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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week. Check back in every Friday to see the latest wrap up of religious news that made us think and reflect.

Christ’s burial place exposed for first time in centuries

National Geographic reports that restorers working in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Israel have uncovered a stone slab revered as the resting place of Jesus Christ, which has been covered by marble cladding since at least 1555 AD.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is currently under the custody of six Christian sects, including: the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Armenian Orthodox Church along with the Coptic, Ethiopian Orthodox and Syriac communities.

People power CAN do it for UnitingCare Wodonga

The Western Advocate looks at a canned food campaign for needy people which has generated over 5000 cans in 12 months. Ainsley Stone started the campaign via a Facebook group after realising she could afford to spare a can of food from her weekly shop. Soon dozens joined in the effort and the eventual tally of 5033 cans over 12 months was donated to UnitingCare Wodonga.

Are there any similar initiatives in your community? Please let us know about them in the comments.

Mel Gibson’s comeback continues

On the back of his widely-praised return to film directing with the faith-themed Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson will be honoured at the Hollywood Film Awards with a Hollywood Director Award, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Gibson has recently been making entertainment news headlines for his critically-acclaimed Hacksaw Ridge and it looks likely he will follow it up with a sequel to his box-office smash hit The Passion of the Christ.

Relevant shares a discussion between megachurch pastor Joel Osteen and Gibson where the duo discuss what a sequel will focus on.

Baby Jesus grabs the head-lines

The Guardian reports on a Canadian church’s baby Jesus statue whose head was stolen and replaced with a strange terracotta substitute until a new one could be sculpted or the original returned.

The substitute head has since gone viral with many comparing it to Maggie Simpson and the alien from Steven Spielberg’s ET, and has been the source material for many memes on social media.

The original head was eventually returned by its thief who, it is claimed, has been “suffering from personal problems”.

Trolleys and the trial of Jesus

The ABC’s Religion and Ethics website examines the trial of Jesus through the ethical lens of the “Trolley Problem”, a thought experiment in contemporary ethics around the value of human life. Simply put, a runaway trolley on rail tracks will either kill five innocent people or one and you must pull a lever to decide the destiny of its carnage: what is the most ethical choice?

University of Warwick professor Steve Fuller takes this concept and looks at Pontius Pilate and his choice to pardon either Barabbas or Jesus and which choice was more likely to keep the peace.

If confronted by the Trolley Problem what would you do and why? Let us know in the comments.

Islamist terrorists target Christians

The Daily Mail reports on the brutal genocide of Christians in Syria by ISIS terrorists as they continue a wave of extremist attacks against Christians in the region. One woman reveals her son was killed because he refused to identify himself by a Muslim name and also alleges Christians are being killed by being baked in ovens by the terrorists.

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