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Egypt completes restoration of world’s oldest monastery

Catholic World News - February 08, 2010

Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities has completed an eight-year, $14.5-million restoration of the world’s oldest monastery, which was founded by disciples of St. Anthony (251-356), the patriarch of monks. The restoration has drawn renewed attention to the plight of Christians in the country, where government approval is required to repair or build churches.

The nation of 77.8 million is 90% Muslim and 9% Christian, the vast majority of whom are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which ceased to be in communion with the Holy See following the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Only 0.3% of Egyptians are Catholic.

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