The Goddess of Mercy in Chinese Buddhism is named Guanshiyin (观世音菩萨 — Guān shì Yīn Pú Sà) or Guanyin for short. The name means “one who always hears the cries of the world. While many of the Buddhist deities are rather frightening (as seen in their paintings and depictions), Guanyin is actually very highly respected for being merciful to her followers. (more…)
ISIS militants have begun dismantling the ancient archaeological site of Hatra in northern Iraq in their ongoing effort to eliminate the region of what they consider idolatrous imagery, Iraqi authorities said Saturday.
The militants have destroyed parts of Hatra, about 70 miles south of Mosul, and started to pilfer antiques from the city, Qais Hussein Rashid, deputy minister of tourism and antiquities, told NBC News. He called the attack “a new crime against the Iraqi civilization and humanity in general.”
The ancient city was classified as a World Heritage Site by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1985. Hatra, largely built in the 2nd century B.C., was the capital of the first Arab Kingdom and survived invasions by the Romans in 116 and 198 A.D. because of its thick walls surrounded by towers, according to UNESCO.
ISIS has embarked on a campaign to destroy relics and historical sites that they apparently view as heretical. Last week, the group released a video that showed militants purportedly using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in northern Iraq. On Thursday, the Iraqi government said the group had “bulldozed” the city of Nimrud, a 13th century B.C. Assyrian archaeological site just south of Mosul. UNESCO called the destruction of the city a war crime.
“The world and international organizations should stand against such a brutal assault on the human heritage,” Iraq’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement. “Otherwise,” the ministry added, “these gangs will commit more crimes and violations against the civilization.”
Suez| Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered that remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 kilometers offshore from the modern city of Ras Gharib. The team was searching for the remains of ancient ships and artefacts related to Stone Age and Bronze Age trade in the Red Sea area, when they stumbled upon a gigantic mass of human bones darkened by age.
The scientists lead by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader and associated with Cairo University’s Faculty of Archaeology, have already recovered a total of more than 400 different skeletons, as well as hundreds of weapons and pieces of armor, also the remains of two war chariots, scattered over an area of approximately 200 square meters. They estimate that more than 5000 other bodies could be dispersed over a wider area, suggesting that an army of large size who have perished on the site. . . . .
Five people have been arrested over the theft of an 18th Century piece of religious art from Chester Cathedral.
Police discovered the Greek Orthodox icon “The raising of Lazarus”, which was stolen in August, at a property in Edleston Road, Crewe, on Wednesday.
Officers also seized other artworks at the property and said they were trying to identify where they have come from.
Four men aged between 31 and 59 and a 57-year-old woman are being questioned over the theft.
The icon was gifted to the cathedral by the late Dean Ingram Cleasby’s family.
Vice Dean, Canon Peter Howell-Jones said it was taken from the altar of the Chapel of Saint Anselm and a small Christmas tree decoration of an angel was left in its place. .. . .
New Question for my Readers:
Hawaii is, of course, one of the prime centers for volcano eruptions, as is apparently happening on Honolulu right now. The volcano Kilauea has been steadily flowing lava since 1983, and over time it has destroyed almost 200 homes in the area. Usually the lava and the people choosing to live on the volcano have an okay relationship, with the lava flowing in directions that don’t threaten the small communities nearby. However, every so often it changes its mind and begins edging in on the towns. (more…)