Category Archives: religion

British tourist missing in Israel may have Jerusalem syndrome

Israeli authorities are searching for a British man who is missing in the Negev desert amid fears that he could be suffering from Jerusalem syndrome, a psychiatric condition whose sufferers believe they are prophets or other biblical figures.

Oliver McAfee, 29, a devout Christian, was last seen on 21 November while cycling near the southern Israeli town of Mitzpe Ramon. Hikers found his wallet, keys and computer tablet earlier this month, and other possessions, including his bicycle, bags and shoes, were found separately.

Continue reading British tourist missing in Israel may have Jerusalem syndrome

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How Christian ‘prophets’ are breaking the third commandment

There’s a story going round at the moment about a ‘prophecy’ that God will remove North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un unless he becomes a Christian.

The prophetess in question is one Cindy Jacobs, and a video of her in action was shared on Right Wing Watch, a whistleblower site that is no friend to evangelical Christians.

Well, God bless Cindy. She seems like a nice person. But I’ll be honest: I watch things like that with my hands over my eyes, wincing at every second sentence. Because, not to put too fine a point on it, I don’t believe it. I don’t think Ms Jacobs – with all her undoubted sincerity – has a hot line to God. Continue reading How Christian ‘prophets’ are breaking the third commandment

Dalai Lama says successor not required

Institution “served its purpose” and Tibetan Buddhism “not dependent on one individual”, exiled spiritual leader says.

The Dalai Lama has told a German newspaper from his Himalayan homeland that he should be the last Tibetan spiritual leader, ending a centuries-old religious tradition.

His comments to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper echoed his previous statement that “the institution of the Dalai Lama has served its purpose”, but were even more explicit.

Continue reading Dalai Lama says successor not required

Israel’s Fearsome Female Warriors

Israeli women are all expected to serve alongside men in the Israeli Defence Force

Israel is one of three countries in the world where military service is compulsory for women. Since 2000, the women were given equal rights to serve in the military alongside men. Now they make up 33% of IDF ranks, and 51% of its officers.

Women have formed part of Israel's military since the state was founded in 1948.

All Israeli women must undertake 24 months of military service, and afterwards remain reservists until they are 38: terms which are identical for men.

Continue reading Israel’s Fearsome Female Warriors

Divine Photos of America’s Most Epic Churches

Photographer Christoph Morlinghaus takes us on a grand tour of the very best Modernist religious architecture in Form/Faith.

From Eliel and Eero Saarinen’s Midwest churches to Marcel Breuer’s austere concrete to the far-out experiments of Pietro Belluschi, the series is a beautiful study of how religion has long spawned many of the world’s most beautiful buildings.

“I was always in awe of how light and a few building materials like concrete, glass and wood can evoke a spiritual feeling,” says Morlinghaus, who was drawn to the beauty of churches after experiencing the “very cathedral-like feel” of Eero Saarinen’s Terminal 5 at JFK.

Continue reading Divine Photos of America’s Most Epic Churches

BBCtrending: Pakistan’s ‘drunk mullah’

A leading Islamic scholar in Pakistan who appeared to slur his words on live TV has become the subject of ridicule on social media.

When it comes to Islamic clerics in Pakistan, few are more senior than Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi. His opinion on Islamic scripture is sought by the nation’s lawmakers.

But this is a country where it is illegal for Muslims to drink alcohol, so it’s unsurprising that his apparently intoxicated appearance on a late night talk show has caused controversy. Continue reading BBCtrending: Pakistan’s ‘drunk mullah’

Urbi et Orbi: Pope calls for ‘peace for Jerusalem’

Pope Francis has used his traditional Christmas Day message to call for “peace for Jerusalem” and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

Acknowledging “growing tensions” between them, he urged a “negotiated solution… that would allow the peaceful co-existence of two states”.

US President Donald Trump recently announced that America recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The hugely controversial move drew condemnation across the Muslim world.

Last week, UN members decisively backed a non-binding resolution that said any decisions regarding the status of the Jerusalem were “null and void” and must be cancelled.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their future capital, and all countries currently keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.

The Roman Catholic leader was giving his Urbi et Orbi speech, which in Latin means “To the city and world”, in Saint Peter’s Square.

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