26 June 2010

Archaeologists find oldest Orthodox Christian church

From: OrthodoxNews@yahoogroups.com


Archaeologists find oldest Orthodox Christian church

Posted on Tue Jun 10 2008

The Jordan Times reports that a group of archaeologists have unearthed the
world's oldest Orthodox Christian church in Rihab, Jordan. Rihab is in
Northern Jordan. Rihab is home to a total of 30 churches and Jesus and the
Virgin Mary are believed to have passed through the area.

The church, which was built underground, dates to somewhere between 33 and
70 AD. Rihab is located about 30 miles east of the Jordan River and a
roughly equal distance north of the Jordanian capital, Amman. The region is
home to 30 other ancient churches.

"We have uncovered what we believe to be the first church in the world,
dating from 33 AD to 70 AD,"
Abdul Qader al-Husan, the head of Jordain's Center for Archaeological
Studies said.

He said it was uncovered under Saint Georgeous Church, which itself dates
back to 230 AD, in Rihab in northern Jordan near the Syrian border.

"We have evidence to believe this church sheltered early Christians -- the
70 disciples of Jesus Christ," Husan said.

These Christians, who are described in a mosaic as "the 70 beloved by God
and Divine," are said to have fled persecution in Jerusalem and founded
churches in northern Jordan, Husan added.

He cited historical sources which suggest they both lived and practiced
Christian rituals in the underground church and only left it after
Christianity was embraced by the Roman Empire.

Archimandrite Nektarious, a representative of the Greek Orthodox Church,
described the discovery as an "important milestone for Christians all around
the world."

Researchers recovered pottery dating back to between the 3rd and 7th
centuries, which they say suggests these first Christians and their
followers lived in the area until late Roman rule.

Inside the cave a circular area of worship with stone seats separated from
living quarters were found. This circular element, called an apse, is
important says Dr Al-Hassan because there is only one other example of a
cave with a similar feature, which was also used for Christian worship. The
stone seats are believed to have been for the use of clergy.

Al-Hassan said: "We found beautiful things. I found the cemetery of this
church; we found pottery shards and lamps with the inscription 'Georgeous'".
There is also a tunnel that leads to a cistern which supplied water to the
dwellers. The excavation of the tunnel and the cistern may yield yet more
evidence about the lives of these early Christians.

"From the tunnel to the cistern is very important. We want to clean it and
make an excavation inside it. We found a very old inscription beside it and
coins also, and crosses made from iron."

Other experts say they are cautious about the claim. They want to examine
the artifacts and obtain solid dating evidence. The earliest confirmed
examples of churches date from the third century.

14 June 2010

Bikers in Belarus Process with Cross

June 2. (Wednesday). 15:39:59
In Bobruisk, before the gathering of bikers, a religious procession on
motorcycles was held

Last night Bobruisk hosted the national gathering of bikers "Motofest 2010",
organized by the local club "Night Wolves". As the site of the Diocese of
Bobruisk mentions, the program activities included motorcycle and show
rides, demonstrations of the Cossack the art of riding, concerts and
socializing by motorsports enthusiasts in the open air 2 km from the new
bridge across the Berezina River.

The event began with Procession of the Cross on motorcycles over the
distance of 27 kilometers on the ring road around Bobruisk. In the event's
organization, in addition to fans of two-wheeled vehicles, also took part
local Cossacks and representatives of youth and information departments of
the Bobruisk diocese.

It should be noted that the Moto-Procession of the Cross was organized in
accordance with ancient canons: first came the lantern, then processional
crosses and banners. Priest Dmitry Pervyj, who participated in procession,
sprinkled holy water on path and accident-prone crossroads of the city ring
road on the Berezina.

Upon completion of the Procession of the Cross motorcycle equipment and
venues were blessed. Bikers are lovers and fans of motorcycles. Unlike
conventional motorcyclists, for bikers motorcycles are part of their
lifestyle. Characteristic is also the association with like-minded people on
the basis of this way of life.

The biker movement was born in 1950 in the U.S., and penetrated into Europe
(in the USSR in the 1980's they were called "rockers"). Until recently, the
term "biker" applied exclusively to the owners of choppers and always was
associated with a remotely extended front wheel, plenty of chrome, leather,
long hair and bearded motorcyclists. However, since the late 90-ies on the
road one began to see motorcycles with high-performance engines covered in
plastic fairings - sportbikes.

The stereotypical look of a biker: bandana (headscarf) in dark colors, tied
at the back of the head pirate style) or black knit cap, black leather
jackets (leather jacket with a closure off-center) or leather motojacket
(often worn denim or leather vests with no sleeves are worn over the
motojacket) with colors (symbols) of the motorcycle club), leather pants.
Bikers often let their hair grow long, and have a mustache and beard. To
protect their eyes from the wind they wear goggles, while helmets are often

/ sobor.by/ Viktor Melnichenko / photo from the website: bobruisk.hram.by



Note the photo: the altar servers on the backs of the bikes (holding the
lantern and processional crosses) are wearing their stikharions (but no
With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff