Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre reopens: 'This is a victory'

  • Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre reopens: 'This is a victory'

Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre reopens: 'This is a victory'

Today we celebrate again the hope of the Resurrection and rejoice that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre can once more be open to pilgrims.

The closure of the church raised tensions with the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, as well as smaller denominations, weeks ahead of the busy Easter season.

Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem, replied through social media that it is not logical to expect that commercial properties owned by the church, including retail businesses and hotels, will enjoy tax-exempt statuses as they did before.

The Greek Orthodox patriarch joined forces with the Armenian patriarch and the Catholic custodian of the Holy Land to issue a statement attacking what they called "a systematic attack" and "an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in occupied Jerusalem".

The Israeli prime minister's office on Tuesday announced that Israel's Jerusalem municipality had suspended plans to levy taxes on property owned by churches in Jerusalem. Trudeau says the situation regarding Jerusalem's status should be resolved through negotiation.

They were due to leave later on Wednesday and were relieved they were able to visit.

All legislative activity regarding the sale of Churches' land was also suspended. There has also been a proposal in parliament that would allow the government to appropriate lands in Israel sold by churches to anonymous buyers since 2010.

A general view of the entrance and the closed doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, February 25, 2018.

The sought for amendments include additional items related to "the establishment of a sovereign state of Palestine based on pre-1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital", Anadolu news agency quoted al-Maliki as saying. The move was accompanied by angry reactions from the Palestinians, who see part of Jerusalem as their future capital, and dire warnings of increased tensions from the worldwide community. He said other cities followed similar practices worldwide.

One of the holiest sites in Christianity has been shut down indefinitely in protest at new Israeli laws seemingly likened by religious leaders to Nazi persecution.

In November, Patriarch Theophilos conducted an global tour on which he met politicians and church leaders, in an attempt to raise the alarm about the Bill of Church Lands and various court cases. He also set up a special committee to settle the matter with the heads of the churches. The Old City part has the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The church is built where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.