Category Archives: RELIGION


Pew Report: Religion Plummets in America During Obama Era

In a new study of President Obama’s legacy, the Pew Research Center found that religious affiliation and practice dropped off dramatically during his two terms in the White House.
“When it comes to the nation’s religious identity, the biggest trend during Obama’s presidency is the rise of those who claim no religion at all,” Pew notes in a report released this week titled “How America Changed During Barack Obama’s Presidency.”

When Barack Obama took office, those who identified as atheists or agnostics along with those who said their religion was “nothing in particular” totaled only 16 percent of the U.S. adult population. On leaving office 8 years later, the non-religious in America now make up nearly a quarter of the population.

On the contrary, the percentage of Americans who say they believe in God, consider religion to be very important in their lives, pray daily and attend religious services at least monthly have all dropped during the Obama years, Pew found.

America’s largest religious demographic, those who self-identify as Christians, plunged from 78 percent of the U.S. adult population to 71 percent 8 years later, and the majority of these losses taken place among adults who identify with mainline Protestantism and Catholicism. Evangelical Protestantism along with historically black Christian denominations have remained comparably stable.

During his 8 years as president, Obama nettled religious conservatives over and over with moves that seemed calculated to undermine religious liberty.

According to Tim Schultz, the president of the 1st Amendment Partnership, the Obama administration often viewed religion as an enemy standing in the way of their policy objectives.

“They view religious freedom as a kind of inconvenient speed bump on the way to those objectives in some way,” Schultz said.

Last spring, the Obama administration angered many conservatives with a “Dear Colleague” letter from the Department of Justice and Department of Education mandating that public schools had to allow students to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity rather than their biological sex.

The most egregious example of the Obama administration’s hostility to religion was what has been called “Obama’s War Against Little Sisters of the Poor.” The Obama administration claimed it had the power to compel church groups to provide abortion-related products and services, and tried to bully the Little Sisters—an order of Catholic nuns—into offering these services against their beliefs.

But the administration’s antipathy toward religious freedom became more explicit still in a 2016 report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) attacking religious liberty as a guise for discrimination.

In the rollout of the report, Obama-appointed chairman, Martin R. Castro, stated that religious liberty was simply a justification for bigotry, prejudice and discrimination.

Castro claimed that the phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” were “code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia or any form of intolerance.”

The Chairman further declared that “today, as in past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality.”

“We now see ‘religious liberty’ arguments sneaking their way back into our political and constitutional discourse,” Castro said, “in an effort to undermine the rights of some Americans.”

The USCCR’s report “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties” proposed to examine the various legal and constitutional issues that arise when anti-discrimination laws and religious liberty come into conflict.

In its “Findings and Recommendations,” the report sided firmly with anti-discrimination laws over religious liberty, declaring that civil rights protections ensuring nondiscrimination are of “preeminent importance” in American jurisprudence, whereas religious exemptions “significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”

The Commission also stated that religious exemptions from nondiscrimination laws and policies must be “defined narrowly.”

In its majority statement, the Commissioners warned that threats to civil liberties, “cloaked as ‘religious freedom’ protection bills, are emerging in dozens of states and localities across the nation.”

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter  Follow @tdwilliamsrome


Clock Boy Loses in Court, Dad’s Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

A district court judge in Texas has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Ahmed Mohamed on his own behalf and on behalf of his 15-year-old son, Ahmed Mohamed. They had sued Fox News, Glenn Beck, and the mayor of Irving — among others — for defamation in September of 2016.

A year earlier, Ahmed, then a 14-year-old freshman at an Irving, Texas, high school, was arrested, briefly detained by police, and suspended for three days after bringing to school a “cool clock” that looked like a briefcase bomb. Ahmed claimed to have “invented” the easily assembled clock, and that he had brought it to school to show it to his shop teacher.

The incident led many to question the Mohamed family’s motives. Newly appointed District Court Judge Maricela Moore dismissed the lawsuit following a nearly three-hour hearing on Monday, according to the American Freedom Law Center:

The motion to dismiss was filed by lawyers from the American Freedom Law Center (“AFLC”) and local counsel Pete Rowe on behalf of the Center for Security Policy (“CSP”) and Jim Hanson, two of the defendants in the defamation case, which also named as defendants the local Fox affiliate, Glenn Beck, and Beck’s production company.
Mohamed had sued Hanson and CSP for statements Hanson had made on Beck’s program about the connection between the Clock Boy hoax bomb affair, the attendant media frenzy created in large part by his father Mohamed, civilization jihad, and the Counsel on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”), the Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group in the United States that promotes civilization jihad.

During the hearing, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel David Yerushalmi explained to Judge Moore that the purpose of the lawfare-driven lawsuit was to intimidate into silence those who might comment publicly on the connection between jihad, terrorism, sharia, and Islam. As such, Yerushalmi argued, “this case is a classic Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or ‘SLAPP’ case and should be dismissed.”

During the lengthy hearing, Judge Moore pressed Mohamed’s lawyer, Fort Worth attorney Susan Hutchison, to provide any facts that would suggest that Hanson and the other defendants had said anything false or defamatory about Mohamed or his son during the television broadcasts. After spending a painfully embarrassing 15 minutes flipping through reams of paper, Mohamed’s lawyer was unable to provide any such evidence.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Moore said that she would rule by the end of the day. On Tuesday, the court published Judge Moore’s ruling dismissing the lawsuit against Hanson and CSP with prejudice.

A Muslim ‘Will & Grace’ Will Cure ‘Islamophobia,’ Says ..

Upon leaving the courtroom, Yerushalmi made the following statement:

“This lawsuit filed by Clock Boy’s father is yet another example of Islamist lawfare, which is a component of the Muslim Brotherhood’s civilization jihad.”
Yerushalmi further explained that the purpose of such lawsuits, formally labelled Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”), is to intimidate into silence those who might comment publicly on the connection between jihad, terrorism, sharia, and Islam.



Home / News / A Female Doctor Working in Germany Warns the World

A Female Doctor Working in Germany Warns the World

“Yesterday, at the hospital in Germany where I work,we had a meeting about how the influx of muslim immigrants from the middle east is simply unsustainable. Walk in Health Clinics cannot handle emergencies, being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of serious health emergencies, they are starting to send everything to the hospitals.

Many muslims are refusing treatment by female staff here in Germany.  The muslim men make sick, crude comments and overtures to the female staff members, because to them any non-muslim woman is a whore or a future slave.  After brief exposure to these cruel, sadistic, female hating beats, we, women, are refusing to go among those animals, especially the muslim men from Africa.

Relations between the female hospital staff and muslim immigrants are going from bad to worse. Since, the assault and unreported rapes of German women last weekend migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9 units.

Very high numbers of migrants have AIDS, syphilis, open TB and many exotic diseases that we, in Europe, do not know how to treat them.

If they receive a prescription in the pharmacy, when they learn they have to pay cash they become violent. They were told in the middle east that everything in Germany would be free. Everything would be handed to them on a silver platter.

Finding out that they MUST pay for certain things leads to loud, violent, outbursts, especially when it is about drugs for the children.   Many of these muslim immigrants kidnapped children, so that, their social benefits would be higher once they landed in Germany.

Finding that they would have to pay for the children’s drugs, they gave up the ruse and abandoned the children with pharmacy staff with the words: “So, cure them here yourselves!”

Now, the police are not just guarding the clinics and hospitals, but also large pharmacies.

Truly we said openly: Where are all those who had welcomed in front of TV cameras, with signs at train stations?! Yes, for now, the border has been closed, but a million of them are already here and we will definitely not be able to get rid of them.

Until now, the number of unemployed in Germany was 2.2 million. Now it will be at least 3.5 million or higher. Most of these people are completely unemployable. A infinitesimal bare minimum of them have any education. What is more, their women usually do not work at all. I estimate that one in ten is pregnant with many children in tow

Hundreds of thousands of them have brought along infants and little kids under six, many emaciated and neglected.  If this continues and German re-opens its borders, I’m going home to the Czech Republic. Nobody can keep me here in this situation, not even double the salary than at home. I went to Germany, not to Africa or the Middle East.

Even the professor who heads our department told us how sad it makes him to see the cleaning woman, who for 800 Euros a month cleans every day for years.  She has to pick up the refuse the muslim men discard every where they go.   She has to serve the young muslim men in the hallways who stand there with their hand outstretched, demanding everything for free, and when they don’t get it they throw a fit.


They know Germany and her citizens are very civilized.  Add to that the world is watching, so these vicious, lazy, muslim youths know if they scream shout, and threaten violence, the German people will cave in.

I tell you, no one who has not come in contact with them has any idea what kind of animals they are, especially the ones from Africa, and how the muslim men and women act superior to our staff who are Christian.  They look down upon us, verbally deride our Christian values and then demand that their every wish be granted immediately.

If, Germans with our generous nature cannot handle this, then the rest of Europe will be total chaos.

For now, the local hospital staff has not come down with the diseases they brought here, but, with so many hundreds of patients every day – this is just a question of time.

In a hospital near the Rhine, migrants attacked the staff with knives after they had handed over an 8-month-old on the brink of death, which they had dragged across half of Europe for three months before seeking medical attention. The child died in two days, despite having received top care at one of the best pediatric clinics in Germany.  The physician had to undergo surgery and two nurses are in the ICU. Nobody has been, and no one will be punished.

The local press is forbidden to write about it!


Italy aims to combat radicalization in jails, deport more illegal migrants

By Antonella Cinelli | ROME

Italy’s government said on Thursday it would try harder to combat Islamist radicalization in its prisons and on the internet and it defended plans to build more detention centers for migrants who have no right to stay in the country.

New Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has come under increased pressure to tackle illegal migration and radicalization in jails after a failed Tunisian asylum seeker who spent time in an Italian prison drove a hijacked truck into a Berlin Christmas market on Dec. 19, killing 12 people.

Italy’s anti-terrorism chief said last week the suspect, Anis Amri, had been radicalized while in a Sicilian jail. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. Amri was shot dead by Italian police in Milan on Dec. 23 after fleeing Germany.

“Processes of radicalization today are happening above all in certain places: in prisons and on the web,” Gentiloni told a news conference after talks with an expert commission appointed by the government to study militant Islamists.

“Working on prisons and the web is one of the principal tasks the experts are asking for in this prevention effort.”

Italy’s Interior Minister Marco Minniti told the same news conference he wanted a “protective network against the malware of terror” online, but gave no details on how the government planned to address the problems in jails.


The national prison workers’ union said in a statement that jails had become “a fertile ground” for jihadists to recruit weaker individuals to fight for them and said union members should receive foreign language lessons and courses on religious awareness to better tackle the challenge.

“It is not by chance that many radicalized common criminals, especially of North African origin, who showed no particular religious inclination when they entered prison, are gradually transformed into extremists under the influence of other inmates who are already radicalised,” the union statement.

Italy tried to deport Amri after he served his four-year jail term, but Tunisia refused to take him back and he was released with only an order to leave the country.

Italy has not suffered the type of militant attack seen in France, Belgium and Germany, but has expelled 133 suspected militants in the past two years.

Of more than 27,000 expulsion orders handed out in 2015 to immigrants with no right to stay, fewer than 5,000 were carried out, according to Eurostat.

Italy is already struggling to deal with record numbers of boat migrants arriving mostly from north Africa.

“We need … more effective migration policies that combine the great humanitarian inclination to rescue and house people … and rigorous and effective repatriation policies,” Gentiloni said.

Commenting on plans to build more detention centres to hold people ahead of deportation, Minniti said he aimed to allocate smaller numbers of migrants to more locations, thereby reducing pressure on overcrowded sites where protests have broken out.

Opposition politicians have criticised Minniti’s plan to open more detention centres, a system repeatedly criticised for alleged corruption and human rights abuses.

“It would only slow down expulsions of illegal immigrants and would increase waste, illegality and mafia groups,” said the anti-system 5-Star Movement.

(Additional reporting and writing by Isla Binnie; Editing by Gareth Jones)


Pope Francis: “Leaders must fight plague of terrorism”
Pope Francis urged leaders to work together to fight the “plague of terrorism”, saying in his New Year’s address on Sunday that a bloodstain was covering the world as it started 2017.

Speaking to some 50,000 people in St. Peter’s Square for his traditional noon address, Francis departed from his prepared text to condemn the Istanbul nightclub attack that killed at least 39 people.

“Unfortunately, violence has stricken even in this night of good wishes and hope. Pained, I express my closeness to the Turkish people. I pray for the many victims and for the wounded and for the entire nation in mourning,” he said.

“I ask the Lord to sustain all men of good will to courageously roll up their sleeves to confront the plague of terrorism and this stain of blood that is covering the world with a shadow of fear and a sense of loss,” he said.

He said 2017 will be what people make of it.

“The year will be good in the measure that each one of us, with the help of God, seeks to do good day after day,” he told the crowd on a cold morning.”



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Leah Remini: Tom Cruise Urged Me to Get Leslie Moonves to Kill ’60 Minutes’ Scientology Story
6:30 AM PST 11/29/2016 by Seth Abramovitch
Miller Mobley

As the first episode of her “ballsy” A&E series premieres, the actress/author-turned-investigative reporter reveals what everyone from pal Jennifer Lopez to co-star Kevin James felt about her former religion — and shares the memory of an awkward phone conversation she once had with the CBS chief at the ‘Mission: Impossible’ star’s behest.

A&E’s legal department is no doubt burning the midnight oil to usher its latest series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, on-air. The network has already received multiple threatening letters from the Church of Scientology, in which the show’s host, Leah Remini, is described as a “has-been actress” and “spoiled, entitled diva.” A defiant Remini, meanwhile, responded by having her attorney send a letter to the church demanding it retract the letters and pay her $1.5 million in compensation.

That the church objects to the eight-part series is hardly a surprise. It sees the 46-year-old King of Queens star — who documented her flight from the church in the 2015 best-seller Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology — turn investigative journalist as she documents “shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment” alleged by former church members.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Remini ahead of the show’s premiere Tuesday, addressing everything from church accusations that she is only “in it for the money” (“Are they going to give me back my $3 million?”) to an extremely awkward phone conversation she once had with CBS chief Leslie Moonves at Tom Cruise’s behest.
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‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’: TV Review
A&E received a lot of aggressive pushback from the Church of Scientology regarding Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. How close did the network come to pulling it.

I don’t know how close they came to pulling the show. They certainly weren’t letting on to me that they were thinking about that. But I’m sure that this is the first network that’s ever done a series on the subject and I think that’s pretty ballsy of them. They were really dedicated to the process once they saw the footage and once they saw the stories.

This show feels unprecedented.

I agree, it is. They’re great partners and the executive who’s in charge of my show [Devon Hammonds, vp, nonfiction programming] has gotten on a plane twice for me just to come out and make sure it was OK with me and we were telling the right stories. They’re very invested in it emotionally.

How do you counter accusations from Scientology that you are only in this for the money?

First of all, [my demand of $1.5 million from the church] was a response to the horrific and libelous letters that they sent me. They were trying to stop this show from happening. They were trying to disparage my name and my reputation with 20/20 and ABC and the public at large. So that was my response to what they were doing. I actually haven’t sued them, so I’m not going to see one red cent.

And profits from the show itself or the book?

Would I donate the money from the show? Is the church donating money to any charity or giving back the money they coerced out of people under false pretenses? Are they going to give me back my $3 million?

And that’s how much you’ve given them over the years?

If not more.

Is Scientology a cult? Did the church brainwash you?

Yes. Scientology is a brainwashing proposition from the very first book that you read in [church doctrine] Dianetics, where L. Ron Hubbard positions himself as a college-educated person, which he wasn’t; a nuclear physicist, which he wasn’t; and a decorated military man, which he wasn’t. Also important is that he claims that Scientology and Dianetics is a proven science. So when you’re indoctrinated when you’re very young, as I was, and all the information that you receive is from Scientology, and you’re not allowed to look at other things because you’re penalized for doing that, yes, that is the way cults work. They cut you off from information from the outside world and they start to sequester you by saying everybody else is your enemy. That is another way that cults work. It satisfies all the checkmarks for what a cult is and what brainwashing is.

How did you break the spell? What was your process to getting out?

My process was to start asking questions to what I was seeing on the internet. I disagreed with my church that I couldn’t be talking to the people that they deemed to be enemies. So I started talking to these people who were making claims of physical abuse. I started looking on the internet. And story after story were stories of abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, fraud. I just couldn’t accept that they were liars, which was what my church was telling me. And so it was a series of things. It wasn’t just one thing. It took me six years to get out and I wanted to make sure that my family was coming with me.

I once read a story that Jennifer Lopez, a close friend of yours, helped and encouraged you to get out. Is that true?

No. She was just supportive of my decision.

What about other celebrities who are still in the church? Have they reached out to you? Criticized you?

Why would they reach out to me? They aren’t allowed to talk to me. That’s the policy of the church. I know Kirstie Alley made a comment about me and I’m sure others will. [In 2013, Alley called Remini a “bigot” on The Howard Stern Show.] But that’s the policy of the church. I understand what their frame of mind is and it’s to oppose anyone who speaks out against the church.

Does it hurt when you hear those words?

I’m hurt for them, because I was one of them and I know how angry they really are despite thinking they are part of the enlightened elite of the world. I know how truly not open they are and how being taken they are. I have sympathy for them.

You made a reference on Ellen to “couch jumping” — in other words, Tom Cruise. How much do you think he contributed to normalizing Scientology doctrine to those still in it?

I don’t think he normalized it at all. I think it’s just the opposite. I think there was a time where maybe Scientology was more accepted and I didn’t particularly find him to be a great example of Scientology — I made that very known to my church. But Tom is very protected in the church and the church will go to any means to ensure that he stays in.

So you think it’s the opposite — that he contributed to an exodus from the church.

Yes. Absolutely. Especially when [church leader] David Miscavige stood up in front of a Scientology event and said that Tom was “the best example of a Scientologist.” And I know the heartbreak of the average person who works day and night to pay a quarter-of-a-million dollars for their “religious freedom” in Scientology. Those people were the example — not somebody who makes $10 to $20 million a picture.

There have been rumors of him leaving or cooling on the church. Do you think that’s true?

No, absolutely not. I highly doubt it. Highly.

Did the church involve itself in your career dealings when you starred on The King of Queens?

You have to go in [to the church] every single day, so yes. It’s always, “Why are you not getting Kevin James in? You’re not setting a good example. You’re not getting the director in.” There was always pressure to make a Scientologist out of the people you were working with.

Did you ever broach the subject with Kevin James at all?


Did he ever suggest to you that you might be better off without Scientology?

No. Kevin was always very respectful of my beliefs and he said just the opposite. People would ask him, “Oh my God, is she trying to get you into that crazy cult?” And he’d say, “No. She’s not like the rest of them.”

Did they ever object to the content of the show?

Yes. They wanted us to take out a reference to Katie Holmes.

Was it a joke about Scientology? Or just a reference to her?

It was just a reference to her name but this was when she was in good graces with the church. Of course they’d have no problem with that once you leave — they’ll try to destroy you and your family. Another time, I got pressure to call Les Moonves at CBS to try and get a 60 Minutes report squashed. I got a call from the church and Tom to call Les Moonves and use my influence to squash the story.

Tom Cruise was on that call?

Yep. So I called Les Moonves, even though I was really uncomfortable with it. And he said, “Listen — you’re not the only one who has called me about this and I have no right to interject my opinion of what I like or don’t like with the news organization of CBS and I will absolutely not engage this conversation. I’ll tell you or anyone else who calls me.” He said, “I don’t give a shit if it’s you, if it’s Tom Cruise, if it’s Jenna Elfman, you’re all going to get the same story from me.” And I said, “OK.” And then I called them back and said, “Hey, I tried.”

What did they say?

They just weren’t happy that I couldn’t squash the story. I said, “I’m just a f—ing actress on television and I can’t demand that my boss take a f—ing report off the air.”

How do you think your experience leaving the church has impacted your career?

I don’t know and I don’t really care, to be honest with you. I’ve got to do what’s right and this is what’s right for me right now, is to help these people who are bravely telling their stories of abuse and fraud. And the church is responding with, “They’re lying.” You have fancy lawyers like Monique Yingling, who makes millions and millions of dollars from the Church of Scientology. She’s not even a Scientologist and she’s going out there trying to discredit people she knows nothing about. I can’t just sit by and watch that happen. I’ve seen it. I’ve witnessed a lot of what they’re saying. I’m going to stand up with them. And if it’s the church or another bully, and I’m passionate about it, I’m going to do something about it if I can. I’m blessed to have a voice and I’m going to use it.

A Scientology representative responds:

“Leah Remini is in it for the money and now tries to pretend otherwise. Her claim on Today that, ‘I’m not going to get a dime,’ as executive producer of her new reality TV show is disingenuous. Ms. Remini obviously is being compensated for this show, just as she profited from her book. In addition, she recently attempted to extort the Church by first demanding $500,000, followed by an additional $1 million, because the Church invoked its First Amendment right to respond to her false claims with the truth. This shows the extent Leah Remini is willing to go to in order to distort the truth about Scientology.

“Further, her claim that she doesn’t like ‘bullies’ is hypocritical because she has aligned herself with a handful of self-admitted violent bullies still bitter after having been expelled from the Church years ago. Like Ms. Remini, these individuals also seek to exploit their former religion to make a buck. For the truth, go to”


The Tomb of Christ Jesus

Jesus Christ’s tomb opened for the first time in 500 years

For decades debate has raged over whether the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem really is the site of the most famous miracle of all.

The shrine is supposed to contain the tomb where Jesus Christ ’s body lay for three days after his crucifixion.

The tomb has been sealed in marble since at least 1555 – and possibly centuries longer – to protect it from pilgrims who kept stealing pieces as holy relics.

But over the preceding centuries the church had been destroyed and rebuilt so many times there were doubts about what it contained.

Now the tomb’s marble lid has been removed for the first time in five centuries – revealing a miraculous discovery.

There, unseen for half a millennium, was the limestone shelf where Christ’s body is thought to have been placed.

The researchers also discovered a second grey marble slab no one knew existed, engraved with a cross they believe was carved in the 12th century by the Crusaders.

Archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert of National Geographic, which was a partner in the project, says: “The most amazing thing for me was when we removed the first layer of dust and found a second piece of marble.

“This one was grey, not creamy white like the exterior, and right in the middle of it was a beautifully inscribed cross. We had no idea that was there.

Jesus Christ’s body is supposed to have laid in the tomb for three days after his crucifixion .
“The shrine has been destroyed many times by fire, earthquakes, and invasions over the centuries. We didn’t really know if they had built it in exactly the same place every time.

“But this seems to be visible proof that the spot the pilgrims worship today really is the same tomb the Roman Emperor Constantine found in the 4th century and the Crusaders revered. It’s amazing.

“When we realised what we had found my knees were shaking a little bit.”

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalems Old City .
It was opened in the presence of leaders from the Greek and Armenian Orthodox churches and the Franciscan monks, who share responsibility for the church.

Fredrik adds: “They let the patriarchs of the three churches go in first. They came out with big smiles on their face. Then the monks went in and they were all smiling.

“We were all getting really curious. Then we went in, looked into the tomb, and saw a lot of rubble. So it wasn’t empty, even though there were no artefacts or bones.”

Negotiations to open the tomb for vital repairs began in 1959 but all decisions must be agreed by a “status quo committee” of the three religious leaders.

The committee often struggles to agree, making any changes or repairs notoriously slow and difficult.

The key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is kept by a Muslim family who have unlocked the building every morning for the last 500 years.

Fredrik says: “Everything has to be approved by the committee, so even changing a candle takes a long time.

“There is a ladder by the main entrance to the church that hasn’t moved in 240 years and they still haven’t reached a decision. It’s called the immovable ladder. So the fact we were finally allowed to carry out this work is a triumph of negotiation.”

The tomb attracts thousands of pilgrims every day so the team got less than three days to clean and explore it.

They used ground penetrating radar and thermographic scanners to record as much information as possible beforehand. It took 35 conservation experts 60 hours to remove the dirt, documenting every step.

They eventually found the limestone burial bed just hours before they had to reseal the tomb.

The team gathered so much data it will take months to analyse, after which they will have enough information to create a virtual reconstruction of the tomb that anyone can view. Fredrick says: “Often in archaeology the eureka moment doesn’t happen in the field.

“It comes when you get home and examine all the data you’ve collected. Who knows what that will tell us.

“Without bones or artefacts we’ll never be able to say for sure this was the tomb of Christ.

“That is a matter of faith. It always has been and it probably always will be.”