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Satanic organization with traps to ensnare students



The Satanic Temple wants to help high school graduates pursue higher education with its “Devil’s Advocate Scholarship.”

The organization, which fights for a separation between religion and pubic affairs, will sift through submissions from 2020 graduates and award two winners $500 in scholarship money.

Interested applicants are asked to submit a creative response in the form of an essay, poem, work of art or film answering one of two questions.

One asks what applicants have done to promote the temple’s tenets and mission. The other asks for a description of a teacher who “crushed your spirit, undermined your self-confidence, and made you hate every minute you were forced to be in school.”

The scholarship application period opened Monday. Malcolm Jarry, the organization’s co-founder, told CNN on Wednesday that 50 applications had been received.
Jarry said the idea came about when a high school student emailed him to ask for a letter of recommendation for a religious scholarship that was being offered at her school.

“I was disappointed that she did not receive the scholarship and saw that moment as an opportunity to offer our own scholarship that reflects our values,” he said.

“In addition to promoting our values by honoring those who engage in pro-social rugged individualism, the scholarship allows students a rare opportunity to be critical of an institution that only rewards sycophantic adulation,” Jarry said.

The group, headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, says its mission is “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.” Members believe Satan is a “literary construct,” not an actual being.

The Satanic Temple’s website says the group advocates the “pursuit of knowledge,” but believes people confuse learning and schooling. “Students are often expected to praise their schools in spite of the fact that many students endure unconscionable abuse at the hands of faculty, administration, and their peers,” Jarry said.

“It is common to hear a successful person talk about a teacher who inspired them, but they never acknowledge that after 13 years of schooling they were quite fortunate if they came across just one.”

The Satanic Temple has used symbols of Satan to draw attention to what it sees as the hypocrisy of Christian symbols on government property. For years, it petitioned to have a massive Baphomet statue — a goat-headed symbol linked to Satan — in the Oklahoma state Capitol, which was home to a Ten Commandments statue.

The scholarship is open until August 31. Winners will be announced on the temple’s website September 15.

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Police in Pakistan Drop Charges Against Men Accused of Abducting 12-Year-Old Christian Girl



Pakistan – According to the Daily Mail, police in Pakistan dropped criminal charges against three Muslim men accused of kidnapping and abusing a 12-year-old Christian girl. Evidence shows that the Muslim men held the abducted Christian minor in captivity by chaining her up for five months and treating her like a slave.

On December 5, police recovered Farah Shaheen, a 12-year-old Christian girl who was abducted from her family in June. Human rights activists reported Shaheen had marks of abuse on her body and was transferred to a shelter home by local courts.

“Officials first brought [Shaheen] to the police station after negotiations with the criminals,” Lala Robin Daniel, a local activist, told the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN). “Her ankles and feet were wounded. They were bandaged at the police station. She was in trauma and couldn’t talk about the torture.”

Shaheen’s parents reported to police that three Muslims, including 45-year-old Khizar Hayat, abducted Shaheen from their home on June 25. After the abduction, Shaheen’s parents claim their daughter was forcefully married to Hayat and converted to Islam.

“Her marriage, forceful conversion, and injured feet speak of the horror,” Daniel later posted on social media. “Underage girls from religious minorities are unsafe due to faulty and incomplete lawmaking. Police, judiciary, and weak laws make fun of poor parents.”

According to the Daily Mail, authorities dropped the charges against the three Muslim men after Shaheen testified that she willingly married her abductor. Shaheen’s family argued she is traumatized and fears retribution from her abductors if she gives testimony against them.

According to a 2014 study by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are abducted, forcefully married, and forcefully converted every year. Many of the victims are minors. Sexual assaults and fraudulent marriages are used by perpetrators to entrap victims and authorities are often complicit.

The issue of religion is injected into cases of sexual assault to place victims from religious minority communities at a disadvantage. Playing upon religious biases, perpetrators know they can cover up and justify their crimes by introducing an element of religion.

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1,500-year-old ‘Christ, born of Mary’ inscription discovered in Israel



A 1,500-year-old plaque that reads ‘Christ, born of Mary’ in ancient Greek that once sat above a doorway to ward off evil spirits has been unearthed in northern Israel

The phrase was used by Christians to protect themselves against the ‘evil eye,’ which was an ancient curse from Greek and Roman cultures that would bring misfortune on unsuspecting individuals.

The inscription was uncovered during an excavation of a once-magnificent church that had elaborate mosaic tiling with intricate geometric designs and was built in the Byzantine or Early Islamic period.

The building was discovered during a salvage dig prior to a new road construction project in the area – Israel requires archaeologists and volunteers investigate an area before construction can start.

Christianity became a prominent religion in Israel during the Byzantine era after the Roman Empire took hold of the country.

This siege resulted in numerous Christian churches and monasteries being constructed across the Hebrew nation.

The latest discovery was uncovered in the et-Taiyiba village on the northeast side of Jezreel Valley between the modern cities of Afula and Beit Shean.

Dr Walid Atrash of the Israel Antiquities Authority said: ‘This is the first evidence of the Byzantine church’s existence in the village of et-Taiyiba and it adds to other finds attesting to the activities of Christians who lived in the region.’

The inscribed stone is believed to have been a ‘recycled’ object that was moved from one location to the now-fallen church.

Yardenna Alexandre, an archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority told The Media Line: ‘This is a special find because the inscription enables us to recognize it came from a church and not a monastery from that period.’

Churches greeted and blessed believers at their entrance, whereas monasteries did not, so it is clear that the inscription comes from a church.

‘This is a village church, rather than a monastery church, which in general were not open to the public during that period,’ Alexandre said.

She explained that the stunning mosaic floors also show symbols used by Christians when decorating, such as crosses and geometric shapes.

According to excavation directors Tzachi Lang and Kojan Haku of the Israel Antiquities Authority, ‘The excavation yielded finds from a variety of periods, shedding light on the long settlement sequence at et-Taiyiba in the valley, and on its status among the local settlements.’

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