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Christian monastery in Egypt reopens

SUEZ CITY, Egypt, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The reputed oldest Christian monastery in the world, Saint Anthony's in Egypt, has been opened to tourists, officials say.

A government-sponsored $14 million restoration of the Suez City monastery, believed to be 1,600 years old, has been completed and the facility has been reopened to visitors, the BBC reported.

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It said the monastery has long been a pilgrimage site for Coptic Christians. Its rehabilitation comes after six Copts were shot dead on Christmas Eve in the worst sectarian violence in a decade, the British broadcaster reported.

The Egyptian government reportedly sees the monastery renewal as a symbol of its efforts to produce peace and co-existence between the country's Muslim majority and Christian minority.

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