Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Workers in Gaza Discover What May be Ancient Church

  • Veronica Neffinger

    Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the…

  • 2016 Apr 05

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. 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