Sign of the Times: 'Temple of Baal' to Go Up in New York, London
A reproduction of the Temple of Baal is coming to New York's Times Square next month as a tribute to the 2,000-year-old original structure that was destroyed by ISIS last year in Palmyra, Syria.
The reproductions will be made using a 3-D printer, producing a life-size model of the temple's entrance. Officials say those models will be installed in both New York City and London's Trafalgar Square this Spring.
What actually happened historically at the Temple of Baal? Dr. Corne Bekker, with Regent University, explains.
Promoting a False God?
Many are speaking out against putting up a monument in honor of a temple that promoted worship of a false god.
In an article for World Net Daily, Matt Barber explains some of the elements of Baal worship.
"Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants – men and women alike – would engage in bisexual orgies," Barber wrote.
"The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of 'mother earth,'" he explained.
A Mirror of Modern Society
He goes on to point out how some of those elements are being mirrored in society today.
"Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar," he said.
"Bar the worship of "fertility" has been replaced with worship of 'reproductive freedom' or 'choice.' Child sacrifice via burnt offering has been updated, ever so slightly, to become child sacrifice by way of abortion," he concluded.
But supporters of the reproductions to go up in New York and London say it is an attempt to "preserve history."
"We hope it is viewed as a constructive response to what has happened there," said Roger Michel, executive director for the Institute for Digital Archaeology.
The original temple attracted 150,000 tourists a year until 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.
The Institute for Digital Archaeology hopes to construct approximately 1,000 versions of the arch to be placed in cities around the world.
Christian sites are also among the many antiquities destroyed by the Islamic State.