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A team of archaeologists, led by Dr. Krzysztof Babraj from Kraków’s Museum of Archaeology, have discovered what they believe may be one of the oldest Christian churches in Egypt, and possibly the world.

The researches were excavating the ruins of an early Christian basilica which operated from 5th to 8th Century when they found a separate area that dated even further back in time.

“At the end of the last research season, under the floor of the basilica, we encountered a wall’s remains, which turned out to be the outer walls of an even older church,” said Babraj.

“This is one of the oldest Christian temples discovered in Egypt so far,” he added.

The older portion of the church dates back to mid-4th Century, and was destroyed at some point by an earthquake.

Previously, the team was able to discover a burial chapel, a basilica, and the largest collection of ceramic fragments ever found.

The group is hopeful that the site will shed new light on how Christianity spread throughout Egypt and the surrounding area.

“Our discovery is also important because we basically don’t know any remnants of churches from the neighbouring metropolis, Alexandria,” Babraj explained.

“Now we know how they could look, which is why it is so important to continue our research that we have just begun in the old church.”

First Church/Facebook

First Church/Facebook

An Illinois church is bring their church service to local inmates and it’s transforming its local county jail system.

The church services have only been taking place for three months at the Jasper County jail; however, employees and inmates are already seeing some really positive change.

“We have a quieter atmosphere,” Jasper County Sheriff Patrick Williamson told WLFI-TV. “In times past, you would hear banging, kicking, yelling, screaming, but now it’s very quiet. They get along well, they treat staff better, so we have less incidents. It just complements the other things going on in our jail.”

John Hill, pastor of First Church had been working with Williamson on an addiction recovery house program for men. Once this program took off, he thought to create an even bigger ministry program at the same jail.

“Our church was really excited just to build bridges with these families, help them connect with our community, help them with employment, and just show them that we care,” Hill said.

“The miracle of that is something to behold,” said Williamson.

In a shared Facebook video, one of the inmates is shown leading worship with his fellow inmates. During worship, he sang “Amazing Grace.”

In another Facebook video, five men and four women were baptized by First Church.

“I believe that Jesus is the only hope in the world,” the pastor said. “I think we live in a society that is so quick to condemn people, but Jesus was so quick to give people second chances.”

You can’t tell me this isn’t the power of God!

We want to know what you think.

Ben Jacobson/WikiCommons

Ben Jacobson/WikiCommons

Atheists are not happy about this.

In a 7 to 2 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that a 40-foot cross built as a tribute to the military dead may remain on public land in Bladensburg Maryland.

The Supreme Court ruled that the cross does not violate the separation between church and state so it can remain standing.

They rejected arguments that it was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

History and tradition must be taken into account when judging modern objections to monuments on public land, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote. Alito wrote the main opinion on the ruling.

“The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent,” Alito said.

“For some, that monument is a symbolic resting place for ancestors who never returned home. For others, it is a place for the community to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for our Nation. For others still, it is a historical landmark.”

“For many of these people, destroying or defacing the Cross that has stood undisturbed for nearly a century would not be neutral and would not further the ideals of respect and tolerance embodied in the First Amendment,” Alito said.

Justices that decided that the cross would remain included Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the 7-2 ruling in the case along with Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“Just as a Star of David is not suitable to honor Christians who died serving their country, so a cross is not suitable to honor those of other faiths who died defending their nation,” Ginsburg wrote in her dissent, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “Soldiers of all faiths ‘are united by their love of country, but they are not united by the cross.'”

An atheist group previously tried to remove the cross-shaped World War I monument in Maryland ahead of a SCOTUS ruling. The public memorial honors 49 men from Prince George’s County who died serving our country and protecting our freedoms.

The attempt received backlash from service members who view the attempt as an attack on American values and those who died to defend those values.

The Peace Cross was constructed between 1919 and 1925 making it nearly 100 years old. According to the Daily Signal, the cross faces potential demolition pending a ruling from the Supreme Court.

The controversy all started in 2014 when the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit to have the public memorial removed. According to the group, taxpayer-funded government maintenance of the cross-shaped monument violates the First Amendment by promoting Christianity.

At the time, a lower court ruled against the American Humanist Association, siding with the Park and Planning Commission and the American Legion, America’s largest veteran’s service association, which originally funded the monument. However, in 2017, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision that the monument was unconstitutional.

Yet, defendants uphold that the monument was erected for the purpose of honoring the brave men who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They believe that the message of the memorial is patriotic first and foremost.

Veterans who have weighed in were not happy.

“Americans of all faith backgrounds should be outraged,” Jake Hill, a lance corporal in the Marine Corps told The Daily Signal.

“Where will this end? Will they begin chiseling the crosses and stars of David off gravestones in Arlington [National Cemetery] next?” he asked.

Mike Moore, a 73-year-old Army veteran from Lanham, Maryland believed that the Atheist group was reaching with their claims.

“I think it’s a reach to say that this is a First Amendment violation of the separation of church and state,” Moore said. “There are lots of things in the form of a cross which are not necessarily expressions of religion…There’s all kinds of servicemen’s medals in the form of the cross that have no religious connotation to them.”

Wayne Cordeiro, pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii, went to China to help train church leaders. He quickly learned that the Chinese Christians has a lot to teach him.

Cordeiro shared the touching story in a recent sermon at his church.

Cordeiro met with 22 Christian leaders, 18 who had been previously imprisoned for their faith. This group of leaders oversaw southern China with a total of 22 million people.

Some of the leaders took a 13-hour train ride to attend the leadership meeting, which was held in a 700-square-foot hotel room that had no air conditioning. They didn’t mind.

To understand the severity that the Chinese government is putting on Christians, Cordeiro asked one of the leaders what would happen if they got caught.

“Well, you will get deported in 24 hours, and we will go to prison for three years,” they responded.

At the start of their meeting, the pastor asked the group to turn to 2 Peter but realized they did not have enough Bibles for everyone. One women handed her Bible off to another, because she had already memorized the entire passage.

“When it was done, I went over to her at a break and said, ‘You recited the whole chapter,’” he said. She replied, “In prison, you have much time in prison.”

“Don’t they confiscate the Bible?” he asked.

The would smuggle Bible passages on small pieces of paper, and pass them off to one another so everyone could memorize.

“That’s why we memorize it as fast as we can because even though they can take the paper away, they can’t take what’s hidden in your heart,” she explained.

At the end of the training workshop, Cordeiro asked how he could pray for the leaders. One asked: “Could you pray that one day we could just be like you?”

“I will not pray that you become like us, but I will pray that we become just like you,” Cordeiro responded.

Cordeiro shared how different Christianity is in America verses China. The group of Christian leaders had come from far away to sit on wooden floors for three days, while in America if it’s not air-conditioned, padded pews and under an hour drive no one is coming.

190411-F-AD239-0006The Alliance Defending Freedom will go before the US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to defend a former college student who was silenced while trying to share the gospel with fellow students at Georgia Gwinnett College.

The dispute began in 2016 when a student, Chike Uzuegbunam, filed the lawsuit arguing his free speech rights were violated.

Uzuegbunam said a college official told him he was violating their speech zone policy which required him to ask three days in advance for permission to speak, limiting him to two small speech zones on campus.

Despite this, Uzuegbunam agreed to the schools terms and tried following protocol. He was then silenced again from sharing his faith because they saw him handing out Christian literature as “disorderly conduct”.

Uzuegbunam stopped his demonstration and filed the lawsuit. Another student, Joseph Bradford, who also wanted to preach on campus, joined the case as a plaintiff.

Attorneys described these “free speech expression areas” as “tiny” and only make up less than 0.0015 percent of the campus.

Ten weeks after they filed their lawsuit, administrators changed the policies to allow students to speak and distribute literature in open outdoor areas of the campus.

U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross in Atlanta dismissed the case without prejudice in May 2018, finding that the policy changes rendered the students’ lawsuit moot.

However, attorney Travis Barham of the Alliance Defending Freedom said that the policy change was not enough.

“While that’s good news, it doesn’t vindicate our clients’ rights. The district court ignored how GGC officials repeatedly censored Chike and the impact this had on Joseph. Those officials shouldn’t be allowed to get away with creating and enforcing policies that trampled the constitutionally protected freedoms of students,” Barham said in a statement.

Barham asked a judge to reverse the district court’s ruling so the students can file an amended complaint seeking compensatory damages.

“[The] plaintiffs incurred financial costs to go to campus. They have travelling expenses. [Uzuegbunam] also suffered reputational injuries when he was told he would be cited for disorderly conduct,” Barham said.

Furthermore, he wanted to address whether the college violated the speech rights of the students.

“We believe the college has to make amends for the unconstitutional enforcement of its policies against our clients,” Barham stated.