Church

Muslims Attack a Christian Village

Living as a Christian in an Islamic state is nothing short of horrendous:

The attack took place this morning in Khokarki, near the city of Gujranwala. Hundreds of Christians forced to flee their homes. Attack sparked by quarrel with Christian, his son and some Muslims, over false accusation of blasphemy. The two Christians held at the local police station.

Hundreds of Muslims attacked the Christian village of Khokarki this morning a few miles from the city of Gujranwala (Punjab), forcing its inhabitants to flee. According to AsiaNews sources, anonymous for security reasons, the attack took place following a dispute between Christian Mushtag gill and some local Muslims, who had accused the man and his son of blasphemy.

Mushtaq, 60, and his son, are accused of having desecrated the Koran. The police arrested them yesterday, after complaints of some Muslims who claim to have found torn pages of the Qu’ran in a bag hidden near the home of two Christians…

… The news sparked panic among the Christian community, while the family of the two accused were forced to abandon their homes and seek refuge with friends…

… Gujranwala and surrounding areas are among the most active centres of Islamic extremists. In the past, there have been several incidents in the city of attacks against churches, occupation of Christian property and murders tied to false accusations of blasphemy…

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Bible Archaeology

Human Remains Linked to Husband and Wife Saints Martyred Nearly Two Millennia Ago

Christian News Wire – A scientific investigation of human bones locked in a crypt in the northern Italian cathedral of Reggio Emilia since the 10th century supports an ancient tradition that the remains belong to a husband and wife said to have been martyred almost two millennia ago.

The investigation is the first comprehensive battery of scientific tests ever conducted on the remains of a pair of Catholic saints — in this case, two virtually complete skeletons — along with a burial cloth and reliquary box.  The team of scientists used a variety of advanced methods, including DNA analysis and carbon dating, to investigate the question, Are these the remains of the martyred Roman husband and wife Chrysanthus and Daria?  Legend says the two were buried alive in the third century A.D. after becoming Christians and converting thousands of Romans to their fledgling religion.  And can science work alongside religion to support the story of these iconic martyrs?

Now, in the week leading up to Easter, the National Geographic Channel world premiere documentary EXPLORER: Mystery of the Murdered Saints, premiering Tuesday, April 19, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, follows the investigation of the mystery surrounding the bones and the scientific studies.

“All of the evidence we have gathered points toward the relics having belonged to Chrysanthus and Daria,” said investigation leader Ezio Fulcheri of the University of Genoa, who received funding from the National Geographic Society for the work.  “This has been a very rare opportunity to be able to study bones and other relics that relate directly back to a legend that has been passed on for almost 2,000 years.  The completeness of the skeletons is also rare for martyrs of this era, implying that these relics were protected and venerated in their entirety at a very early point in history.”…

The box purportedly containing the two saints’ remains was opened for the first time in centuries in 2008 and, to the surprise of scientists and church leaders, was found to contain nearly 150 bones, a rare assemblage to be associated with an ancient legend about saints.  The bones made up two nearly complete skeletons.

Scientific testing began soon after.  Among the first tests, conducted at the University of Salento, Italy, was carbon-14 dating to determine the age of the bones.  The result was a range of A.D. 80 to A.D. 340, which coincides with historical recording of the martyrdom of Chrysanthus and Daria around A.D. 283.

The project came about as a result of a 2008 renovation at the Reggio Emilia cathedral, causing dismantling of the altar that had been undisturbed since its last recorded opening in 1651.

According to tradition, Chrysanthus was born the only son of a Roman senator from Alexandria, grew up in Rome and eventually converted to Christianity.  His father disapproved of his conversion and, to bring him back to the Roman faith, arranged a marriage between his son and a high priestess of Rome named Daria.  However, the plan backfired, as Daria embraced her new husband’s religion and, according to the story, worked with Chrysanthus to convert thousands more to Christianity.

Ultimately the two were arrested by the Roman Empire for proselytizing, and around A.D. 283 the young adults were buried alive in a sand mine in Rome.  A wall was eventually erected around the grave for protection.  Historical sources record that the bones were moved numerous times between 757 and 914, when Pope John X conceded the relics to Italian King Berengario.  Finally, in 946 the king donated them back to the church, transferring their custody to the diocese of Reggio Emilia, where, according to the diocese, they have since been kept beneath the church’s altar.

Upon completion of the study, the relics were preserved and secured in a new reliquary, to be placed once again under the altar at Reggio Emilia.

Church

How to Make a Palm Cross

Just in time for Palm Sunday: 

    1.     Hold the palm horizontally.

 2.     At about the half waypoint fold the palm up towards the ceiling to create a ninety-degree angle.

3.     Take this piece and fold it tightly down towards the floor. (Do not try to make the cross. At this point you are making the square in the middle).

 4.     Still using the same piece of palm, fold it back up toward the ceiling.

5.     Take the other piece of the palm and fold it across the square you have been creating.

6.     You will now take this same piece of palm and thread it through the small square you have created. This square is at the back of the cross and you will see the right angle you originally created in this square – thread the palm under this right angle piece.

7.     Pull tightly and you should have a completed knot that does not need to be held.

 

To Form the Cross

 

1.     Take the palm that points towards the ceiling and fold it down toward the floor and thread it through the square you have created at the front of the cross. This will be the top of your cross.

         

2.     Still using the same piece of palm thread up back up through the same square you used in the previous step to create the bottom of the cross.

3.     Turn the half made cross around so that the remaining horizontal piece of palm is to the right. You should have a vertical square in front of you and a horizontal piece of palm to your right. Take the unwoven piece of palm and thread it through this square to create one side of the cross.

                     

 

 

4.     Take the same piece of palm and thread it through the same square you used in the previous step making certain to thread it behind where you had previous threaded. You should have a cross that still has some palm pieces hanging out either on top and sometimes in the sides of the cross.

                       

5.     Cut the strands that do not belong in your cross.