The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava was consecrated in 1855 as an Episcopal church called Trinity Chapel. It has been Serbian Orthodox since the 1940s.
“To see it burning like that is such a shock. It’s just so sad. I can’t think of the words to express how I’m feeling.”
“For this to happen on such a holy day, I don’t know what to say,” said Alex Velic, a 31-year-old churchgoer, as enormous fireballs erupted from the shattered windows of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava on West 25th Street.
“To see it burning like that is such a shock. It’s just so sad,” he said. “I can’t think of the words to express how I’m feeling.”
A force of 170 firefighters responded to the fire, which started shortly before 7 p.m., FDNY officials said. Church officials and the FDNY both said there were no reports of major injuries, though three firefighters and a church caretaker had minor smoke inhalation.
“Nobody is hurt, everyone is safe,” explained Father Djokan Majstorovic, dean of the cathedral.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said there had been 700 people inside the church earlier in the day for the Orthodox Easter service. He added that the cause of the fire at the historic house of worship is still under investigation.
“It’s a very sad day today,” Nigro said. “They had their Mass at 10 a.m. and then a luncheon. The good news is that there was no one inside when the fire started and there are no injuries. One man is being checked out for smoke inhalation.” Read the rest of this entry »
It may have only been a paper effigy of the Republican Party presidential hopeful, but for the onlookers it was the high point of the traditional burning of Judas during the culmination of Holy Week celebrations.
Trump is extremely unpopular in Mexico after he said some Mexican immigrants crossing into the US illegally were “rapists” and “criminals,” and pledged to build a “beautiful” wall on the Mexican border.
An effigy of US President Barack Obama and one representing the Islamic State group (IS) were also burned.
Each year, eight districts compete to create the loudest, brightest and most elaborate effigy, or “Shimo”.
Mollie Hemingway writes:
…It’s absolutely not true that the New York Times cares one whit about the religious (or otherwise) sentiments of peaceful families in Brooklyn. If they did, they wouldn’t run so many depictions of anti-semitic caricatures in stories about anti-semitic caricatures. Or of blasphemous anti-Christian art in stories about blasphemous anti-Christian art. Or of gross ethnic and racial stereotypes in stories about gross ethnic and racial stereotypes. When the New York Times wrote about Catholic outrage over an art exhibit that featured a “black Madonna with a clump of elephant dung on breast & cutouts of genitalia,” that story featured a color photo of the art in question. Heck, it still does. Right there on the web site.
The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America.
Speaking with our Hong Kong Bureau Chief yesterday about the often overlooked historical role of the post-reform Christian church as an incubator of enlightened self-governance and radical reform (try to imagine the civil rights movement without it) I was left with the impression that Communist China’s effectiveness at resisting reform and discouraging dissent would almost guarantee that Christianity’s future in China is not hopeful as it might appear. With Maoist China’s record of hostility to Christianity, and current success at containing or crushing competing ideologies, is this report–predicting an uninterrupted rise of Christianity in China–drawing premature conclusions?
Note the reverse image in the mirror: the decline of Christianity in the west. And consider the more troubling historical reverse: the persecution, slaughter, and displacement of Christians around the world.
Liushi, Zhejiang province – For the Telegraph, Tom Phillip reports: It is said to be China’s biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.
“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence.”
The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a “miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church”.
“It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”
The £8 million building is also one of the most visible symbols of Communist China’s breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth.
“Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this. It’s ironic – they didn’t. They actually failed completely.”
“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence,” beamed Jin Hongxin, a 40-year-old visitor who was admiring the golden cross above Liushi’s altar in the lead up to Holy Week.
…Phelim McAleer and Ann McIlhenny, filmmakers of Not Evil Just Wrong and Frack Nation want to tell the story of Kermit Gosnell, whom they describe as “the worst serial killer in American history,” but they need to raise funds to shoot the TV movie. Phelim and Ann are halfway through their IndieGoGo crowdfunding push for their Gosnell Movie project, and passed the $1 million level in fundraising yesterday:
We have just passed $1,000,000 and want to say very special thank you to all of you who have contributed to get us this far, it’s a really big milestone. We are so grateful to you.
Thank you and a Happy Easter
Just to remind everyone about the Gosnell case, here’s Ann reading part of the grand jury report:
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”
—Luke 24:5–6 (ESV)
For Breitbart.com, Ken Klukowski writes: “He is risen!” For centuries, it was proclaimed in the streets on Easter morning. It was a way that Christians identified each other on this day, as another Christian hearing it would respond, “He is risen indeed!”
Easter was the hope of an eternal existence, and one that has baffled scholars for centuries to explain. It’s hard to come up with a theory that explains it all away.
There was a sizeable group of men and women, whose leader claimed to be divine. They saw their leader arrested, tortured with a series of savage punishments that often proved deadly in their own right, nailed to a wooden cross through his hands and feet by professional executioners who crucified convicts on a regular basis, hung on that cross for hours until he was dead, then one soldier thrust a spear into his chest to confirm his demise before taking him down. The soldiers involved in this process would themselves be executed if a person handed over to them for termination was let go alive, so they tended to be thorough. After that point, his body was wrapped in burial clothes and he was put in a tomb under guard. His followers fled in fear and despair.
Then three days later they say they saw him, and spent time with him over a period of days. They said they spoke with him, ate food with him, and walked with him. Then they say he was taken up before their eyes into heaven. And for the rest of their lives, they would travel the known world heedless of any dangers, talking about Jesus Christ and writing the New Testament of the Bible. They were persecuted and executed one by one, yet still continued with unabated zeal for decades until their last breath. Read the rest of this entry »
Since adults can’t get excited about the Easter bunny anymore, (spoiler alert: he’s not real!), there are certain types of bunnies those over the age of 18 can legally get excited about.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 18, 2014
Today is April Fools’ Day—the prankster’s favorite day of the year.
Boese said he has never been much of a prankster; his family didn’t participate in April Fools’ Day pranks at all. But as a science historian and recognized “hoaxpert” (hoax expert), the more he’s studied humorous pranks and hoaxes, the more he enjoys it. (See “April Fools’ Day: Nature’s Wildest Masters of Deception.”)
In recent years, Boese has noticed that the number of pranks done in the home and at the office seems to have decreased in the United States.
“A hundred years ago, most people played pranks at home, on the street, or in the office. It was considered a nuisance holiday. Today we lack the street culture to encourage [and get away with] pranks on strangers in public.”
Pranks of a personal nature have been replaced by large institutionalized media hoaxes. Viral marketing has caused a sea change in how advertising is approached, and Boese says April Fools’ Day has been a huge driver of it. (Related: “April Fools’ Day Special: History’s Hoaxes.”)
“In the last five to seven years we’ve seen an explosion of spoof ads by mainstream companies and organizations like the U.S. Army.”
Because of sites like YouTube and Twitter, content can go viral instantly, and April Fools’ Day provides a legitimate excuse to produce a fresh and funny video, in the hopes of earning widespread exposure.
“Companies feel enormous pressure to create these humorous videos, fearing that if they don’t come out with one, they’ll be considered unfunny or irrelevant,” said Boese.
“I don’t get sick of it at all,” he said. “People love consuming humorous content, and April Fools’ Day is a holiday specifically about this.”
Boese is a little sad about the loss of personal participation, but he’s delighted that the Internet has become such a great resource for humor. Read the rest of this entry »