Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Violence in the Desert

Image result for st catherine's monastery sinai

I have no "bucket list" and don't really like the term, but I hoped that one day I would get to St Catherine's monastery in Egypt's south Sinai desert. The monastery is at the base of the mountain associated with God's numinous revelation to Moses, and the giving of the commandments which would become foundational for Judeo/Christian ethics and morality. It is a Unesco world heritage site and one of the oldest monasteries in the world.  From all accounts St. Catherine's is in a remarkable, holy location and climbing to the summit to greet the sunrise sounds like an extraordinary experience. I actually planned to take a flight from Israel during a trip that was cancelled.

Image result for st catherine's monastery sinai sunrise

Sadly, it is not immune from violence. Earlier this week Islamic State fighters opened fire at a nearby checkpoint. Again we need to be aware of the persecution of Christians and desecration of Christian sites in many places. We know that recent attacks on two Coptic Christian churches left 45 people dead.

Will I get to St. Catherine's now? Probably not, but that it of minor concern. I can't complain given that I've been to Israel several times.  What really matters is the security of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Image result for st catherine's monastery sinai map

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