Church

Conciliar Press is Now Ancient Faith Publishing

Conciliar Press announces a name change to Ancient Faith Publishing, in an effort to foster continued growth and forward momentum. This name change will not affect the operations or customer relationships in any way; it is simply a change in identity to better reflect our mission.

Conciliar Press was founded over 30 years ago as a ministry of the Evangelical Orthodox Church. When the EOC was received into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church by Metropolitan Philip Salibi, Conciliar Press became a department of the Antiochian Archdiocese. It continued and gradually expanded its work of publishing and providing a variety of quality Orthodox resources.

In 2008, Conciliar Press merged with Ancient Faith Radio and Conciliar Media Ministries was founded. Since that time, the synergy between the two arms of the ministry has produced phenomenal growth, and both have become established and valued ministries to Orthodox Christians of all jurisdictions—as well as other traditional Christians, inquirers, and catechumens—around the world.

In order to continue to consolidate not only the work of our ministries, but our brand and image we are changing the name. In July 2013, Conciliar Press will officially become Ancient Faith Publishing, and the overall ministry will become Ancient Faith Ministries. The internet radio station will continue to be known as Ancient Faith Radio.

We have a number of reasons for making this change…

Read about them here.

 

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Bible Archaeology

Ancient Olive Press Found in Jerusalem Excavation

Press unearthed as scientists dug out remains from grounds upon which a student dormitory will be built.

In the Jerusalem Post:

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Scientists from the Antiquities Authority discovered an ancient olive press  during an excavation in Jerusalem, the authority announced on  Tuesday.

The archeologists uncovered the press – ensconced in a karst  cave – while digging out the grounds upon which a student dormitory will be  built for the nearby Jerusalem College of Technology, the Antiquities Authority  said.

“This ancient press for producing olive oil, whose date could not  be clearly ascertained, was in all likelihood one that belonged to an old town  or a farm that was on these premises,” read a statement from the  authority.

“It joins another olive press that was discovered a few years  ago in the nearby Beit Hakerem neighborhood on the other side of the Rakafot  River. These presses are testament to the centrality of the olive trade to the  agrarian economy of Jerusalem and its surroundings.”

The Jerusalem  College of Technology and the Antiquities Authority plan on turning the site  into a rest area where students and visitors can learn about how the press was  operated in ancient times.

 

Church

Holy Land Franciscans Lament Ban on Co-ed Schools in Gaza

CNA reports:

A law in the Gaza Strip segregating classrooms by sex threatens the existence of Christian schools in the territory, according to the head of a Franciscan group that supports Christians in the Holy Land.

In April, the Hamas-led government of the Palestinian territory on Israel’s western border passed a law banning co-education for children above the age of nine. It also ensures that teachers and other staff are of the same sex as students.

“The goal is not integration but co-existence … and this recent ruling does not make that easy,” Father Peter Vasko, president of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, said of the relations between Muslims and Christians in Gaza.

The Gaza Strip has been ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas since 2007. Of the territory’s population of nearly 1.7 million, only 3,000 are Christians.

The ban on co-ed classrooms, due to take effect in September, will primarily affect Christian schools in the area. Most public schools, as well as those operated by the United Nations, are already sex-segregated according to Al Jazeera.

The law effectively threatens Christian schools in Gaza because of the prohibitive costs they will have to incur to provide for a substantial expansion in the number of classrooms and teachers.

“Having to close schools that are there for the very reason not only to educate but to encourage peace and cooperation among the various groups is very counterproductive,” Fr. Vasko said in a July 18 statement.

The statement added that the new law is “yet another threat to Christians in the Holy Land already under extreme pressure by both Israeli and Palestinian rule.”

Fr. Vasko said the co-existence of Muslims and Christians in the Gaza Strip means “we have to learn that each has their own identity but at the same time building positive relations together” and that “closing any Christian schools in the area would be a serious loss.”

Christians run five schools in the Gaza Strip, three of which are Catholic. Most of the students in the schools are Muslim.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem educates more than 1,000 Gazan children in their two schools in the territory, and the Rosary Sisters run another Catholic school in Gaza.

“We don’t have the space and we don’t have the money to divide our schools,” Fr. Faysal Hijazin, education director for the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told the Catholic Herald last month.

“This will be a big problem.”