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Christian Arab Museum Opens

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Pittsburgh, a center of Eastern European Immigration in the early part of the century has many "christian arabs". Typically Antiochan or "coptic", they fled the lands of the western middle east along with their Russian and Balkan Orthodox Christian cousins in the early part of the 20th century. Their churches are onion domed and ornate, the best reference in American Pop Culture is the wedding scene in the Pittsburgh movie "The Deer Hunter" with Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken. Think of that type of ornate (maybe over the top) type of church with tons of history just ozing from the walls. Thats what an Orthodox church looks like especially the older ones.

The Museum has been in the works for 20 years, and is a repository of all kinds of interesting items, the oldest being 800 YEARS OLD or more! Antiochan Christianity, a branch of the Orthodox Catholics of Eastern Europe (the Greeks, Serbs, Russians, Bulgarians etc.) founded modern Christianity, Antioch is the city where Jesus' followers were first reffered to as "Christians" during his lifetime.


"Some of our churches are like museums," the archbishop said. "No matter how many beautiful things we take out of them, we still have so much. This [museum]gives non-Orthodox people an opportunity to discover them."

Curious connoisseurs who won't darken a church door can come to the museum, he said, and not worry about where and when to bob their heads or bow.

"This is beauty, and beauty is universal for everyone," he declared, opening his arms. "Christ came to transcend all these barriers we put up. This is not a place for only Antiochian, only Orthodox, only Christians. It's a place for everyone. We want all to feel welcome here."

The Museum is outside of the Pittsburgh suburb of Greensburg in the East Hills.

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