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Workers in Gaza Discover What May be Ancient Church

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Apr 05
  • Comments

Construction workers in the Gaza Strip have discovered what Palestinian tourism officials say they believe to be a Christian religious site, dating back to the sixth century.

 

ABC News reports that the workers uncovered the site while working on construction of a shopping center.

 

Heyam al-Bitar, the research director for the Hamas-run Tourism and Antiquities Ministry, said that the discovery of the ancient church included remnants of marble Corinthian pillars and a foundation stone over 35 inches long bearing a Greek symbol for Christ.

 

Haaretz.com reports that 15 pieces of the ancient site have been uncovered with excavations continuing.

 

“Our first thought is that the site is a cathedral or a church from the Byzantine period,” said Jamal Abu Rida, the general director of the Antiquities Ministry.

 

“During that era, there was a great interest among the Byzantine rulers to build churches in the Gaza Strip.”

 

The artifacts will be taken to the Ministry’s museum for further study.

 

Although the discovery was of a Christian church, today the Gaza Strip is primarily home to Muslims, with only a small Christian community.

 

 

Publication date: April 5, 2016

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