Roman archaeologists find oldest images of Apostles in a catacomb

June 22, 2010

apostles 4 (Photo: Professor Fabrizio Bisconti shows the image of an unidentified person on the ceiling of the catacomb chamber, with the four portraits of Apostles in circles in the corners of the ceiling, 22 June 2010/Tony Gentile)

Archaeologists and art restorers using new laser technology have discovered what they believe are the oldest paintings of the faces of Jesus Christ’s Apostles.  The images in a branch of the catacombs of St Tecla near St Paul’s Basilica, just outside the walls of ancient Rome, were painted at the end of the 4th century or the start of the 5th century.

Witness – Writing on the walls in the Holy Land

June 21, 2010

bethlehem wall 1 (Photo: A Palestinian near the Israeli barrier in the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem November 9, 2009/Darren Whiteside)

Alastair Macdonald has been Reuters Bureau Chief in Israel and the Palestinian territories for the past three years. As a foreign correspondent over the past 20, he has previously been based in London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin and Baghdad.  As he ends his assignment in Jerusalem, he reflects in the following story on how he has watched people in the region build an array of barriers, both physical and emotional, to cut themselves off from each other.

Egypt prepares new marriage and divorce law for non-Muslims

June 15, 2010

coptEgypt will draft a new law to govern marriage and divorce for non-Muslims, a state newspaper reported, a move analysts see as an attempt to contain anger after a court overruled the Coptic Orthodox Church last month.

Russian Orthodox want tougher abortion law, ties with “pro-life” West

By Reuters Staff
June 2, 2010
red square

Moscow's Red Square -- soon the site of an anti-abortion march? (Itar-Tass photo 9 May 2005)

Western aid groups deny religious agenda in Afghanistan

June 2, 2010

convertTwo Western aid organisations have denied allegations they were engaged in Christian proselytising in Afghanistan after the government suspended their activities following a television report.  Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid said they had been operating in Afghanistan for decades and their work was entirely humanitarian.

Afghanistan to probe NGOs after “preaching” report

By Reuters Staff
May 31, 2010
aid

Afghanistan has launched an investigation into the activities of hundreds of aid groups after a local media report accused a Norwegian organisation of preaching Christianity, a crime punishable by death.

Egypt court says Copts can remarry, church objects

May 31, 2010
coptic

Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, December 11, 2005/Tara Todras-Whitehill

Kenya PM blasts judges for barring Islamic courts from constitution

May 29, 2010
kenya doves

President Mwai Kibaki (C), Prime Minister Raila Odinga (L) and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (R) release pigeons for peace at a Nairobi rally for the constitution referendum on May 15, 2010/Thomas Mukoya

GUESTVIEW: Our American heritage: the Protestant legacy on the Supreme Court

By Guest Contributor
May 28, 2010
supreme court

The U.S. Supreme Court, 23 June 2003/Brendan McDermid

The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the authors’ alone. Elizabeth E. Evans is a U.S. freelance journalist living in Glenmoore, PA who writes about religion.

“Definitely a God” poster tops UK ad complaints

By Reuters Staff
May 26, 2010

christian party

A bus poster which claimed “There definitely is a God, so join the Christian Party and enjoy your life” attracted more complaints than any other advert last year, Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said on Wednesday.