Thursday, December 7, 2017

Why is Jerusalem a holy city?

When Christians around the world celebrate Easter, the Jews celebrate Easter holidays with a festival of the pilgrim tradition to Jerusalem.

The BBC's Erica Chernofsky finds out why this city is important to Christians, Muslims and Jews, and the three religions share a place associated with the Abrahamic figure in the scriptures.
Jerusalem, the name echoed in the hearts of Christians, Jews and Muslims for several centuries shared the area and history of disputes.

In Hebrew it is called Yerushalayim and al-Quds in Arabic, which is one of the oldest cities in the world. In the past, the city was once conquered, destroyed and rebuilt for several times and left a different passage.

As the region becomes the focus of various stories about differences and conflicts between people of different faiths, they are united in honoring this holy land. The city has a historic architecture, and there is a division of 'territory' for Christians, Muslims, Jews and Armenians. Surrounded by stone walls and the site of sacred sites in the world.

Each section represents its own population. Christians have two 'territories' because Armenians are also Christians, and their smallest area amongst others, being the oldest Armenian Center in the world.

Be unique because their community has maintained its own culture and civilization within the Church of St. James Church and the monastery.


Within the Christian area there is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is an important site for Christians around the world. This site is in the midst of the history of Jesus' journey, his death, the crucifixion and resurrection.

According to Christian tradition, Jesus was crucified there, in Golgotha, or Calvary's hill, his empty tomb is in the church and also the site of his resurrection.

The Church is jointly managed by different Christian representatives, mostly from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Franciscan Monastery of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Armenian Patriarchate, but also Ethiopian, Coptic, and Syrian Orthodox Churches. This location is a pilgrimage destination for millions of Christians around the world.


The Muslim region is the largest of the others and there are the Dome of Rock shrines and the al-Aqsa Mosque and the highlands known as Haram al-Sharif by Muslims. This mosque is the third holy place for Islam after the Grand Mosque in Mecca and Nabawi Mosque in Medina. The al-Aqsa mosque is run by the Waqf Islamic Foundation.

Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad to Jerusalem from Mecca during a night journey called Isra Mi'raj, is also believed in the Mosque of al-aqsa Prophet Muhammad to pray together with the spirit of all prophets. And near the shrine of the Dome of the Rock, there are stones that are believed to be Muslims, a place where prophets walk before they travel to heaven.

Muslims visit the holy sites throughout the year, but every Friday in Ramadan, hundreds of thousands of Muslims pray in the mosque.


Jewish territory is a place for the Kotel, or the Western Wall otherwise known as the Wailing Wall, which is part of the remaining part wall of the Temple building. Inside the temple there was once the Holy of Holies, which is a sacred site for the Jewish people. The Jews believe that this location is the location of the foundation stone of the creation of the earth, and the place where Ibrahim prepared to sacrifice his son Ishmael.

Today, the Wailing Wall is the nearest place for the Jews to pray to the Holy of Holies. This location is run by Rabbis and every year millions of Jews from all over the world make pilgrimages.