Franciscan monks, German tourists and Filipino foreign workers crowded the Old City of Jerusalem's cobblestone streets and its ancient churches yesterday to celebrate Easter.
Thousands of pilgrims packed the narrow alleyways of the Old City to mark Jesus' resurrection - more visitors than in recent years, reflecting a downturn in Palestinian-Israeli violence that kept tourists away.
AP, April 16, 2006
TOP STORIES \ Apr 18, 20063907
TOP STORIES \ Oct 30, 20053808The Vatican is hoping to regain control of the Room of the Last Supper in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred sites in Christianity.
It will, in exchange, hand over to the Jewish community the historic synagogue at Toledo in Spain, at present a Catholic church.
Times Online, Oct 13, 2005
TOP STORIES \ Aug 22, 20053904The Greek Orthodox Church has elected a new patriarch for Jerusalem to replace its former leader who was demoted after a controversial land deal.
The church's Holy Synod elected Metropolitan Theofilos following the ousting of his predecessor in May. Theofilos becomes the religious head of 100,000 Christians in the Holy Land, most of them Palestinian. Former Patriarch Irineos had refused to resign, despite being isolated by the world's Orthodox leaders.
By LAURIE COPANS, AP, August 22, 2005
TOP STORIES \ May 24, 20054146Leaders of Orthodox churches from Russia to the ancient Christian centers in the Middle East prepared Monday for a rare gathering forced by a crisis in their ranks: The refusal of the Holy Land patriarch to step down even as his authority is shattered by rebel clerics, angry followers and the hair-trigger issue of land rights in Jerusalem.
By BRIAN MURPHY, AP Religion Writer, May 22, 2005
TOP STORIES \ May 05, 20057316A large, two-story building built by Southern Baptists in the 1950s of beautiful, locally quarried limestone, with an incomparable view of the city of Nazareth, Israel, Jesus' boyhood home, is being put up for sale.
The spacious villa, owned by the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention, has become the center of controversy between Baptists in Israel and IMB leadership in Richmond, Virginia. The upcoming sale is part of a series of world-wide property sales held in order to raise funds for IMB ministry projects around the world. Baptists in Israel do not dispute that the IMB is the legal owner of the property but they strongly oppose its sale. The facility is currently being used as center for ministry into the city of Nazareth as well as the Galilee.
Special For Come and See, May 5, 2005
TOP STORIES \ Apr 29, 20054140The venerable Rep. Henry Hyde is a staunch supporter of Israel, but he is also a prominent Catholic layman known for telling the truth. He did so two weeks ago to Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres. He made clear how unhappy he was that Israel's government had ignored his previous protests about the destruction of the Christian community in the Holy Land.
At a closed-door session of the House International Relations Committee that he heads, Hyde told Peres that Israeli security practices ''in the center of Christianity's most holy places'' are "turning them into a military zone." Peres conceded to Hyde these are hard times for Christians in the Holy Land, but predictably blamed their troubles on the Palestinian Arabs.
BY ROBERT NOVAK, SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST, April 18, 2005
TOP STORIES \ Apr 06, 20054266The next pope will have a hard act to follow in the Middle East, where Muslims, Jews and Christians alike mourned the loss of a man they saw as a messenger of peace and tolerance.
Pope John Paul II won a place in the hearts of many in the region by starting off the millennium with a tour of the Holy Land, the first by a pontiff in 36 years. His repeated calls for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his opposition to the war in Iraq also earned him favor here.
By Paul Garwood, AP, April 4, 2005
TOP STORIES \ Mar 30, 20054419
TOP STORIES \ Mar 21, 20054153The Greek Orthodox Church is investigating the reported sale of sensitive Jerusalem property to Jewish organizations, a church official said Sunday, as Palestinian Christians staged a protest.
The reported sale has sparked an uproar among Palestinian followers of the church, who accuse the Greek leadership of betraying the Palestinian cause.
By LARA SUKHTIAN, AP, March 20, 2005