Cuba has opened the first Roman Catholic Church since the beginning of the Marxist revolution in 1959.
The new church in Sandino took 4 years to complete. It is bright yellow and has room for 200 people It is one of three churches that have been authorized by the government as a sign of religious tolerance and the opening of society. Financial support for the project came from members of a Cuban congregation in Tampa, Florida.
After Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba at the end of the 1950s he cracked down on religion, which he saw as potential threat to the revolution. Many priests worked against the new government and were expelled. After the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe in the 1990s Castro decided relieve the tension and even invited Pope John Paul II to the island. Since then the relationship between the Vatican and Cuba has slowly returned to normal.
authorize = to officially give permission to do something
congregation = a group of people who often go to church together
crack down = to become more strict in dealing with a problem and punishing the people involved
expel = to make someone leave the country
financial support = money
government = people who rule a country
Marxist revolution = rebels defeated the authoritarian pro-western government in Cuba and set up a Communist regime led by Fidel Castro
potential = possible; maybe
relieve = reduce; lower
tension = here: when two countries do not trust each other
threat = danger to someone
tolerance = allow people to say and do what they want without criticizing or punishing them
Baba Vanga, a mystic Bulgarian woman who died in 1996, has been known for predicting future events. She predicted the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the rise of Islamic terrorism and the Christmas tsunami of 2004. For 2018, there are two events that the blind woman said would become true.
China will overtake the USA as the world’s number one economic power and scientists will discover a new form of energy on our sister planet Venus. These two predictions may, in fact, just have a chance of becoming reality.
China’s economy has been growing steadily for many years. Today, China’s share of the world’s economy is at 15.6 % while the US still is the largest economic power at 16.7% . Many experts say that China will be overtaking the USA soon.
On the other side, NASA is not planning to send a space probe to Venus but will send a spacecraft to the sun in 2018. The mission was scheduled for 2015 but postponed because of technical problems. The probe will fly by Venus and scientists do not rule out new discoveries of the planet that may be made.
Baba Vanga, whom many followers call the Nostradamus of the Balkans, made predictions up to the year 5079, when, according to her, the world and the universe will come to an end. In 2028 the world will suffer a global hunger crisis and in 3005 a war on Mars will change the trajectory of the planet.
Referring to her predictions of 9/11 and Brexit, Baba Vanga said that two birds of steel would attack America and Europe would cease to exist in its known form by the end of 2016.
according to = as said by …
Balkans = countries in the southeast part of Europe
cease to exist = here: not exist anymore
discover = to find something for the first time
economy = system by which a country buys and sells goods and manages its money
follower = person who believes in what someone else teaches or says
global = worldwide
mission = trip by a spacecraft to the sun, moon or another planet in order to get information
mystic = person who tries to get to know facts by praying, and talking with God
overtake = here: to be better than ..
postpone = to change the date of an event to a later one
predict – prediction = to say that something will happen in the future
probe = spaceship without people in it that is sent into space to collect information
referring to = to mention or talk about something
rise = here: when someone becomes very powerful
rule out = to decide that something is not possible
scheduled = planned
scientist = a person who works in a lab and is trained in science
share = part
spacecraft = object that can travel in space
steadily = slowly and regularly
suffer = to be in a bad situation
trajectory = path that a planet takes around the sun
tsunami = very large wave that can flood large areas when it hits the coast
universe = all space, including all the stars and planets
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant religion. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther published his 95 theses, which criticized the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, the new religion broke away from the high church in Rome.
Luther nailed his list of criticismon the door of achurch inWittenberg, where hetaughttheology. He attacked the Church because it claimed that a sinner could reduce God’s punishment by giving money to the church. He also claimed that popes were too powerful and abused their power.
A few years later Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. However, because of the printing press, which was invented at that time, his messagespread across most of Europe. The Reformationcaused widespread change in Europe. It led to wars and people leaving their home country in pursuit of religious freedom.
In England, Henry VIII broke his ties with the Roman Catholic Church and, based on Luther’s theses, founded the Anglican Church. Over the centuries Protestants have created many different branches of their religion. Many Protestants are found in Scandinavia, Germany and the United States.
About 800 million Protestants live in the world today. Even though there are still many disagreements between Protestantism and Catholicism, both churches have overcome their differences. Their relationship has improved since the 16th century.
The anniversary was celebrated throughout the Protestant world. Most ceremonies took place in Germany, the cradle of Protestantism.
abuse = to use something in the wrong way
anniversary = date on which something important happened in the past
attack = to criticise something in a strong way
based on = here: to create a new church out of Protestant ideas
cause = lead to
century = a hundred years
ceremony = important event that is performed in a traditional way
claim = to say that something is true
cradle = here: where everything began
disagreement = when two or more people do not have the same opinion
even though = while, although
excommunicate = to punish someone by no longer allowing them to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church
found – founded = create something new
however = but
invent = to make or design something new
message = news
printing press = machine that prints newspapers, books etc.. in large numbers
publish = to make something official, for everyone to see
pursuit = follow
nail = to fasten something to an object
overcome = here: not to argue anymore
reduce = make something smaller or less
Reformation = religious changes in Europe in the 16th century that led to the creation of Protestantism
sinner = a person who does not obey or follow God’s laws
spread = to move from one place to another
theology = the study of religion and religious ideas
theses = an opinion about something, often in writing
widespread= something that happens in many places at the same time
Authorities at Uluru National Park have announced that tourists will no longer be allowed to climb up to the top of Australia’s most famous landmark. The ban will take effect at the beginning of 2019. Officials say that Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is not an entertainment park, like Disneyland.
About 250 000 people visit the large red monolith in central Australia every year. However, only about 16% want to climb the rock.
Although Australia’s government wants to keep the site open for hikers to climb, the decision was made out of respect to the native Australians who consider Uluru as a sacred place. In 1985 the government returned it back to the aboriginalpeople of the region. For a long time , local residents have asked visitors not to climb the rock out of respect.
National park authorities are worried that hiking to the top of 1,100 ft high rock will damage the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour operators are now in search of other ways to show the monolith to its visitors, including camel rides around it.
Uluru National Park is open all year round, but climbing is only allowed on certain days because of strong winds and other weather conditions. Climbing the rock is not always safe. In the last 70 years , 35 people have died in climbing accidents.
Not all locals, however, are in favour of the ban. Some say that hiking should only be allowed with a guide and on special pathways.
Aboriginal people = people who have lived in Australia from the earliest times on
although = while
announce = to say officially
authorities = an official organisation that controls or is in charge of something
ban = order that stops something from being done
consider = think that…; look at something as …
damage = cause harm to something
entertainment park = area where you can go to in order to have fun, ride on roller coasters etc..
government = the people who rule a country
guide = person who shows you around a place
hiker = someone who walks long distances in the mountains
in favour of = to be for something
including = also
landmark = something that is easy to see , even from far away
local = a person who lives in the area
monolith = a large tall block of stone
native Australians = the people who have been in Australia before Europeans came
official = a person in an organisation who is in charge of something
pathway = track that is made for walking
resident = a person who lives in a place
sacred = holy , religious
take effect = put into effect, become a law
UNESCO World Heritage Site = place that has been selected by the United Nations because it is very valuable ; it should be protected by all countries