This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
Advertisement

The church where Jesus is buried has been closed in a row over tax

They say the tax issue is “an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem”.

The renovated Edicule, traditionally believed to be the tomb of Jesus Christ, is seen in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City.
The renovated Edicule, traditionally believed to be the tomb of Jesus Christ, is seen in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City.
Image: UPI/PA Images

CHRISTIAN LEADERS TODAY took the rare step of closing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built at the site of Jesus’s burial in Jerusalem, in protest at Israeli tax measures and a proposed property law.

It was not immediately clear how long the closure of the church, announced by Christian officials at a news conference and which began at around noon (1000 GMT), would last.

The church is considered the holiest site in Christianity, built where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, and is a major pilgrimage site.

“As a measure of protest, we decided to take this unprecedented step of closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,” Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and Catholic leaders said in a statement.

They said recent Israeli measures seemed to be “an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem”.

Christian leaders have been angered over attempts by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem to enforce tax collection on church property they consider commercial, saying exemptions only apply to places of worship or religious teaching.

Separately, Christian leaders say legislation being considered by Israel’s government would allow church property to be expropriated.

“This abhorrent bill is set to advance today in a meeting of a ministerial committee which if approved would make the expropriation of the lands of churches possible,” the statement said.

“This reminds us all of laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during a dark period in Europe.”

© AFP 2018

Read: Russian athletes won’t march under their own flag at Olympic closing ceremony

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (154)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel