|St. George's Church|
|Location||Burqin, West Bank|
|Affiliation||Greek Orthodox Church|
|Year completed||12th century|
Burqin Church (Arabic: كنيسة برقين) or St. George's Church (كنيسة القديس جاورجيوس) is a Byzantine-era Greek Orthodox church in the Palestinian West Bank town of Burqin. It is considered to be the fifth oldest Christian holy place and the third oldest church in the world.. The church has been restored several times and is currently in use by the village's small Greek Orthodox community.
According to Christian tradition, Jesus had passed through Burqin on his way to Jerusalem from Nazareth and as he was passing by the village he heard cries for help from ten lepers who were isolated in quarantine. He encountered them and passed his hand on their faces and then 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 during the Byzanine-era in the cave where the "miracle" took place. The cave appeared to be a Roman cistern, having an opening at the top and containing an altar. During the 6th-9th centuries it was gradually extended to the front of the cave. Afterwards the church was abandoned for unapparent reasons, but was renovated during the 12th century and enclosed by a stone wall. In the 13th century the church was used as a school. Today, it is composed of the leper cave and an 18th century-era hall and nave.
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