Jerusalem is the only city in the world in which some 15 different Christian communities live alongside one another (a majority of them having long histories amounting to hundreds of years). Church clergy, monks and nuns, and representatives of various Christian organizations from the four corners of the earth permanently reside in Jerusalem. Each and every one of the Christian congregations and Christian bodies that operates in the city represents large communities comprising millions of adherents, countries, and powerful international Christian bodies. Jerusalem is the only city in the world in which nearly all Christian churches and denominations seek to establish a presence.
Despite the small demographic presence of Jerusalem’s Christian
communities and the fragile and tenuous standing of Christian bodies, which operate in the city under the shadow of Jews and Muslims who are struggling for control, the Christian dimension is of the utmost importance in strengthening Jerusalem’s universal standing. Both hawkish sides – Israelis and Palestinians – have a clear interest in preserving the status of the Christian element (in all its denominations). The Christian contribution to the city’s panorama and uniqueness – particularly in the basin of the Old City – is immense. Its economic importance for pilgrimage-based tourism is also decisive.
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