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Ashtoreth or Resurrection?

H Chin Khenthang tells the story of Easter Sunday

FOR NEARLY 2,000 years, Christians all over the world annually celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the day of which falls sometimes in March and sometimes in April. A vast majority of Christians called it Easter Sunday, but a microscopic minority hates to call it Easter Sunday because Easter is the name of a pagan goddess.

     The word ‘Easter’ is found only in the Book of Acts 12:4 of old King James Bible where it is written, “When he (Herod) had apprehended him (Jesus), he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quarternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” Here, the Greek word ‘Pascha’ which means ‘Passover’ was wrongly translated as ‘Easter’, though in all other places of the Bible, it was correctly translated as ‘Passover’. The mistake has been corrected in the new King James Bible.

     The origin of Easter can be traced back to the time of Nimrod, the son of Cush, the grand-son of Noah. In Genesis 10:8-12 we find that Nimrod, the son of Cush was a mighty one on earth and a mighty hunter before God. Starting from Babel he established an extensive and mighty kingdom in the land of Shinar (Babylon), and built many strong cities including Nineveh. Then the legend goes like this:

     After the death of his father Cush, Nimrod married Semiremis, his father’s wife who was his own mother. He became a powerful king and his subjects worshipped him as god. He thus became a man-god. Semiremis also became a very powerful queen. Then Nimrod died, but his death was not made known to the people.

     Knowing well that while Nimrod was alive, he was worshipped by his by his people as god Semiremis told the people that Nimrod went up to the sun and became sun-god ‘Baal’, represented on earth by flame or fire, and they should worship him by fire. Nimrod thus came to be worshipped as the sun-god Baal or fire-god. Later, the Israelites also worshipped Baal or Molech and sacrificed their sons to him (2 Chron. 28:2, 3; 33:6; Jer. 32:35 etc).

     After her husband’s death, Semiremis had illegitimate child and named him Tammuz. She claimed that the rays of the sun caused her to conceive him, and so Tammuz was the son of Nimrod the sun-god. Tammuz was noted to be especially fond of rabbits. Since he was believed to be the son of the sun-god, rabbit came to be considered sacred in the religion of ancient Babylon. Ezekiel 8:14 says, “…he brought me to the door of Jehovah’s house… there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” So we know that the Israelites worshipped Tammuz.

     Semiremis now claimed that the moon was a goddess that went through a 28 day cycle, and produced egg when it was full. She came down from the moon in a giant moon-egg that fell into the Euphrates River at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox (when day and night are equal in length). She was thus immaculately conceived. So she claimed to be a goddess. Thus, Semiremis came to be worshipped as ‘Ishtar’ or ‘Easter’, the spring goddess of fertility. Her moon-egg became ‘Easter egg’, and Tammuz’s rabbit became ‘Easter Rabbit’.

     Among different people or nations, Ishtar was known by and worshipped under different names such as Astarte, Ashtoreth, Eostre, Ostera, Queen of heaven, Mother-goddess, Spring goddess, Goddess of fertility etc. The Israelites called her Ashtoreth and worshipped her (Jug. 2:13; 10:6) thereby provoking God to punish them. Solomon fell from God’s grace for joining his wives in worshipping Ashtoreth (1 Kin. 11:5-35; 2 Kin. 23:13). The Anglo-Saxons (Germans) called her Eostre.

     Every year, on the first Sunday after the full moon following spring equinox, a festival was held making a celebration in honour of Easter, with eggs and rabbits as symbols of procreation or fertility. This was the origin of the real EASTER SUNDAY. When Christianity spread to Germany, this practice was already prevailing there. In order to attract non-believers to Christianity, the church adopted this pagan festival with all its associated practices, to mark the occasion of the resurrection of Christ.

     From Germany it spread to other countries. Thus, for centuries, Christians all over the world have been endearingly following this practice, with or without knowing the meaning of it. We are so much fascinated by or crazy about the name ‘Easter’ that, not satisfied celebtating it with Easter Egg and Rabbit only, we add many other ‘Easters’ such as Easter Cake, Easter Bun, Easter Turkey and so on, to the menu. In some places, we have also ‘Easter Picnics’ as part of Easter celebration.

     There is the tradition of distributing coloured eggs which is said to have originated from the practice of dyeing eggs by the Babylonians with the blood of infants they sacrificed to the sun-god. This they did in the hope that it would bring plentiful harvest. How loathsome and repulsive will it be to God? But some Christians or churches blindly follow this tradition even today by distributing coloured or painted eggs on the occasion of what they called ‘Easter Sunday’.

     There may those who doubt the authenticity of the stories about Semiremis or Easter, Tammuz, Nimrod becoming Baal the sun-god etc., and think that these are only a myths. But the fact remains that Baal, Tammuz and Ashtoreth (Easter) were worshipped as gods and goddess thousands of years ago, even by the Israelite, and the Scripture proves that. The spring festival, the Easter Sunday celebration, etc. in honour of goddess Easter were very much there, and we still cannot follow this tradition. Babylon was really the origin of false religions.

     *Now we know beyond doubt that celebrating Easter Sunday (Easter’s Sunday) in honour of Easter – the pagan goddess of spring and fertility was started by the Babylonians thousands of years before the birth of Christ. As such, it has no connection whatsoever with Christ or His Resurrection; rather it is the antithesis of it. But still, Christians love to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection Day in the name of this pagan goddess, calling it ‘Easter Sunday’.

     There are those who ask, “What is the harm in calling it Easter Sunday? After all, we are not worshipping Easter but celebrating the Resurrection.” But the Scripture tells us that the name ‘Ashtoreth’ or Easter is abominable to God, and that God is a jealous God. Then, when we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection Day in the name of a pagan goddess, will it be acceptable to God and the One whose resurrection we claim to celebrate? No, it is blasphemy. Also, the ‘Sunrise Service’ we conduct at sunrise by facing the sun is pagan. It originated from the practice of sun worshippers, and has nothing to do with the Resurrection.

     How long will continue with this tradition of celebrating “Easter Sunday” proclaiming the name of Easter the goddess every time we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection Day? Can we not call it “Christ’s Resurrection Sunday” or ‘The Lord’s Resurrection Sunday instead?

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