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April 7, 2016 10:06 am

Israel Credited With Saving Jerusalem’s ‘Tomb of Jesus,’ Causing Rival Christian Groups to Unite in Its Repair

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Religious pilgrims wait on line to enter the Tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Photo: Berthold Werner/Wikimedia Commons.

Religious pilgrims wait on line to enter the Tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Photo: Berthold Werner/Wikimedia Commons.

The Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem is crediting Israel with saving a holy Christian site, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the shrine around what many believe is the tomb of Jesus, inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem, is in a dilapidated state and desperately in need of repair. But it was not until Israel shut it down for fear it would collapse that rival Christian groups set aside their differences to save it.

Rev. Samuel Aghoyan, the Armenian Patriarchate’s representative at the Holy Sepulchre, told the Times, “If the Israeli government didn’t get involved, nobody would have done anything.”

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On February 17, 2015, Israeli police barred religious pilgrims and the monks who guard the tomb from entering the holy site for several hours after receiving reports that it was at risk of caving in. “The message was clear: Fix it, or else,” the New York Times noted.

“Somebody had to push us,” said Aghoyan. Athanasius Macora, a Franciscan friar, explained to the New York Times, “Unity is more important than a turf war.”

An agreement between the different religious Christian groups who man the site — signed on March 22 — will see $3.4 million going towards renovations. According to the New York Times, “Each religious group will contribute one-third of the costs, and a Greek bank contributed 50,000 euros, or $57,000, for the scaffolding, in return for having its name emblazoned across the machinery.”

The “Tomb of Jesus” is surrounded by a 206-year-old structure held together by a 69-year-old cage, the report said. Over the last several weeks, scaffolding has popped up a few feet away from the shrine as part of initial steps to save the shrine.

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  • If the state of Israel, want to have a united Jerusalem, the state of Israel, need to do everything to support the Church in Jerusalem, and help the christians there.

  • Carol Bisig

    The last time I checked, my sins killed JESUS, not the Jewish people,Pontus Pilate thought he had power over HIM, however, HE died that we all may have eternal life! Without the Jewish people, we would not have Moses, King David, Joseph, Queen Esther, all of the prophets, and The MESSIAH! G.d loves Israel, and always will!

  • Dan Sparkman

    Wonderful news about the generosity of Israel.

  • Scott

    I am sorry but Ron Wyatt found the original crucifixion site of the messiah. Its at the calvary escarpment(place of the skull) found outside the old city. He found the cross holes and when excavating underneath he found a chamber with the ark of the covenant with Christ’s blood on the mercy seat. Youtube Ron Wyatt archaeology and see all the wonderful things God revealed through his servant Ron Wyatt.

  • geoffrey ben-nathan

    Can we have a competition please?

    Best BAD news anti-Israel headline out of this good news!

    Prize will be a copy of The Guardian or the New York Times with perhaps a course from the professionals on how really to create
    bad-news headlines out of good news.

  • Lia

    Thank you, Israel, Fellow-Christians, thank you for being honest and open … and taking the trouble to work together.

  • Mickey Oberman

    4 Comments.
    Where are they?

  • Where did the Greek bank get 50 000 Euros?

  • Ephraim

    I am sure that the overtly antisemitic sects, such as church of England, church of Scotland, Presbyterian, among others, will have a different take on this. Check out the Christian Science Monitor, it should cleave to form and blast Israel on this topic.

  • Mickey Oberman

    The Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem will soon be back to his old self and start denigrating Israel, Israelis and Jews once more.

  • Vere

    I am so glad.

    The Tome of Jesus is the most important holy site in all of Christianity.

    Yet it stood in disrepair for decades because of disputes among the various Christian denominations about who should pay for repairs.

    I am so glad Israel stepped in to help with the renovations.

    It means alot.

    This archeological site of a first century Jewish burial tomb is a national treasure of Israel, and an important site for much of the human species.

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