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12, April 1999 Latest update 9 of July 2007, at 6.25 am
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Burqin Church

The Fifth holiest Christian place and the third oldest church in the world Located in the village of Burqin, 3 kms west of Jenin lies the Burqin church also known as st. Goerge's church. It is considered the fifth oldest sacred Christian place in the world, and the third oldest church. According to Christian tradition, Jesus Christ passed through Burqin on his way to Jerusalem from Nazareth in the early days of Christianity. As he was passing by the village he heard the cries for help from 10 lepers who were imprisoned as a way of quarantine. He went to them and passed his hand on their faces and they were immediately cured. Since this miracle, the church became a station for many Christian pilgrims. Excavations show that the church passed through 4 different historical periods. The first church was built over the cave where the miracle is said to have taken place, and which looks like a Roman cistern. The cave has an opening on top and it contains an altar and a stone wall at the entrance. A second construction was added to the church dating to a period between the 5th - 9th century. During the twelfth century, the church was rebuilt after a long period of abandonment whose reasons remain a mystery. After the 13th century the church was rebuilt and used as a school.
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