Inside Jerusalem's oldest (and Christian!) tattoo shop.


Jul 5, 2008
While most Churches have been opposed to tattooing from the beginning based on stuff on the Old Testament the Coptic (Egyptian) and Ethiopian Ones have proved the acception that proves the rule. Personally I like tattoos but I would not encourage people to get them. Rabbinc Judaism has historically been rabidly against tattooing.

Anyway I found this article really interesting and I think that some others might as well;

"For 700 years the Razzouk family has been tattooing marks of faith. Coptic Christians who settled in Jerusalem four generations ago, the family had learned the craft of tattooing in Egypt, where the devout wear similar inscriptions. Evidence of such tattoos dates back at least as far as the 8th century in Egypt and the 6th century in the Holy Land, where Procopius of Gaza wrote of tattooed Christians bearing designs of crosses and Christ’s name. Early tattoos self-identified indigenous Christians in the Middle East and Egypt. Later, as the faithful came to the Holy Land on pilgrimage, the practice expanded to offer these travelers permanent evidence of their devotion and peregrination.

Upon entering Razzouk Ink, you will discover a blend of stone walls and exposed beams lending antique character to the space, while the sterile tattoo parlor hides behind a wall. A museum-like case holds family antiques, and an exhibition of pictures on the walls offers glimpses into the family’s past.

Family lore dates the Razzouk's involvement in this cultural practice to 1300, starting first in Egypt among Coptic (Orthodox) Christians and later in the Holy Land for Christians from a variety of backgrounds. “My ancestors were always in association with the church therefore it might be they learned this practice from there,” says Wassim Razzouk, the current family tattooer....."

Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims | Atlas Obscura



I would fully respect it if someone else wished to have some symbol or image of faith tattooed on their skin. It wouldn't be for me, though.

I''d question the motivation if the tattoo was meant to be paraded before others for admiration or as evidence of the strength of the tattooee's faith. However, if it's something very personal, to be used as a means, for example, of Godly reflection, that can be a very laudable practice.

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