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Church of the Holy Sepulchre Closed Amid Dispute With Israeli Leaders

Christian leaders closed the church in response to what it calls "discriminatory" actions taken by Israeli and local leaders.
Posted at 2:39 PM, Feb 25, 2018

A church in Jerusalem believed by Christians to be on the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected has closed its doors amid disputes with Israeli leaders.

In a move The Washington Post calls unprecedented, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre bolted its doors Sunday.

It's partly in response to a local municipality claiming the church owes it more than $185 million for commercial activities performed on the property. It also follows the introduction of a bill that would allow Israel to take control of certain church properties leased out to private companies.

Church leaders are calling the bill "discriminatory" and say it seems to be "an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem."

In a joint statement, Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian church leaders said Israel is waging a "systematic campaign against the churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land, in flagrant violation of the existing status quo."