Asia

The Other Ground Zero Controversy

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture
Ketua BP MUPEL Bekasi

Image by Viking KARWUR via Flickr

A religious minority decides to build a house of worship in an area considered unacceptable by fringe elements of the religious majority. Although the country professes religious tolerance, and the group has a legal right to build their temple in said area, they are harassed by radicals and ignored by leaders and officials eager to gain political points.

No, it's not the mosque planned for construction in downtown New York, but it's awfully similar. Ground Zero in this case is Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia. In the world's most populous Muslim nation, a Christian group is trying to build a church on land which belongs to them. They've been threatened, harassed while worshipping, and physically attacked on their way to services. The mayor has asked them to move, and of course they've refused.… Continues …

Göbekli Tepe: Older Than Stonehenge, Pyramids, Anything

— Filed under: People & Culture
Part of a megalithic structure at Göbekli Tepe...

Image via Wikipedia and Jonas Rejda at the Qatar Academy

Monolith at Göbekli Tepe

When people think of ancient temples, they often think of Stonehenge, which most archaeologists agree was built about 5,000 years ago. But Stonehenge is actually trumped handily by a little-known site in modern-day Turkey called Göbekli Tepe, which is 11,500 years old. The site is composed of circular rings and T-shaped monoliths, many with carvings of animals on them.

Although Göbekli Tepe (which means “potbelly hill”) got a bit of press in 2008 when The Guardian and Smithsonian Magazine ran articles about its newly realized importance, it didn’t really receive the wider public acclaim and notice that it deserved. According to many archaeologists, this is one of the most exciting finds ever unearthed, a real game-changer in terms of our understanding of civilization, settlement, agriculture, and religion.… Continues …

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