Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)
TITLE: When prison walls fall and chains break
By Melanie Kerr
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The situation is under control. Our home affairs correspondent had this to say.
"Earlier this morning we had a chance to speak to the jailer. He told us that the earthquake occurred just after midnight. Apparently when he saw the prison doors were open, he was on the brink of falling on his sword. Although there is no way he could be responsible for the earthquake damage, the authorities would have made him accountable for the escape of any prisoners. However, he was assured that none of them had escaped."
The jailer attributed the presence of all the prisoners to the action of one of them, a man named Paul. It would appear that this man was severely flogged and imprisoned earlier that day. He and his companion, Silas, had been at the centre of a riot. In determining the nature of the conflict, some say that the worship of Artemis, was being undermined. Others say that it began when Paul and Silas robbed a local business man of his chief asset - a slave girl who made prophetic announcements. Allegedly Paul and Silas, as well as being travelling preachers, are also faith healers with the ability to cast out demons.
Our Religious Affairs Advisor has been looking into the activities of Paul and Silas, heralds of a new religious movement.
"It seems that Christianity is getting a following throughout Asia Minor and the Mediterranean provinces. It began with the death and apparent resurrection of their founder, a man called Jesus, who heralds from Nazareth in Galilee. Central to the teaching of Jesus is love and freedom. The movement naturally seems to attract the rejected, the downtrodden, the outcasts and the injured. The name of Jesus has united them into a community. What is surprising is that the action of Paul in casting out the demon in the slave girl is something that characterises the whole movement. These Christians believe that Jesus, himself a great miracle worker, gave them all authority to perform more of the same kind miracles he did."
Throughout the morning we have been conducting a poll of our viewers on whether they believe that Christianity poses a new kind of threat. A majority of eighty seven percent believe that there is no threat at all. Like many new religions, with the death of their founder, they are confident Christianity will disappear in a year or two.
When asked the same question, the jailer was adamant that Christianity is here to stay. Any religion that has at its centre a god capable of causing an earthquake, which breaks down prison walls and unlocks chains, is a deity to be reckoned with.
"And what happens," asked the jailer, "when the prison walls and chains are the ones in a person's mind and heart?"
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