There are two Christian sites where Jesus is said to have been interred. The first is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the Greek Orthodox Church is centered and where Roman Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and Abyssinian Orthodox clergy also have authority, the poorer the church, the less its authority. The Abyssinians live on the roof. The cartography of their dominions is carefully delineated, with some of the demarcations shifting with the clock. Every so often there is a knock-down drag-out among the monks of the different denominations.
The second site where Jesus may be buried—or may once have been buried since he rose on the third day—is what is called the Garden Tomb. No Latinate church recognizes this place as holy. But Protestants do. It is outside the Old City walls which gives it superficial authority since Jews were never buried within the Walls. Alas, the walls were built long after the Crucifixion. So there is no theological argument to be drawn from the maps.
But this is not about cartography. It is about faith. The Anglicans gave the second spot their luster and all those others who were in rebellion against Rome did so as well. The Garden Tomb does not receive anywhere near the pilgrims as does the Sepulchre. And I, a frequent visitor in Jerusalem, have only visited the tomb twice, each time with pious Christian friends.
In any case, with all the ruckus made about tiny infractions made by Jewish Jerusalemites on Arab residential quarters, most of them actually owned by Jews, it’s rather stunning that no one raises a fuss when Palestinians intrude on a Christian holy site. The news is from the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Here are some of the details.
More than a quarter of a million Christians visit Jerusalem’s Garden Tomb every year. The holy site is believed by many to be the place where Jesus rose from the dead.
But now, the sacred ground is in danger of being damaged by a Muslim construction project. Garden Tomb Director Richard Meryon showed CBN News the 15-foot wall being built above the tomb.
The article went on to say:
Jerusalem’s Islamic waqf is building the wall to enlarge a Muslim cemetery. However, Meryon fears the construction could bring a catastrophe.
"Just beneath (the wall) we have three or four areas where Christians are worshipping every day. So we have the potential here in heavy rain or in snow, or even in one of those earth tremors that Jerusalem is famous for—you only need one of those events to happen and this new wall could collapse," he said. "It could kill 200 visitors, pilgrims, and tourists in the garden worshipping."
The new wall also violates three local building codes and does not have a city permit. The structure is supposed to be built three feet away from any existing structure and permission is required.