Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Scholar Challenges Thursday Date of Last Supper
- Killer of Christian Brothers Gets Death Sentence in Pakistan
- Bombs Found near Indonesia Church; 19 Arrested
- 'Church Sucks' But Come Anyway?
Scholar Challenges Thursday Date of Last Supper
A top British scientist claims his biblical, historical and astronomical research shows Christians have been observing Jesus' Last Supper on the wrong day of the week. Religion News Service reports that Cambridge University Professor Colin Humphreys says Jesus' final meal with his disciples actually was eaten on the Wednesday before the Crucifixion. The mix-up, Humphreys concludes in his new book, "The Mystery of the Last Supper," may be because Jesus and disciples Matthew, Mark and Luke used the age-old Jewish calendar, but fellow disciple John used the official lunar calendar. Humphreys notes the Gospels attributed to the first three claimed the last meal coincided with the Jewish Passover, whereas John's Gospel says the meal took place "before" Passover. Eminent biblical scholar F.F. Bruce once described that contradiction as "the thorniest problem in the New Testament," but Humphreys said, "if we use science and the Gospels hand in hand, we can actually prove that there was no contradiction."
Killer of Christian Brothers Gets Death Sentence in Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan hope the capital punishment of a man found guilty of murdering two Christian brothers will be a "turning point" for justice. The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) called the verdict a "landmark ruling," according to Christian Today, in which the accused was honestly tried and "punished according to the law." However, not all blasphemy cases are reviewed "with the same thoroughness and integrity," CLAAS said. The two brothers were tried for blasphemy and acquitted before they were murdered. “We hope and pray that this verdict marks a turning point," said CLAAS UK Coordinator Nasir Saeed and CLAAS director in Pakistan Joseph Francis in a statement. "It will no doubt be an enormous encouragement to all those falsely accused of blasphemy."
Bombs Found near Indonesia Church; 19 Arrested
Police believe they have disrupted a massive attack on Indonesian churches ahead of Easter celebrations. The Boston Globe reports that 19 terror suspects were arrested yesterday and showed police five massive bombs buried beneath a gas pipeline near a church just outside the capital city of Jakarta. "The army and police are under high alert," said Djoko Suyanto, a security minister, adding that troops would be deployed at churches and other strategic locations. "We want to guarantee safety." The targeted church is big enough to hold 3,000 people. Islamic extremists in the country have recently seemed to turn against more local targets, including police, moderate Muslim leaders and Christians.
'Church Sucks' But Come Anyway?
If you saw a sign advertising "churchsucks.net," would you be intrigued enough to find out more? The Christian Post reports that one church in northern California is betting you would. Disciples Church in Folsom posted the signs throughout the city as a way to attract people who have left church. “The whole point behind it was twofold,” said lead pastor Stu Streeter. “To stir awareness and that we have something to say.” The website clarifies what the slogan means. “Church in general doesn’t suck, but when power is abused or you’re an outsider, it can be a bad experience for some people,” Streeter continued. “I want to remind people that those are isolated instances. The churches in Folsom are wonderful friends and we believe in them.” Ironically, he says the signs have received the most negative feedback from Christians who don't like the publicity campaign or haven't read the website in detail.