The Hill of Crosses – A Man-Made Christian Miracle

Covered with over 100,000 crosses of different sizes, Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses is both a symbol of the country’s nationalism and an international pilgrimage site.

Located 12 kilometers north of the small industrial city of Šiauliai, the Hill of Crosses is believed to date back to the 14th century, during the occupation of the Teutonic Knights. The tradition of placing crosses began as a symbol of the people’s fight for independence and their fight against foreign invaders, and evolved into a struggle of Lithuanian Catholicism against oppression. During the peasant uprising that lasted between 1831 and 1863, people erected crosses on the hill, in protest, and by 1895 there were around 150 of them on the site. By 1940, the number of large crosses grew to 400, surrounded by many other smaller ones.

Occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II, Šiauliai and the Hill of Crosses suffered significant damage when the Soviets took over, at the end of the conflict. The communist regime repeatedly removed all the crosses and leveled the hill three times, in 1961, 1973 and 1975, burning the wooden crosses and turning metal ones into scrap metal. The area was covered with waste and sewage to discourage locals from returning, but the Hill of Crosses was a symbol of Lithuanian nationalism and the pilgrims from all over the country quickly came back to the hill after each desecration, to place even more crosses. Many of them risked their lives sneaking past armed guards and through barbed wire fences to show their commitment to national struggle. The Soviet’s finally got the message and in 1985, the Hill of Crosses was finally left in peace, and its reputation rapidly spread throughout the Christian world.

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Russian Cult Worships Female Cartoon Character

I’m sure we can all agree Gadget Hackwrench is an adorable character, but do you like her enough to worship her like a goddess?

If you’ve never heard of the cute Gadget Hackwrench, she is a Disney character from the Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers cartoon series. This female mouse was the team’s pilot, mechanic and inventor. That’s all pretty impressive, but she’s hardly worthy of her very own cult, don’t you think?

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Crucified Jesus Made of Toast

British artist Adam Sheldon recreated Jesus’ crucifixion using some pieces of burned toast and a scraping knife. His work of art is now on display at the Anglican Church of St Peter, in Lincs.

33-year-old Adam Sheldon took on the project at the request of his mother, who worships at St. Peter’s Church. Before starting work on his 1.8 ,meters long, 1.1 meters wide masterpiece, Adam scraped the Last Supper on three pieces of toast, to perfect his technique.

He used a regular toaster to burn the pieces of bread, then dried and flattened them so they would fit in a giant frame. Using a scraping knife he managed to create the lighter parts of the artwork, and darkened the background with a blowtorch.

At first, the reverend and parishioners were stunned by Sheldon’s creation, because they didn’t expect something this…original, but now they’re thrilled to have such art on the walls of their church. The artwork was so skillfully scraped, some believed it was actually painted on tiles, before realizing the tiles are really pieces of bread.

The toast crucifixion of Jesus will be on display at the Anglican Church of Saint Peter until January 30, if the rats don’t get to it by then.

toast-Jesus

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Kalofer Men Celebrate Epiphany

The Bulgarian men of Kalofer celebrate Epiphany, an important Orthodox holiday, by performing a traditional dance in the freezing waters of Tundzha river.

On January 6, the small town of Kalofer, located 200 km east of the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, was the scene of an unique event. The men dressed in traditional costumes and, carrying national flags, headed for the neighboring Tundzha river. Here they entered its freezing waters and performed the customary Horo dance.

During the Epiphany ceremony, an Orthodox priest throws a metal cross in the water and young men plunge in to retrieve it. Whoever finds it first is said to stay in perfect health throughout the entire year. After a swim like this, I have my doubts…

Kalofer-Epiphany

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Guns, Ammo, Art and Religion, by Al Farrow

They may look like just elaborate models of Christian, Jewish and Islamic holy places, but Al Farrow’s artworks have a much deeper meaning.

Al Farrow’s Religious Trifecta: A Synagogue, a Cathedral and a Mosque tries to reinterpret three of the world’s major religions according to their political, military and cultural history. As you surely know, religion played a major role in some of the greatest conflicts in history and that’s what the artist is trying to emphasize through his models. Built with used gun components, bullets and steel shots, these unusual holy places reveal the violent side of religion.

Al Farrow‘s steel masterpieces are displayed at the de Young Museum, in San Francisco.

guns-and-ammo-art

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The Chicken Madness of Yom Kippur

On Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, ultra-Orthodox Jews use white chickens to perform the Kaparot ritual and get rid of all their sins.

The holiest of Jewish days, celebrated with 25 hours of fasting and intense prayer, offers ultra-Orthodox Jews the chance to make a year’s worth of sins vanish. All they need is a chicken, preferably white, and a simple blessing. The live chicken is waved above the sinner’s head as the blessing is recited and it is believed all his of the previous year are transferred into the chicken.

The new host of the sins is then quickly beheaded and its blood drained as young ultra-Orthodox boys watch. Pretty cool isn’t it? Just sin a way for an entire year and let a brainless chicken take the fall. These are the times that make me wish I was a Jew.

via Telegraph.co.uk

Yom-Kippur

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