Post link 03 June 2014, 0:37
The Biblical city of Rome has announced that it plans to soon allow the public to tour ancient tunnels for the pagan god Mithra, which it has been restoring for some time.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LBTvf8fRX-o/UqVMX4P2WBI/AAAAAAAACjU/MJAC13CXoTA/s800/enuma-elish.jpgThe tunnels are said to be located under the Baths of Caracalla, and are separate from the Mithraeum, which was discovered last year. The Mithraeum was reportedly found with a fresco of the pagan god on the wall, and also a space for what is believed to be an area for animal sacrifices.
As the largest Mithra temple in the Roman empire, the discovery confirms what was thought to be true about the area: that following the death and resurrection of Christ, Romans were involved for centuries in Mithra worship.
Mithra, originally the god of the Persians, became popular in Rome beginning between 80 and 120 AD. According to scholars and experts on the matter, Sunday was marked as the day set aside for Mithra, being known as “the sun god.” Celebrations also took place in mid-December for Mithra during the Winter Solstice, who was stated to have been born according to pagan legend at that time of year.

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The sun god as depicted and woshipped in ancient babylon (right & above image).

“Catholics chose to celebrate Christmas on [December 25th] as part of a broader attempt to supplant pagan festivals with Christian holidays,” outlines Mesa Biblical Church in Camarillo, California on their website Truth According to Scripture. “The story of Mithras falls into the category of a creation myth, whereas the Gospels most closely resemble the ancient literary genre of historical biography. Mithras never existed as a historical person, whereas Jesus had many followers who later served as eyewitnesses. Mithras saved the world by slaying a bull, while Jesus atoned for the sins of the world by offering himself as a sacrifice.”
The church states that the cult of Mithraism was generally followed by the Roman military.
“The worship of Mithra gradually moved westward from Persia after the conquests of Alexander the Great, adopting several features from local traditions along the way,” it continues. “Mithraism borrowed ideas and practices from the Phrygian cult of Attis and Cybele in Asia Minor, as well as astrological symbolism from the Greek Hipparchus.”
The tunnels are slated to open for public viewing in December following much restoration, cleaning and the placement of artificial lighting into the dark caverns. Egyptians call him 'Ra' the sun god.

Book by Gerald Berry, "Religions of the World"

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"Mithra or Mitra is...worshipped as Itu (Mitra-Mitu-Itu) in every house of the Hindus in India. Itu (derivative of Mitu or Mitra. Left image) is considered as the Vegetation-deity. This Mithra or Mitra (Sun-God) is believed to be a Mediator between God and man, between the Sky and the Earth. It is said that Mithra or [the] Sun took birth in the Cave on December 25th. It is also the belief of the Chatholic church that Mithra or the Sun-God was born of [a] Virgin. He travelled far and wide. He has twelve satellites, which are taken as the Sun's disciples.... [The Sun's] great festivals are observed in the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox—Christmas and Easter. His symbol is the Lamb...."

Book by Swami Prajnanananda, "Christ the Saviour and Christ Myth"

Because of its evident relationship to Christianity, special attention needs to be paid to the Persian/Roman religion of Mithraism. The worship of the Indo-Persian god Mithra dates back centuries to millennia preceding the common era. The god is found as "Mitra" in the Indian Vedic religion, which is over 3,500 years old, by conservative estimates. When the Iranians separated from their Indian brethren, Mitra became known as "Mithra" or "Mihr," as he is also called in Persian.
By around 1500 BCE, Mitra worship had made it to the Near East, in the Indian kingdom of the Mitanni, who at that time occupied Assyria. Mitra worship, however, was known also by that time as far west as the Hittite kingdom, only a few hundred miles east of the Mediterranean, as is evidenced by the Hittite-Mitanni tablets found at Bogaz-Köy in what is now Turkey. The gods of the Mitanni included Mitra, Varuna and Indra, all found in the Vedic texts.

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Mithra in the Roman Empire

Subsequent to the military campaign of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE, Mithra became the "favorite deity" of Asia Minor. Christian writers Dr. Samuel Jackson and George W. Gilmore, editors of The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (VII, 420), remark:
It was probably at this period, 250-100 b.c., that the Mithraic system of ritual and doctrine took the form which it afterward retained. Here it came into contact with the mysteries, of which there were many varieties, among which the most notable were those of Cybele.http://www.touregypt.net/images/stories/Image47.jpg
According to the Roman historian Plutarch (c. 46-120 AD/CE), Mithraism began to be absorbed by the Romans during Pompey's military campaign against Cilician pirates around 70 BCE. The religion eventually migrated from Asia Minor through the soldiers, many of whom had been citizens of the region, into Rome and the far reaches of the Empire. Syrian merchants brought Mithraism to the major cities, such as Alexandria, Rome and Carthage, while captives carried it to the countryside. By the third century AD/CE Mithraism and its mysteries permeated the Roman Empire and extended from India to Scotland, with abundant monuments in numerous countries amounting to over 420 Mithraic sites so far discovered.
By the time the Christian hierarchy prevailed in Rome, Mithra had already been a popular cult, with pope, bishops, etc., and its doctrines were well established and widespread, reflecting a certain antiquity. Mithraic remains on Vatican Hill are found underneath the later Christian edifices, a fact that proves the Mithra cult was there first. In fact, while Mithraic ruins are abundant throughout the Roman Empire, beginning in the late first century AD/CE, "The earliest church remains, found in Dura-Europos, date only from around 230 CE."

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Source: Christiannews.net and carm.org
Topic edited 2 times, last edit by RouTe, 03 June 2014, 1:11  

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