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1,500-year-old church in danger of collapse

The ruins of the St. Menas’ church and monatery near Alexandria, Egypt, may be added to the UN list of World Heritage Sites in Danger because it is sinking into water-saturated soil.

The growth of agriculture in what was a desert area has led to a significant rise in the water table – which has caused a number of the site’s buildings to collapse or become unstable. Authorities have placed sand in the bases of several of the buildings that are most endangered.

St. Menas was martyred during the early Roman persecution of the church and, according to tradition, his body was taken from Alexandria on a camel, which was led into the desert. At the current ruins site, the camel refused to continue. This was taken as a divine sign and the martyr was buried there.

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Story: Rob Kerby, BeliefNet | Photo: BeliefNet

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