St. Mark brought Christianity to Egypt in the first century AD. Some of the earliest churches and monasteries were founded within the walls of temples. Luxor’s Coptic community and traditions remain vibrant. Some masses are still celebrated in their original language, which is closely linked to that of the pharaohs. Historic texts say that the Holy Family traveled through Egypt, seeking refuge from the death-threats of Jerusalem’s King Herod. The stops along their way became the sites of religious communities, including Deir El Muharraq. Between August 7-21, thousands of pilgrims attend the Feast of the Consecration of the Church of the Virgin. On the 11th of November, the Church of St. George holds its annual celebration. Egypt’s churches (and many of its monasteries) welcome visitors all year-round.