January 28, 2011 Leave a comment
In this rather dramatic video showing thousands of protesters clashing with Egypt security forces in Cairo:
Here’s a really informative piece that looks at the Church of the East, which is an oft unknown Christian Traditions to those of Western Christian formed beliefs:
As you may be aware, several Christian churches in Kirkuk, Mosul, Basra, and Baghdad, as well as throughout the rest of Iraq, cancelled their festivities this past Christmas. Ever since the massacre of worshippers in Baghdad’s Church of Our Lady of Salvation last November—followed by attacks on Christian neighborhoods in the city—the Christians of Iraq have been living in a state of unrelieved terror, and they simply do not dare celebrate their faith too openly right now. Moreover, there is no reason to imagine that their situation will become any more tolerable in any conceivable near future.
There are beleaguered Christian communities throughout much of the Muslim world, of course, but it is quite possible that the last remnants of ancient Persian Christianity in Iraq and perhaps Iran will disappear in our lifetimes. If so, and if Persian Christianity is largely reduced to a fragmentary diaspora community, it will mark the end of yet another tragic episode in one of the more extraordinary tales in Christian history—though it is a tale regarding which most Christians know absolutely nothing…
Do read on here.
January 28, 2011 2 Comments
The Telegraph reports:
Organisations that track global internet access detected a collapse in traffic in to and out of Egypt at around 10.30GMT on Thursday night.
The shut down involved the withdrawal of more than 3,500 Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes by Egyptian ISPs, according to Renesys, a networking firm. Only one ISP out of 10, Noor Data Networks, appeared largely unaffected. It connects to the outside world via an undersea cable operated by Telecom Italia.
According to BGPMon, another networking firm, 88 per cent of Egyptian internet access was successfully shut down, however…
The Egyptian government’s action is unprecedented in the history of the internet. Countries such as China, Iran, Thailand and Tunisia have cut off access to news websites and social networking services during periods of unrest, as Egypt did when it cut off Facebook and Twitter earlier this week.
The ongoing attempt by the Egyptian government to shut down all online communication is, however, a new phenomenon. It not only prevents ordinary Egyptian internet users from accessing any websites, it cripples Tor, an anti-censorship tool that technical experts and activists were using to circumvent the Facebook and Twitter blocks.
The action puts Egypt, temporarily at least, in the company of North Korea, which has never allowed its citizens access to the internet.
Well that’s one way of doing it…
See also CNBC with: Egypt Shows How Easily Internet Can Be Silenced.
Catholic bishops in southern Africa were praying for the speedy recovery of former president Nelson Mandela, who was spending a third day in Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Friday.
“On behalf of the bishops, clergy, religious sisters and brothers as well as the Catholic Church in Southern Africa, the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa extend to President Mandela and his family our prayers for his speedy recovery,” said Cardinal Wilfred Napier.
He said Mandela means different things to different people. To his family he was a caring patriarch and to the nation a “great and inspiring leader”. “Tata, you are in our prayers.”
He was released from hospital earlier today and is back at home, as is reported here by Associated Press:
Johannesburg (AP) — Former South African President Nelson Mandela went home from the hospital Friday after suffering an acute respiratory infection. Officials said the 92-year-old was joking with his wife and nurses, and handling the difficulties of old age “with the greatest of grace.”
Surgeon-General Vejaynand Ramlakan told reporters that the anti-apartheid icon would now receive care at home after about 48 hours in Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital.
“It comes to us this afternoon with great joy to hear that he’s been discharged,” grandson Mandla Mandela told reporters at a hospital news conference that included Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Soon afterward, a convoy of security vehicles and a military ambulance carrying Mandela left the hospital, reaching his nearby home in minutes…
A dearth of updates since Mandela was admitted Wednesday afternoon had led to speculation and concern about his condition. Journalists have been camped outside the hospital and outside his Johannesburg home. Officials said Friday that Mandela’s office has received more than 10,000 messages of support and well wishes, including from President Barack Obama.
Motlanthe, who is acting president while President Jacob Zuma is traveling abroad, said in retrospect communications should have been better.
“Madiba has received similar checkups in the past and it’s never raised the same public panic it has now,” Motlanthe said, explaining why officials had not been prepared. South Africans affectionately call the 92-year-old Madiba, his clan’s name.
Ramlakan, the surgeon general, said Mandela was in stable condition and had not been on a respirator.
Mandela also had a respiratory infection eight years ago and contracted tuberculosis in 1988 while in prison, Ramlakan said. He added Mandela takes medication for a chronic, unnamed condition, and needs help to walk.
“Despite all of this, his amazing positive attitude allows him to cope with the difficulties of old age with the greatest of grace,” said Ramlakan, who is the South African army’s top doctor. The army is charged with the care of former presidents in South Africa.
Ramlakan would not say whether Mandela’s most recent infection was in the upper or lower regions of his respiratory tract. A lower tract infection could have signaled more serious problems than an upper respiratory problem.
“We are at the end of the day talking about somebody who is 92 years old,” Ramlakan said. “When you are 92 years old, what is routine is very different from when you are 19.”
Motlanthe said Mandela was joking with his wife and nurses before being released Friday…
Fr Dwight Longenecker writes:
SheryWeddell at the St Catherine of Siena Institute reports that 32% of Americans raised Catholic abandon the identity altogether by their mid twenties. An additional 38% retain the identity but rarely practice their faith. 30% of those who call themselves Catholic attend Mass only once a month. On a given Sunday only about 15.6% of American Catholics attend Mass.
What is the reason for these disastrous statistics? Basically because for the last forty years Catholics themselves have not taught Catholicism to their children. They’ve taught ‘American Catholicism’ which is a watered down blend of sentiementalism, political correctness, community activism and utilitarianism. In other words, “Catholicism is about feeling good about yourself, being just to others and trying to change the world.” The next generation have drawn the obvious conclusion that you don’t need to go to Mass to do all that. You can feel good about yourself much more effectively with a good book from the self help shelf, or by attending a personal development seminar. You can be involved in making the world a better place without going to church.
If only 15% of Catholics go to Mass on a given Sunday, look around and see how many of them are old. Even the 15% who are there won’t be there for very long.
The solution is simple: we must return to the supernatural realities of the historic faith and evangelize like the Apostles of old. The big difference is that the Apostles knew their targets were pagans and the pagans knew they weren’t Christians. We’re dealing with a huge population of Americans (Catholics and Protestants alike) who are pagan but who think they’re ‘good Christians.’ It is very difficult to evangelize people who already think they’re fine just as they are. We don’t know what we don’t know, and the vast majority of poorly catechized, lazy and worldly Catholics aren’t aware that there’s anything wrong.
What will it take for us to wake up?..