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Simon of Cyrene

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Simon of Cyrene was, according to the synoptic Gospels, compelled by the Romans to help Jesus by carrying the cross for a spell. Cyrene was in Libya in Northern Africa, and Simon has been credited with being the first Christian of that continent. His sons, Rufus and Alexander, are traditionally believed to have become missionaries, and the mention of them by name in the Gospel of Mark indicates that they were of some standing in the fledgling Christian community.
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