Monday, December 13, 2010

Built by monks, nurtured by pilgrims from India /Pre-Islamic-Christian-monastery- In the UAE

From the Daily Mail:

A 1,400-year-old monastery in the United Arab Emirates that is the only pre-Islamic Christian site in the region has opened to the public.
The site at Sir Bani Yas island in Abu Dhabi dates back to around 600AD. It was built by a community of 30 to 40 monks and is understood to have been established by pilgrims travelling from India.
The remains, which also include a church, chapel and tower, were unearthed in 1992 during an archaeological study. Excavations will continue as visitors come to the site with the first being allowed access on Saturday.

Twenty years ago, we had no idea that Christians came this far south and east in the Arabian Gulf.
'This shows that Christianity had penetrated far further than we thought before... We don't have many monasteries from this period.'
Christianity spread through the Gulf between the years 50 and 350, with the monastery's inhabitants probably being members of the Nestorian Church....

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