The Vatican Ambassador To Israel Says The Discovery
Of The First Church In Israel Is Extremely Important For All Christians Of The World

The church was discovered in the Megiddo high-security prison

considered by the archeologists to be the oldest church in the world

Broadcast November 6th, 2005 on IsraCast.com

Photo: Channel Two

Israel's Channel Two TV has reported that excavators at the Megiddo high-security prison, 10 Km west of the town of Afula, have discovered ruins of what seems to be the remains of a church dating back to the third or fourth century CE (AD). The archeologists consider it to be the oldest church in Chirstianity.

Listen to Vatican Ambassador to Israel

The Vatican ambassador to Israel, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, hails the discovery of the first Christian church in history as extremely important for all Christians world-wide. Ambassador Sambi was reacting to the news that Israeli archeologists uncovered remains of the church at Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley.

The ruins date from a period that preceded the crucifix as the official ecclesiastical emblem. The archeologists uncovered a spectacular mosaic floor. Most of the mosaic was covered with fish-shaped decorations, which are known to be the symbol of early Christianity. One of the inscriptions read that the building was dedicated to “the memory of the Lord Jesus Cristos.”

The Megiddo area is known to be a rich terrain for archeological finds from different historical periods. The structure was revealed with the help of dozens of the 1,200 high-security prisoners held in the facility.

Dr. Yotam Tefer, the dig’s supervisor, said that “Christian religious buildings from that period are rare archeological finds in the Land of Israel. Mosaics in general and mosaics with inscriptions from the third and fourth centuries CE in particular, are the rarest of all. Moreover, this unique structure is important for a basic understanding of Christianity”.

ISRACAST, Jerusalem

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Transcription done by Yael Yaffe-Last
Studio Production by Avi Yaffe Jerusalem Recording Studios LTD.

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