Friday, December 25, 2009

Coptic Cairo

Merry Christmas!

Since it is Christmas Day I thought I would tell you about where I went today here in Cairo. I went to Coptic Cairo. Actually, it was my third time to go since it is easy with a subway station right there. Don't need to walk for 2+ hours through the maze of Cairo or haggle with a taxi driver. Just hop on the subway for 1 Egyptian pound (US$0.18) and in less than 10 minutes I am there.

When Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus fled to Egypt to escape persecution one of the places they stayed was in a cave here. Now it is under the Church of St. Sergius, built in the 4th century. From inside the church you can look down into the cavern.

Also, in Coptic Cairo there is the Ben Ezra Synagogue which occupies the shell of a 4th century Christian church. It is said that this is the spot where the prophet Jeremiah gathered the Jews in the 6th century BC after Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the Jerusalem temple. The adjacent spring is believed to be where the pharaoh's daughter found Moses in the reeds, and where Mary drew water to wash Jesus.

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