Shrine of Baal Shamin in Palmyra, Syria
By Rick Brinegar
One of the region’s greatest cultural artifacts, the 2,000-year-old Shrine of Baal Shamin in Palmyra, Syria, was largely destroyed after ISIS extremists ravaged the city in May, 2015. To “preserve history,” and as a gesture of defiance, it was originally planned that fifty-foot replicas of the temple’s entrance were to have been placed about 1,000 cities by the Institute for Digital Archaeology, beginning with New York and London, as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Week in April.
Many Christians were offended that UNESCO was promoting a cultural heritage site which publicized the worship of child sacrifice, sexual immorality and pantheism. In 2008, Matt Barber had noted that “…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.” Baal worshippers revered nature and “served the creature more than the Creator.” They would gather around an idol, or an altar of Baal and offer infants to be burned alive as a sacrifice.
Romans chapter 2 describes those who reject God in the last days:
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1: 20-25)
On April 18, 2016, The London Telegraph revealed that the Institute for Digital Archaeology is reconstructing a Palmyra arch using 3D printing technology. However, it is no longer the entrance to the Temple of Baal, but the Arch of Triumph, which has nothing to do with Baal. Michael Snyder reports that UNESCO may have backtracked because of all the negative publicity the project has been receiving.
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