Caesarea is a small, very well-to-do town and extensive archaeological site on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, located some 50 km north of Tel Aviv. It is a town devoted to tourism and to luxurious living. There is a luxury hotel, a vacation village, miles of sandy beaches, and a series of attractive restaurants, galleries and boutiques. Visitors marvel at its extraordinary archaeological attractions, not least of which is the Roman Theater where concerts, entertainment extravaganzas and the annual International Opera Festival are held.
Settlement at what became Caesarea, on Israel’s central Mediterranean coast began in the third century BCE by the early Greeks. The population of "Straton’s Tower" was Jewish until the Roman conquest in 63 BCE, when they granted the city its freedom. King Herod the Great transformed the city beginning in 22 BCE with the construction of its sophisticated port, warehouses, markets, great streets, bathhouses, temples and magnificent public buildings. Every five years the city hosted gladiatorial games, sports competitions and performances.
Caesarea is an important site in Christian history. It was the place where Pontius Pilate governed during the time of Jesus. This was where Simon Peter converted the Roman, Cornelius, the first non-Jew to believe in Jesus. During the 3rd century, Caesarea was a center of Christian learning. In the 4th century, the site converted to Christianity and became a major center of the Christian Roman Empire.
The city that had a history of suffering and violence is now one of peace and tranquility.
I have been blessed to participate in interfaith activities in Israel by the Catholic born Focolare. It is an international organization that promotes the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood. The Focolare Movement operates in 182 nations and has five million members. It is the largest Catholic outreach movement in the world.
Here in the Holy Land, The Run4Unity was held May 13, 2012 in the natural landscape and archaeology of Caesarea Maritime. There were more than 400 boys and girls between 12 to 17 years old, from the Palestinian territories and cities of Israel participating in games to promote peace. Christians, Muslims and Jews enjoyed the glorious scenery and spirit of brotherhood in a variety of games.
run4unity is a great site to learn more.