CAIRO: A temporarily exhibition that aims at highlighting the peaceful coexistence of the three monotheistic religions in Egypt from the 3rd to the 12th Centuries, was inaugurated at the Egyptian Museum Thursday.
Under the slogan “One god and three religions… religious tolerance in the land of Nile”, the exhibition “recounts the history of religious beliefs in Egypt through a variety of Biblical and Islamic artifacts covering Egypt’s history from the 3rd to the 12th Centuries,” Director of the Egyptian Museum Dr. Mahmoud al-Halwagy told The Cairo Post Thursday.
The exhibition, which takes place at the hall no.44 of the museum’s ground floor, will last for a month and it has a free admission, Halwagy said, adding that the artifacts on display have been gathered from several museums across the country.
“The artifacts on display show an unrivaled artistic output of the three religious communities in Egypt throughout the centuries. Objects showing the symbols of the three religions; religious manuscripts; and objects and scenes depicting daily life are featuring the interaction between the three religions,” according to Halwagy.
There have been several Jewish waves of immigrants that have settled in Egypt, especially in Alexandria during Egypt’s Roman period (30 B.C.-395 A.D.), according to Fathy Khourshid, Islamic and Coptic history professor at Minya University.
“For the Roman period there are evidences suggesting the existence of a big Jewish community at Oxyrynchus (modern Bahansa), on the east side of the Nile nearby the modern town of Minya. Many of the Jews there have converted to Christianity but retained their Biblical names,” Khourshid told The Cairo Post Thursday.
According to Halwagy, this exhibition is being held in parallel with another exhibition, on the same subject, entitled ‘One God- Abraham’s Legacy on the Nile’ in the Bode Museum in Berlin.
He added that the exhibition also conveys an important message: “Abraham is the father of the prophets and the messenger for all three monotheistic religions. His presence in all these religions emphasizes their unity and the fact that there is but one God, who is worshipped differently throughout the world.”
It is accompanied by a series of cultural activities and a symposium on the three monotheistic religions, as well as activities for children, said Halwagy.
According to Khourshid, Christianity was introduced to Egypt by Mark the Evangelist in around 55 A.D.
“Christianity was adopted quickly by Egyptians in the first century; a time the country was under the Roman Empire and the Egyptians struggled for a new belief rather than the Roman paganism,” he said.