“Both Christian Jerusalemites and tourists alike pray outside of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.”

– Al-Jazeera- Jerusalem page

[Translation of video]

“We closed the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; of course this is a terrible thing for us to have to do, especially on the holy days like Easter which is around the corner. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have come to visit the church [at this time], and as you can see, people are praying in the courtyards of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
This is a direct result of the status quo agreement [1]; the status quo has been in place since the time of Sultan Abdel Hamid in the year, 1852 and prevents churches and mosques from being taxed. This status quo is respected by all nations, but unfortunately, the Occupying State [Israel] has violated the status quo and is planning to change the current situation by imposing taxes onto churches.”

– Adeeb Joudeh, custodian of the keys of the Church of the Holy Seplulchre

“We closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre after the cross was taken down and someone threw candles at people; after this, we closed the church. It is a sad day for our Christian brothers and sisters because this is a very strange thing to happen, to close a church which is a place of prayer and not a place to make money […]”

– Yaqoub Nuseibeh- doorkeeper of the church
0202 Editor’s Note:
[1] The status quo or “statu quo”, as it is commonly called in the Holy Land, refers to the relations between the Christian communities of the Holy Land with the governments of the region. Specifically, the status quo applies to the situation within the Holy Land in which the Christian communities find themselves regarding ownership and rights possessed by each within the sanctuaries, both alone and in conjunction with other rites within the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem.

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