A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice:

holy sepIf you follow the boisterous groups of cross bearers and prayer-humming nuns who weave through the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, you’ll eventually end up in a rare clearing that holds one of Christianity’s holiest buildings: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Orthodox and Catholic Christians consider the complex to be built on the site of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the ancient structure is like no church you’ve ever seen: a layered, winding complex of various tombs, relics, and caverns.

It’s also one of the most contentious sites in Christianity. Six Christian denominations—Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Roman Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Syriac Orthodox—share jurisdiction of the cavernous church and have been notoriously unable to keep themselves from throwing punches at the slightest perceived offense. Warring factions can cause disastrous problems, so when the combative holy clerics threatened the protection of one of…

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