Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The fight over ownership of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre got physical on Sunday as monks brawled over whether the Armenian monks could hold a procession without the supervision of a Greek Orthodox monk. Israeli police were called in to stop the fight, but as they were heavily outnumbered, the fight continued for an hour.  Two monks were arrested.  A video showing some of the brawl can be viewed on the Jerusalem Post website.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (also spelled Sepulcher) was built by Constantine’s mother Helena in 325 CE.  on the spot she believed to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.  The church was destroyed in 1009 along with all the other churches in Jerusalem, by the order of Caliph al-Hakin.  It was rebuilt forty years later.  Today six Christian sects claim control over the church, and this is not the first time police have had to be called in.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre today. Photo by Ardon Bar Hama.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre c. 1860. Photo of the Palestine Exploration Fund.

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