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East is preparing to meet Christ?

August 27 2005

Looking forward to the imminent coming of the Messiah - Sustainable impression of a traveler on the Middle Eastern country.

On the Mount of Olives, where the expected second coming of Christ, Orthodox hermit, a Greek temple erected by their hands. In Damascus Umayyad Mosque imam every day to lay new carpet before the door of the minaret of Isa bin Maryam (Jesus son of Mary). Here, in the opinion of the Moslems, should set foot on the "great prophet" when he came down from heaven, his hands resting on the wings of two angels. Muslims believe that Jesus was coming, so in a terrible battle to defeat the Antichrist - Dajan. After that, according to the Qur'an, he will adopt the triumph of Islam throughout the world.

Jews, eagerly awaiting their Messiah - the Messiah. "Baruch ata Adonai Eloheynu, Melech ha-olam" (Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe!) - Intones before disclosed prayer rabbi with a white veil on her head. Gathered in a room of Jerusalem synagogue congregation guttural sing along from time to time arise from the pews, bow. On the streets of a strange person shove into the hands of the glossy leaflets: "The King Moshiach (Messiah) is coming! We are on the verge of Liberation, which should occur immediately. Future, the Third Temple, which we expect to have a fully built up in heaven, and will soon descend on the sacred Mount Moriah. "

Mashiach ostensibly to restore the hill of Moriah, where Abraham wanted to sacrifice his son, which was destroyed by the Romans two thousand years ago, the Jerusalem temple. Cardboard model of a temple for the price of five shekels are sold in every souvenir shop in the Jewish quarter of the city. This should happen, they believe the Jews here in Jerusalem.

Polished to a shine by millions of believers kissing the Wailing Wall - all that remains of the destroyed in 71 AD temple in Jerusalem. Every day, day and night are praying people: traditional Jews in knitted bales, the Hasidim, with curly Pace on the ears and black broad-brimmed hats, soldiers, mothers with children. Men and women - individually, through a metal wall in human growth. They ask God to grant peace to Israel and rebuild the temple, which the Jewish people are deprived of two thousand years. "Place the presence of the Lord above - for built of huge limestone blocks of the wall. However, there are massive gates leading protects dress blue berets in black glasses, with M-16 rifle at the ready. Next begins the Haram al-Sharif, the sacred place of Muslims.

More recently, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, suddenly "burst into tears." During the traditional prayer is noticed that from a single stone measuring 10 by 40 cm began to trickle moisture. Moisture not stop this trickle 96 hours. Specialists of the state company "Waqf", responsible for the maintenance of historic sites on the Temple Mount, even got a reprimand from the city authorities. Recent decided that the appearance of drops of moisture due to negligence and failures in the system hoses. After the inspection found that water cannons mounted on the case of disturbances along the perimeter of the area at the Wall after the second Palestinian intifada - to do with it. Then the rabbi of the Wall - Shmuel Rabinovitch - told reporters that in his view, "stones of the Wall began to cry because of the current Middle East situation." In the ancient Jewish books, the appearance of water at the Wailing Wall means the early advent of the Messiah. It was like a miracle, indicating that the coming of the Messiah is near, embraced many religious Jews Moisturizing Wailing Wall.

When the cross the low barrier at the gate separating the Damascus Umayyad Mosque from the outside world, the noise of the crowded bazaar Hamidi, vanities remain outside with the shoes. Huge structure, which is a strange hybrid of a mosque and an Orthodox church, of course, the main attraction of Damascus. It contains the head of John the Baptist, which is cut off by order of King Herod. This place is equally sacred to both Muslims and Christians. Only Muslims revere the Prophet named Yahya. Ten thousand masters decade embodied in stone the disposal of the Caliph Walid bin Abd al-Malik: "To build a mosque, which was and never will be." She was supposed to symbolize the power of the Umayyad Empire, stretched from the Indus to the Pyrenees. I must say, the plan failed.

Powerful blank walls separating mosque from the bustling city. A courtyard paved with square slabs of stone and has a shape of a rectangle the size of three football fields. Only the rustle of the long robe of the Faithful, the cooing of doves, but the children's laughter violate the sacred peace of the ancient square. At first I was confused. Nobody knows where is the tomb of St. John the Baptist. Suggested the Frenchman - a long-haired guy in torn jeans, sitting on the stone floor, he was profoundly absorbed Bank, Coca-Cola. Sit down beside him. "John the Baptist? - He grins - you would have asked them where is the baptistery. Muslim's call him Yahya. Come out to the gate under the mosaic. " By the way, about the baptismal he is not joking. In the eastern part of the former church of St. John the Baptist still stands a marble baptismal font from the altar. True, there are already 1300 years no one was baptized.

From the courtyard into the hall are 22 doors. I went to the central goal. The facade of the former church is decorated with a huge mosaic depicting the full-flowing rivers, trees, cities. Golden smalt plays in the sun. Images of people, according to the Koran - are absent. Nevertheless, in the Middle Ages pious Muslim hand slipped one of the wonders of lime. Only in 1924, after the French occupation of Syria, scientists have cleared a masterpiece, and, centuries later, the mosaic again shone in the primeval beauty.

The internal layout prayer hall repeats Byzantine basilica. Two rows of columns with Corinthian capitals divide the room into three longitudinal aisles. Go barefoot on the warm carpet pile. Now it is heard only the whisper of Muslim prayers. But the first seventy years after the capture of Damascus, the Arabs are still sounded liturgy. Muslims and Christians prayed together, occupying different ends of the basilica. Only in 705 the Caliph Walid ordered to rebuild the Orthodox Church into a mosque. Grand structure Umayyads was for Muslims the third the value of a mosque in the world, as "kafirs" (infidels) have been asked to pray somewhere else.

Room for prayer is enormous. Vaults flock to the dome. Fine steep arch, based on the series of powerful Corinthian columns. In the center - a small marble mausoleum with a green dome and the same color glass windows. This is the tomb of St. John the Baptist, which has forced the Muslims to treat yourself with the deepest reverence, after a single case. In 708, during the clearing the site under the foundation, was accidentally discovered an underground crypt. According to local legend, it rests the head of St. John the Baptist. Caliph Walid decided to immediately get rid of the Christian shrines. However, his hands barely touched the skull, the Caliph found stupor - he could not even move. Beheld it as a sign from above, the lord ordered to build a special coffin for relics, and leave it inside the new mosque. So the Muslims emerged something of a cult of St. John the Baptist. Near the tomb at the carpets always sits a set of "true believers".nor pray: prayer beads and leaf plucked the Koran. But, as I learned, these people know nothing about the main event in the life of the prophet Yahya - Baptism of the Saviour.

The outer wall of the mosque props up the sky of the three minarets steeples. One of them, like, stuck on the edge of the top vosmidesyatimetrovy pencil, built in honor of Isa bin Maryam "-" Jesus son of Mary. " His erected in 1347. According to local beliefs, on the eve of the Last Judgement Jesus will descend to the white minaret, putting his hands on the wings of two angels. Imam even every day to lay new carpet in the place where his foot should tread. In the Sunnah is a description of the appearance of Isa: "As soon as you see him, just find out. He was of medium height. He has a white and a good person. It will wear white. His hair will look wet, even if they did not touch the water. " Islam and Christianity are intertwined in Syria very closely.

A similar pattern is observed with Judaism in Israel. I remember I was quite surprised to find in the cave revered by Christians St. John the Baptist (a suburb of Jerusalem, Ein Karem) Jewish menorah and an open book of the Torah. They were placed in a special niche in the stone near the altar. It was found together with Roman Catholics and Orthodox pray for the followers of the movement are "Jews for Jesus or, as they are called" Messianic Jews ". They continue to observe Jewish laws and, at the same time, recognized in Yeshua (Jesus) the Son of God. This strange course, akin to the Judeo-Christians of the first centuries, there was only a few decades ago, but has been a considerable following among Jews around the world.

Despite the repression, more and more people are turning to Christ and in Israel itself. All in all, among the 15 million Jews around the world have 332,000 are followers of Jesus in a variety of Christian denominations. In fact, according to the Apostle Paul, "all Israel shall be saved."

Jerusalem - Damascus - Moscow

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