Christians on Wednesday gathered in London by Waterloo to reflect on all that we stand to lose through climate breakdown. Christian Climate Action and Christian Aid joined forces to hold a prayer vigil to reflect on how God's creation is being treated. Around 30 people took part and prayed, listened to readings and stories by vulnerable people threatened by what was described as a "climate change crisis". Melanie Nazareth from Christian Climate Action and Extinction Rebellion spoke to Premier from the event. She explained why the vigil was so important: "We wanted to do this in the middle of the campsite because we really thought it was particularly important for our faith to be really visible. "For us, faith without action is not the way that we would express our faith. But to do action and works without visibly expressing our faith is unsustainable. "So we were there to sustain ourselves, but also to be a presence in the community."

 

Archaeologists in Israel believe they have unearthed the 12th century BC biblical city of Ziklag. In the book of 1 Samuel, David flees from King Saul and settles in the Philistine town of Ziklag until Saul’s death. The site was found 43 miles from Jerusalem, near the modern city of Kiryat Gat. While other sites have previously been suggested to be Ziklag, none of them showed evidence of continuous Philistine and Israelite settlement, which this latest find does. Amongst the finds were almost 100 complete items of pottery, similar to those found in Khirbet Qeiyafa, also believed to be from David’s time. The Israel Antiquities Authority said, “The great range of complete vessels is testimony to the interesting everyday life during the reign of King David”.

 

Prosecuting lawyers have been urged not to use biologically-correct pronouns and names for transgender victims, witnesses and defendants. New Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance also uses a wide, subjective definition of a “hate crime”. The Christian Institute warned that the guidance could lead to people being required to lie. In its new Trans Equality Statement, the CPS said: “Prosecutors should address Trans victims, witnesses and defendants according to their affirmed gender and name, using that gender and related pronouns in all documentation and in the courtroom.” On hate crime, the CPS says it has agreed to a definition that is “wider than the legal definition”. It covers people who ‘perceive’ that a crime has been carried out because of a transgender identity, rather than it being demonstrably the case.

 

Israel’s health system has been subject to systemic failures in planning, budgeting and regulation by the government, resulting in an acute shortage of beds, inefficiencies and gaps in accessibility to treatment, a new report by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel said. The study by Prof. Dov Chernichovsky and Roi Kfir looks at the general hospitalization system in Israel, showing the country lags behind others in the 36-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in hospital beds, has shorter hospitalization rates and particularly high occupancy rates.

 

Researchers have discovered what they believe to be the oldest ever Christian letter - outside of the Bible. A small fragment of papyrus – which was used throughout the ancient Mediterranean world for writing or painting on – was found dating back to the 230s A.D. It’s thought to be older than all the other Christian documentary evidence of Roman Egypt. The letter originates from the village of Theadelphia in central Egypt and was sent by Arrianus to his brother, Paulinus. "Greetings, my lord, my incomparable brother Paulus," the letter reads. "I, Arrianus, salute you, praying that all is as well as possible in your life." The letter includes updates on the family and even a simple request for some fish liver sauce. The document is part of a collection of ancient manuscripts at the University of Basel in Switzerland.