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THE CAVE OF THE SEVEN SLEEPERS (Ephesus)

This is another holy ground for Christianity. During the first centuries of Christianity an enormous amount of pressure was put on these early followers of Christ. One of the biggest problems between the early Christians and the central authorities was that the necessity of offering sacrifices to the cult of Emperors. Christians refused to do this. As a result of this conflict either the Christians were expelled from their homes or killed in certain occasions.

According to the common belief , these seven young Christians decided to leave the city of Ephesus, instead of offering sacrifices to the local cult. They took shelter in this cave near the city. It took more than 200 years before they woke up from their first sleep in the cave. During this time Christianity became more accepted and they were welcomed with a great enthusiasm. This event became a proof to the "belief of resurrection, as Jesus claimed". This story became a turning point in the Roman Empire to convert into Christianity, during the following centuries.

These seven followers were buried in the cave after they died. Later on a church was built on their graves. After them the cave became a holy ground to the Christian world. Since then may be hundreds of more Christians were buried in the cave.

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