Monday, 1 April 2013

New Testament includes ten extra books

Also in this week's news round up, Christians celebrate Easter, but face persecution in Indonesia.

Ten new texts added to the New Testament
A group of scholars and religious leaders have added 10 new texts to the Christian canon. ‘A New New Testament’ is an attempt to deliver a different historical and spiritual perspective to the Christian scripture by including texts that were rejected by the early Church. Texts included in the New New Testament are the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Acts of Paul and Thecla and others, along with pieces of poetry and prayers.

Pope Francis washes feet of Muslims and women in a Rome youth prison
The Pope has signified his willingness to change some traditions by travelling to a youth prison on the outskirts of Rome and has included two women and two Muslim inmates in a traditionally male only ceremony which includes washing feet. The Pope explained how important it was to serve others, remembering that it was Jesus who first washed the feet of his apostles.

Meanwhile, Christians around the world also marked the occasion of Easter. Hundreds of Christian pilgrims took part in a Good Friday procession that retraces the footsteps of Jesus on his way to cruxifiction in Jerusalem. They followed his 14 stations and said a prayer at each. Israel's Tourism Ministry estimates some 150,000 visitors in Israel during  the Easter week and the Jewish festival of Passover, which coincide this year.

Sufi Shrine attacked in Libya
The Sidi Al Andlusi mausoleum, a 15th century Theologian’s shrine protected under law as a national monument was blown up in Tripoli on Thursday by anti-Sufi extremists. This was part of a campaign over the last few months in Libya which has targeted Sufism, which is seen as idolatrous by Islamists. Sufism, is defined as an inner, mystical dimension of Islam and practitioners are against violence of any kind.

Churches demolished in Indonesia
Human Rights Watch Asia Director, Brad Adams has called for an end to the demolition of churches in Indonesia after a recent incident in Bekasi, Jakarta by a local government. He said: "The government's demolition of a church in Bekasi not only violates religious freedom, but it will fan the flames of religious division in Indonesia.

"President Yudhoyono needs to reverse the decision, compensate the congregation, and publicly order an end to the destruction of houses of worship.

"Demolishing a religious minority's house of worship because of opposition from the majority creates a dangerous precedent. The government may be unleashing forces that it will not be able to control." @TayyabaNoor02


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