian community.

Crowds of people watched the heavily-guarded church from behind a barricade, with some singing hymns and passing rosary beads through their hands.

Many lit candles and placed them in a makeshift memorial for the victims.

The church’s bells tolled at 08:45 (03:15 GMT) – the exact moment a bomber detonated his device one week ago.

The hands of its damaged clock tower are still stuck at that time.

Citing ‘high, concrete’ terror threat, Israel tells citizens to leave Sri Lanka

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Citing ‘high, concrete’ terror threat, Israel tells citizens to leave Sri Lanka

Four days after Easter suicide bombings killed at least 359 people and wounded 500 more, Counter-Terrorism Bureau tells Israelis to come home, cancel planned trips

Security personnel stand guard in front of St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo on April 23, 2019, two days after a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. (Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Security personnel stand guard in front of St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo on April 23, 2019, two days after a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. (Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

The Israel National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Thursday issued a warning for travel to Sri Lanka, saying there was a “high and concrete” chance of a terror attack, four days after the Easter Sunday suicide bombing attacks that killed more than 350 people in and around the capital of Colombo.

The agency said Israeli travelers should leave the island as soon as possible, and those planning to visit were advised to cancel their trips.

The announcement means the country now bears the security agency’s second-highest warning. The decision to issue the warning was made after consultations with security officials and the Foreign Ministry.

On Thursday, Sri Lankan authorities banned drones and unmanned aircraft and continued to set off controlled detonations of suspicious items. Sri Lanka’s civil aviation authority said that it was taking the aircraft measure “in view of the existing security situation in the country.”

A priest conducts a mass burial for Easter Sunday bomb blast victims in Negombo, Sri Lanka on April 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Hobby drones have been used by attackers in the past to carry explosives. Iraqi forces found them difficult to shoot down while driving out the Islamic State group, whose members loaded drones with grenades or simple explosives to target government forces. And Yemen’s Houthi rebels has used drones, most recently to target a military parade in January, killing troops.

Sri Lankan police continued their search for explosives, detonating a suspicious item in a garbage dump in Pugoda, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Colombo.

The attacks Easter Sunday mainly at churches and hotels killed at least 359 people and wounded 500 more, the government said Wednesday. Most were Sri Lankan but the Foreign Ministry has confirmed 36 foreigners died. The remains of 13 have been repatriated. Fourteen foreigners are unaccounted for, and 12 were still being treated for injuries in Colombo hospitals.

Sri Lankan security personnel walk next to dead bodies on the floor amid blast debris at St. Anthony’s Shrine following an explosion in the church in Colombo on April 21, 2019. (ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)

A top Sri Lankan official has said that many of the suicide bombers were highly educated and came from well-off families.

Junior defense minister Ruwan Wijewardene said at least one had a law degree and others may have studied in the UK and Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of the bombers had been in the country on a student visa with a spouse and child before leaving in 2013.

A British security official also confirmed one bomber is believed to have studied in the UK between 2006 and 2007. The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, said British intelligence had not been watching Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed during his stay in the country. His name was first reported by Sky News.

A photo published on the Islamic State terror groups propaganda outlet, the Amaq agency, on April 23, 2019, showing what the group says is eight bombers who carried out the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka. (Amaq)

Sri Lankan government leaders have acknowledged that some intelligence units were aware of possible terror attacks against churches or other targets weeks before the bombings. The president asked for the resignations of the defense secretary and national police chief without saying who would replace them.

Sri Lankan authorities have blamed a local extremist group, National Towheed Jamaat, whose leader, alternately named Mohammed Zahran or Zahran Hashmi, became known to Muslim leaders three years ago for his incendiary online speeches. On Wednesday, junior defense minister Ruwan Wijewardene said the attackers had broken away from National Towheed Jamaat and another group, which he identified only as “JMI.”

Sri Lankan security personnel inspect the debris of a car after it explodes when police tried to defuse a bomb near St. Anthony’s Shrine as priests look on in Colombo on April 22, 2019, a day after the series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. (Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Authorities remain unsure of the group’s involvement, though authorities are investigating whether foreign militants advised, funded or guided the local bombers.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara has said 58 suspects have been detained since the bombings.

READ MORE:

Christians Worldwide Face Serious Persecution As Sri Lanka Shows

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE GUARDIAN NEWS)

 

Iwas up before dawn this morning, preparing for our first service of Easter. This meant that, around the same time as bombs were going offin churches in Sri Lanka, I was reading a passage to my congregation taken from the book of Ezekiel. The passage tells of dead bones coming back together, of bodies being re-clothed in flesh and of life being breathed back into them. Over in Sri Lanka, bones were being blown apart, and flesh stripped from skin. These people woke up this morning full of hope, excited in anticipation of the story of Jesus’s resurrection. They put on their best clothes and polished their shoes. Now their blood is being mopped from the sanctuary floor.

I was talking the other day to the classicist Mary Beard about Christian persecution in Roman times – all that stuff about lions and the Coliseum. She was of the opinion that it might not have been quite as big a deal as later Christians made it out to be. And no doubt there is nothing quite like a few over egged stories of gory martyrdom to deepen a sense of group solidarity among a struggling religious community. Well, I bow to Mary’s greater knowledge of classical Rome. But while it may have been true that too much was made of Roman persecution, the very opposite is true now. We are living though one of the most serious phases of Christian persecution in history, and most people refuse to acknowledge it.

During the past century, Christianity has been all but driven out of the Middle East, the place of its birth. This time last year I was in Damascus, visiting the Christian community there. On the front of the church that I went to on Sunday morning there was a huge mural depicting the horrors of the Armenian genocide. These Christians were originally refugees from Turkey, and had arrived there fleeing the most sustained and horrendous persecution. How much of this story do we know? This week, the Israeli historians Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi will publish a much-awaited account of the period. The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of its Christian Minorities argues that from 1894 to 1924, the Turkish authorities systematically murdered some 2.5 million Christians. At the beginning of that period, in places like Anatolia, Christians accounted for 20% of the population. By the end of it, there were just 2% left. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, Christians have been driven from the Middle East with bombs and bullets, and with hardly a bat squeak of protest from the secular west.

Why no outrage? Yes, these horrendous murders will make the press for a day or two – but we generally care more about the fire in a famous cathedral than we do about those people who have their bodies blown to bits in architecturally less significant places of worship.

Why the blind spot – especially given that we do care about so many other forms of oppression? No, it’s not a competition. But I do wonder whether on some unconscious level the secular and broadly progressive west thinks that Christianity had it coming. They associate Christianity with popes and their armies, with crusades and inquisitions, with antisemitism, British imperialism, Trump supporters and abortion protesters.

Christians in the west haven’t helped. By describing as “persecution” the minor run-ins that Christianity has had with the law – about cakes for gay couples or street preachers, for example – Christians have debased the word persecution and made it sound like a manipulation designed to reclaim some lost place in the culture. Moreover, porky and pink-faced bishops in the House of Lords do not look like a persecuted species, and so when they talk about Christian persecution they look faintly ridiculous.

A memorial marking the 102nd anniversary of the mass killings of Armenians in Istanbul, Turkey, 24 April 2017.
Pinterest
 A memorial marking the 102nd anniversary of the mass killings of Armenians in Istanbul, Turkey, 24 April 2017. Photograph: Sedat Suna/EPA

And maybe there are some who don’t want to talk about Christian persecution because they fear that it could easily be used – as it sometimes is – as an alibi for Islamophobia. Easier to fall silent about the murder of Christians than to be seen to side with those racists who blame Muslims for everything. I understand this – but it’s still not good enough.

According to the widely respected Pew report, Christianity remains the world’s most persecuted religion. And the only reason for mentioning this so crassly in terms of league tables is simply that it serves to highlight the deafening silence of our response to it. From North Korea (OK, obviously) to China, and increasingly even in places such as India – all around the world Christians are subject to real and sustained violence for the profession of their faith, the one that we proclaim most insistently today. That life is stronger than death. That love will ultimately triumph over hate.

And this means that we believe terrorism can never quench the proclamation of the good news of Easter. At Easter, darkness doesn’t have the last word. That is why people were going to church in Sri Lanka in the first place, to listen again to this message: Christ is risen. Allelujah.

 Giles Fraser is a parish priest in Elephant and Castle, south London

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