Thursday, February 16, 2006

Good news for oldest Megiddo Christian church

Yesterday I received my 21 February 2006 copy of The Christian Century which published this good news:

Israel may relocate a jail in the Galilee on the recommendation of archaeologists who have discovered on its grounds the remnants of what is said to be the oldest church ever found in the Holy Land. The third-century prayer chapel laden with inscriptions and mosaics was found last year on Megiddo prison land, west of Afula in northern Israel. It was uncovered by prisoners helping archaeologists excavate the site prior to construction of a new prison wing. In light of the discovery, the prison will no longer be expanded, and a committee of leading archaeologists from the governmental Antiquities Authority has advised that it be relocated so that find can be preserved and further archaeological excavations can take place. Israel's president, Moshe Katsav, who toured the area, said he support moving the prison because of the site's historical importance to Christianity. Katsav said Pope Benedict XVI had, at a meeting in Rome last year, expressed interest in visiting the excavation on any future trips to the Holy Land.

For more information, see our previous posts in mid-January.

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