The Significance of Easter

Significance of Easter

Easter is the most important holiday in Christianity. It’s celebrated by 2.2 billion Christians world-wide. Traditional Christians worship the divinity of Jesus, and Easter Sunday is the day, according to the Bible, when Jesus rose from the dead, revealing himself to be a divine figure. Easter, at its essence, actually defines Christianity.

Easter is the culmination of “holy week,” including many religious events. Most well known are Palm Sunday (a celebratory day) commemorating when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (a symbol representing a peaceful King) and Good Friday (a day of fasting and penance), commemorating his crucifixion and death at the hands of the Romans. The joyful holiday of Easter, commemorating his Resurrection, caps the holy week with an exuberant feast.

As with Christmas and other Christian holidays, many pagan elements have worked their way into modern Easter celebrations. This blending of traditions was encouraged by the early church, which sought to incorporate diverse religious and cultural groups into the religion by adopting and repurposing the ancient religious holidays and culturally specific imagery of these groups. For this reason rabbits and eggs, which were common pagan fertility symbols throughout Europe, have their place in the modern holiday.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Breaking World News

Breaking World News

U.S. hits ISIS targets in Afghanistan with largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat
“The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said the bomb was “the right munition” to use against the Islamic State because of the group’s use of roadside bombs, bunkers and tunnels…” (The Washington Post)

U.S.-led coalition accidentally bombs Syrian allies, killing 18
“Aircraft from a U.S.-led coalition accidentally bombed friendly Syrian forces fighting the Islamic State in northern Syria on Tuesday, killing 18, the Pentagon said Thursday. The bombing marks the worst confirmed friendly-fire incident in the nearly three-year-old war against the terrorist group…” (The Washington Post)

Turkey set for historic poll over presidential powers
“The proposed constitutional amendments seek to transform Turkey’s political system into an executive presidential one…” (Al Jazeera)

Turmus Aya’s Palestinians threatened by settlement plan
“Around 4000 Palestinians live in fear over recent encroachment from Israeli settlements…” (Al Jazeera)

Xi and Trump discuss Korean Peninsula, Syria over phone
“BEIJING, April 12 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, and discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Syria…” (XinhuaNet)

China, Japan, ROK hold 12th round of free trade talks
“TOKYO, April 13 (Xinhua) — Top negotiators from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) met here Thursday on pushing forward trade in goods and services as well as investment at the 12th round of talks on a trilateral free trade agreement (FTA)…” (XinhuaNet)

Small Saturn moon has most conditions needed to sustain life, Nasa says
“A tiny moon of Saturn has most of the conditions necessary for life, Nasa announced on Thursday, unveiling a discovery from an underground ocean that makes the world a leading candidate for organisms as humans know them…” (The Guardian)

Westminster attack: Masood did act alone, police conclude
“Investigators now believe that the man responsible for the Westminster attack in March acted wholly alone in the planning and preparation for the first mass casualty terrorist atrocity to hit Britain in more than 10 years…” (The Guardian)

Hollande warns against ‘peril’ of leftist presidential candidate Mélenchon
“Hollande broke weeks of silence over France’s fast-approaching election during an interview published on Wednesday, telling conservative French magazine Le Point that Mélenchon was dangerous for the country, and pledging to reveal which candidate he would vote for before the second round ballot on May 7…” (France24.com)

Coppola, Haneke among filmmakers vying for top Cannes prize
“A Civil War film by Sofia Coppola, a Ukrainian road movie and a drama about AIDS activism are among 18 films competing for prizes at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which organizers hope can help counter nationalist sentiment…” (France24.com)

These Are the First Images of the Web of Ghostly Dark Matter That Holds Galaxies Together
“Picture the Universe, and you might imagine a dark emptiness speckled with maybe trillions of galaxies, each containing many billions of stars.

The truth is a little weirder, with apparently separate galaxies connected into vast intergalactic webs by invisible filaments of dark matter. If you find it hard to imagine, at least now we can actually see some of those threads thanks to some clever use of gravitational lensing…” (Science Alert)

Scientists Have Created a Device That Sucks Water Out of Thin Air, Even in the Desert
“When it comes to future challenges, one of the biggest will be water scarcity – on a warming planet we’re going to have plenty of seawater, but not enough fresh, clean water in the right places for everybody to drink.

And while a lot of research has focussed on desalination, a team of scientists have now come up with another possible solution – a device that pulls fresh water out of thin air, even in places with humidity as low as 20 percent. All it needs is sunlight…”
(Science Alert)

 

Photo: By US. Army (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Terrorist outrage in Egypt on Palm Sunday

The management team of Face Activities extends our sympathies to the victims of today’s terrorist attacks in Egypt. We condemn this cruel act of barbarism, and this flagrant violation of human rights.

Early today, on Palm Sunday, one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar, Coptic churches in Egypt were bombed by terrorists. ISIS has claimed responsibility for these outrages.

 

“ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings that killed 43 at two Coptic churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday — brazen strikes against a vulnerable minority on one of the most important days on the Christian calendar.

The terror group’s Amaq media wing said “a security detachment” of the Islamic State carried out the attacks on churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The bombings also left scores wounded.” (CNN)

Learn more about this terrorist incident (CNN)

 

Photo: This image is in the public domainbecause it contains materials that originally came from the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Palm Sunday!

The management team of Face Activities wishes our Christian members a Happy and prosperous Palm Sunday.

 

Palm Sunday is a Christian holiday that takes place one week before Easter Sunday. It celebrates the triumphant arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, accordibgto Christian tradition, where he was eventually crucified, and then resurrected, in the Passion.

According to the New Testament, When Jesus arrived at the gates of ancient Jerusalem with his apostles, he entered by riding on the back of a donkey, and the adoring crowds through palm leaves in his path, to honor him.

The donkey was an ancient tradition: when a king with peaceful intentions entered a city, he would ride a donkey. But if he sought war, he would ride a horse. Today modern Christians celebrate with palm leaves, and other geographically appropriate plants, to pay homage to their Lord and Savior on this holy day.

Palm Sunday is following by Good Friday, commemorating the day Christ was crucified, and finally Easter Sunday, arguably Christianity’s greatest holiday, which commemorates Christ’s resurrection and ascension to Divinity, completing the Christian Passion.

Learn more about Palm Sunday (Wikipedia)

 

Photo: This file is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

 

Breaking World News

Breaking World News

Don Rickles, legendary insult comic, dead at 90
“Don Rickles, a comedian and actor known for his abrasive humor, died Thursday from kidney failure at his Los Angeles home, according to his publicist, Paul Shefrin…” (CNN)

Trump launches military strike against Syria
“The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government target in response to their chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians earlier in the week…” (CNN)

Syrian National Coalition hails US strike on Homs base
“A Syrian opposition group has welcomed a US strike on a government-controlled air base, hailing Washington’s direct military involvement as a major milestone in Syria’s long-running civil war…” (Al Jazeera)

Syria denies using chemical weapons in Idlib
“The Syrian government says its military “did not and will not” use chemical weapons, denying accusations it was behind an attack on a rebel-held town in Idlib province that sparked widespread international outrage…” (Al Jazeera)

Silent on Gas Attack, Assad Blames Israel, Blasts Trump
“Syrian President Bashar Assad told a Croatian newspaper in an interview published on Thursday that his government has no choice other than to defeat what he described as terror…” (Haaretz)

Putin to Netanyahu: Unacceptable to Make ‘Groundless Accusations’ on Syria Chemical Attack
“Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it was unacceptable to make “groundless” accusations over this week’s suspected chemical weapons attack in a Syrian province…” (Haaretz)

Record number of GP closures force 265,000 to find new doctors
“A record number of GP practices closed last year, forcing thousands of patients to find a new surgery, in spite of government attempts to stop local doctors shutting their doors…” (The Guardian)

Gay clergyman passed over seven times for promotion to bishop
“Jeffrey John, a gay senior Anglican churchman, has been passed over for promotion to a bishopric for a seventh time since the Church of England rescinded his appointment as bishop of Reading in 2003 amid homophobic protests…” (The Guardian)

Germany investigating 20 alleged Turkish spies
“The German Interior Ministry is looking into people allegedly spying on Fethullah Gulen supporters. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed last year’s attempted coup on Gulen followers…” (DW.com)

A kiss for your tie? Why Carnival kicks off with gender power games
“Women take charge of men on the Thursday before Carnival, cut off their ties and give them a kiss. It’s a tradition that hails from an era when women’s rights were non-existent…” (DW.com)

 

 

Photo: By Joseph Scandore-management (eBay itemphoto frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

President Trump attacks Syria

PRESIDENT TRUMP ATTACKS SYRIA

In response to the Aleppo chemical attack, President Trump has ordered the U.S. military to launch dozens of Tomahawk cruz missiles, targeting a single airbase, destroying runways, aircraft and fuel points.

The President, currently at Mar-a-Lago with the Chinese President, briefs the American People, laying blame for the tragic Aleppo attack squarely on the shoulders of beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Photo: By Urutseg (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Video: CNN news feed / Youtube

Today’s Syrian Gas Attack: How do we know who is responsible?

Today's Syrian Gas Attack: How do we know who is responsible?

Today a terrible gas attack struck a neighborhood in the Syrian city of Aleppo, leaving innocent victims dead and seriously injured. This is an unconscionable crime against humanity. Seventy civilians, many of them children, have been stricken. Entire families are dying, and the tragedy harkens back to the horrific 2013 attack.

The Management Team of Face Activities extends our deepest sympathies and concern for the victims of today’s criminal attack. And we ask, are we sure we know who is responsible for this outrage? The international news media is very quick to blame Bashar al-Asad. But what is the source of this information?

It’s important to get this right, by thoroughly researching and investigating every logical possibility. It’s too easy to make a snap judgement, and snap judgments in war can be costly, in the worst ways. Has ISIS, the most horrendous of terrorist threats, been ruled out? They could have had access to chemical weapons by virtue of all the territory they captured during the war.

The Management Team of Face Activities calls upon the international news media to present the results of their investigations into this chemical attack, and explain their sources to the public. Has ISIS been ruled out, or is there more investigative work needed before this can be done?

 

By Bernard Gagnon (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Terrorist Attack in St. Petersburg, on Metro

Terrorist Attack in St. Petersburg, on Metro

The management team of Face Activities extends our sympathies to the victims of the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, Russia, and their families. Such acts of criminal cruelty are unconscionable, and have no place in our world. 

Monday an explosive device was detonated on a metro train in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, causing the deaths of at least 10 people, and injuring dozens more. Another explosive device was found at a different station following the attack, but was diffused before detonation. This outrage appears to be an act of terrorism, but so far no groups have taken responsibility for the crime.

The explosion occurred inside the train’s car, when it entered a tunnel. The train’s driver continued to the next station rather than stopping, which investigator’s believe may have saved lives by facilitating access to emergency personnel.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s Prime Minister, called the incident “a terrorist act,” and Russian President Vladimir Putin said that all possible causes were being investigated.

Learn more about terrorist attack on St. Petersburg Metro (CNN)

 

Photo: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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