Church of the Holy Sepulchre opens after three-day shutdown

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre reopened on Wednesday morning after a three-day protest against a proposed tax plan. Often cited as Christianity’s holiest location, the church is in the shared custody of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian denominations.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City reopened early Wednesday morning after a three-day protest against Israeli tax proposals. The site is often considered as one of the holiest places in Christianity and the site of Jesus's crucifixion and burial. Soon after the gates of the church opened at 4 am, a group of visiting pilgrims arrived at the site.

On Tuesday, Jerusalem suspended the tax plan that led to the church’s shutdown, an unprecedented move by the heads of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian denominations. The Christian leaders also protested against a Knesset bill, which seeks to allow the state to seize properties sold by churches, calling it “abhorrent” and claiming that it is similar to laws “which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe.”

Israel Foreign Ministry Spokesperson tweeted: “PM Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Barkat agreed to establish a team led by Min. Hanegbi with the participation of all relevant parties, to formulate a solution for the issue of municipal taxes on church-owned properties that aren’t houses of worship. All actions are suspended."



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