Christianity

Church rethink on Old Testament art

By Simon Rocker, December 2, 2010

The Church of England this week agreed to reconsider the future of a set of historic paintings linked to Jewish emancipation in the UK after concerted opposition to their sale.

The portraits of Jacob and his 12 sons by the Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbaran - now believed to be worth £15 million - have hung since 1756 in Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland, the official residence of the Bishop of Durham.

But local campaigners have earned the pictures a partial reprieve after plans by the Church to put them up for auction came to light last month.

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Seth Cohen's Chrismukkah on The OC

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010
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A Californian teen with a Jewish father and a Christian mother invents a new festive tradition on the hit series The OC.

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Chilean miner wants mistress to join him in Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010

The Chilean miners who were rescued from deep underneath the Atacama Desert in October have accepted the Israeli government’s offer to spend an “uplifting and extraordinary” Christmas in Israel.

After the 33 men were saved, the Israeli tourism minister, Stas Misezhnikov, invited them on an all expenses paid trip to see the Christian holy sites.

Rather rashly, he extended the invitation to the miners’ partners. “Los 33” have now happily accepted the offer, but have also asked that nearly 70 members of their extended families can come too.

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Christian Zionists expelled for Israel support

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

A Zionist Christian group says it will take legal action to fight eviction from its premises because it supports Israel.

Father's House, a small church group of 40 people based in the Welsh village of Gwernymynydd, near Mold, says this is the first case of a Christian church being evicted from a public village building because of its beliefs.

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Vatican conference 'hijacked' by anti-Israel

By Nathan Jeffay, October 28, 2010

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, has claimed that the Vatican synod on the Middle East, which was convened this week, was "hijacked" by critics of Israel.

Bishops ended the two-week conference of Middle East bishops, organised by the Pope to discuss challenges facing Catholics in their region, with a call for Israel to accept UN resolutions demanding a stop to the "occupation."

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Catholic who took Jewish daughter to mass cleared

By Jennifer Lipman, October 21, 2010

A Catholic man from Chicago who took his Jewish daughter to midnight mass has been cleared of contempt of court.

Joseph Reyes's ex-wife Rebecca Shapiro applied for a restraining order in 2009 to prevent him from exposing their three-year-old daughter to any religion other than Judaism.

The couple was embroiled in a custody battle at the time.

Mr Reyes had previously arranged for Ela to be baptised and even sent his former wife a photograph of the ceremony.

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Jews lose as Israel tourism targets Christians

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

The managing director of one of the UK's major Israel travel agents has hit out at the country's tourist industry for high prices and "neglecting Jewish tourists".

Simon Israel, of Expert Travel in Golders Green, said Israel was becoming a "once-in-a-lifetime destination, like Australia or China".

He said: "Much of the blame lies with El Al and the hotels in Israel for the decline of Jewish tourism. Passengers booking within six weeks of travel, who wanted to visit Israel in July or August, were often faced with fares of between £600 and £700.

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Interfaith relations strengthened in Scotland

October 14, 2010

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities joined forces with the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II declaration, which opened the way for dialogue between Christians and Jews.

The anniversary was marked by a series of events featuring Rabbi David Rosen and Father John Pawlikowski, both former presidents of the International Council of Christians and Jews. Rabbi Rosen is also a former Chief Rabbi of Ireland and Israel.

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Church leader links Israel to apartheid

By Leon Symons, October 7, 2010

The head of the Anglican Church in Wales has received a barrage of criticism after comparing the situation between Israel and the Palestinians to apartheid in South Africa.

Dr Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, was accused of damaging interfaith relations after an address to the governing body of the Church in Wales last week in which he described the situation in "Israel-Palestine" as appalling.

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Peer praises Chief Rabbi for 'beautiful' Pope reception

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Lord Patten, the co-ordinator of the Pope's visit, said that one of its most moving moments were the Chief Rabbi's words at Friday's interfaith meeting.

Lord Patten, assessing the visit, singled out the "the most beautifully expressed statement about the relationship between faiths" made by Lord Sacks.

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