Jewish Journal


April 22, 2008

Fighting over Christ’s grave


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Here’s an odd story from the Holy Land. It deals with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the land where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and raised from the dead:

Christian factions have squabbled for years over who controls which parts of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s divided Old City.

Sometimes they even come to blows.

Priests and worshippers at an Orthodox Palm Sunday celebration on April 20 ended up brawling after Armenian clerics apparently kicked a Greek Orthodox priest out of a shrine at the church — one of Christianity’s holiest.

Police weren’t sure what sparked the fist-fight, but friction between the sects has been simmering for centuries. A Muslim keeps the key, and about 150 years ago, theTurks elaborately carved up territory in the church between the feuding Christian factions.

Police are braced for another punch-up when the eastern churches celebrate Easter on April 27 with the centuries-old “Miracle of the Holy Fire” ceremony.

Insert tongue-in-cheek, turn-the-other-cheek joke here.

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