About the Russian Church In Abu KabirThe Russian Church, or St. Peter's Church in Abu Kabir, is a Russian Orthodox Church. According to the Russian Orthodox belief, this is exactly where Simon the Tanner's house stood. This is the house where Christians believe St. Peter was being hosted when he lived in Jaffe and he experienced the gift of dream interpretations.
According to tradition of believers in the Russian Orthodox Church, in the burial plot next to the church was buried Tabitha, a righteous women who was very sick and passed away, and Peter brought back to life.
In the tradition Tabitha was buried in the cave of tombs hewn in the rocky sand dunes. Above the cave Christians erected a mosaic structure that describes the event. Stairs descend from the structure into the grave caves, where Christian believers tend to light candles.
Incidentally, this burial plot to the west of the church stands in a place that was a Jewish cemetery during the Second Temple period.
The Church's HistoryThe Russian Church here was established in the 19th century, after in 1835 it was found to be associated with the burial site of Tabitha. Though no evidence has been found to support this theory, strong beliefs made sure that the area around the burial plot was purchased in 1888, and a church was built.
In 1894 the church was completed and it began being used as a traveler's hotel, for those Russian believers who were making the long journey from Jaffe to Jerusalem.
When World War II broke out, the Ottomans evacuated the Russians from the church since they were subjects from Allied powers. After the war, church believer exiled from Russia came to the church as representatives of the Russian-Orthodox Church.
With the establishment of the state of Israel the church was returned officially to the Russian Church, being ruled by the communists. This is what lead this church, as far as is known, during the Cold War to become K.G.B headquarters, that sat right at the heart of Israel.