Open Doors Releases Annual Persecution Report
(WNS)–Last year brought a rising tide of persecution against Christians around the world, according to a new report Open Doors USA released Jan. 7. Open Doors, a group that advocates for persecuted Christians, unveiled its annual World Watch List ranking the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians. North Korea topped the list for the 13th straight year, but conditions worsened the most across Africa, where eight of 12 ranked countries moved up the list. “The 2015 World Watch List documents the greatest rise in violence against Christians in the world in the modern era,” said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors. “Even Christian-majority states are experiencing unprecedented levels of exclusion, discrimination, and violence.”
Archeologists Unearth Possible Site of Jesus’ Trial
(WNS)–Archeologists have discovered what they believe to be Herod’s palace and the much-debated site where Jesus’ trial took place. Most historians and archaeologists have long agreed that Herod’s palace was located on the western side of Jerusalem, in the Old City, near the Tower of David Museum, but they weren’t certain of the exact location. Fifteen years ago, during a project to expand the museum, workers began to peel layers of floor from an abandoned building that once served as a prison during Ottoman, and later, British rule. They were surprised to find rugged foundation walls, carefully carved tunnels, and an underground sewage system beneath the prison that archeologists believe were part of the elusive palace of King Herod, according to a recent story in The Washington Post. Shimon Gibson, archeology professor at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, believes there is little doubt that Jesus’ trial took place somewhere within Herod’s palace compound. The Gospel of John describes the trial as taking place at a stone pavement and the account in Mark indicates Jesus was led inside the palace where the governor’s headquarters were located. The details fit with previous archeological findings near the prison.