September 15th, 2013
07:54 AM ET

Jerusalem's 5 most contested holy sites

By Daniel BurkeCNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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(CNN) -  Heaven and Earth are said to meet atop Jerusalem’s sacred mounts, but the city’s stony streets have seen more than their share of violence.

King David subdued the Jebusites, the city's Canaanite founders. The Babylonians and Romans routed the Jews. Muslims booted the Byzantines. Christian Crusaders mauled Muslims and were, in turn, tossed out by the Tartars.

The Ottomans followed, then Britain, then Jordan, before finally, in 1967, the city came nearly full circle when Israel annexed East Jerusalem. That sparked another cycle of violence, this time between Israelis and Palestinians.

“It’s easily the most contentious piece of real estate in the world,” says Anthony Bourdain, who visits Jerusalem in the season premiere of “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown,” which debuts Sunday night on CNN.

“And there’s no hope - none - of ever talking about it without pissing someone off.”

MORE FROM CNN: Exploring Jerusalem's Old City 

Why would people argue about a holy place?

You might call it the Jerusalem Paradox: If the city wasn't considered so sacred, there'd be nothing to fight about.

But since the days of the Jebusites, more than 3,000 years ago, the otherwise unremarkable place has been called a portal to paradise, and everyone elbows for a closer look.

After all, how many places can list God on their guest registry?  And Abraham, David, Solomon, the Virgin Mary, Jesus and the Prophet Mohammed as well.

“The city is chockablock full of places that have historical meaning for different groups of people - and they are all contested,” said Samuel Heilman, a professor of Jewish Studies at Queens College in New York and author of “A Walker in Jerusalem.”

“Everybody’s story is just one of many,” Heilman said. “And so they not only try to make their story the right story, they try to delegitimize everyone else’s.”

Some Muslims say Jerusalem never housed a Jewish temple; some Jews argue that Mohammed never visited the sacred city, and the argument runs on and on … for centuries.

And it’s not just Muslims, Christians and Jews fighting each other. Sometimes the most serious squabbles erupt within the faith themselves. Want to see Christian monks fist-fight? Go to Jerusalem.

The good news is, all three Abrahamic faiths teach that the Messiah will eventually return to Jerusalem and sort the whole thing out.

Until then, here are the sacred city’s five most contested sites:

1. The Temple Mount

This broad platform in Jerusalem’s Old City is said to have hosted an almost unimaginable series of sacred events.

The rabbinic sages say that God gathered dust from this spot to create Adam, the first man, before setting him loose in the Garden of Eden.

Jewish tradition holds that the Temple Mount also contains Mount Moriah, where Abraham, the Hebrew patriarch, is said to have nearly sacrificed his son - under God’s orders - before an angel intervened.

Later, Solomon constructed the first Jewish Temple on the mount, including the Holy of Holies, a room that kept the Ark of the Covenant, which was said to contain the tablets on which God wrote the Ten Commandments.

Only the Jewish high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, where tradition holds he met with God on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Rabbis say that Jews are still forbidden to step on the Temple Mount, for fear of intruding on the Holy of Holies.

The Temple was destroyed twice, first by the Babylonians and then by the Romans. Religious Jews pray the Third Temple will be built by the Messiah himself.

Since 1967, the Temple Mount has been an almost constant source of tension because it is also home to the …

2. Haram al-Sharif

Muslims call the Temple Mount "Haram al-Sharif" (the Noble Sanctuary), and it's home to one of the most sacred sites in Islam: the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammed was carried on a flying steed from Mecca to al-Aqsa during his miraculous Night Journey, said Muqtedar Khan, an expert on Islam and politics at the University of Delaware.

“It’s all about al-Aqsa,” said Khan. “That’s why all Muslims are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.”

According to Islamic tradition, the night journey took Mohammed to the same Jerusalem rock on which Abraham nearly sacrificed his son, where the Muslim founder led Abraham, Moses and Jesus in prayers as the last of God's prophets.

That rock is now said to sit in the Dome of the Rock, whose golden roof gleams above the Old City skyline.

Since its construction in the seventh century, the Haram al-Sharif,  now controlled by an Islamic trust, has been an almost constant source of tension between Muslims and Jews.

In the 1980s, Jewish radicals plotted to blow up the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa, believing that it would lead to a spiritual revolution and usher in the messiah.

In 2000, the Second Intifada – a five-year-long Palestinian uprising - was sparked, Palestinians say, after Ariel Sharon, then a candidate for Israeli Prime Minister, visited the compound surrounding al-Aqsa.

Sharon insisted that his visit was not intended to provoke Palestinians, but many saw it as an attempt to underline Israel’s claim to Jerusalem’s holy sites.

3. The Western Wall

Israeli soldiers wept when they saw the Western Wall in 1967, after seizing East Jerusalem from Jordan.

“We have returned to our most holy places,” said one Israeli general. “We have returned and we shall never leave them.”

Located at the foot of the Temple Mount, the 62-foot-tall stone wall once supported the courtyard of the ancient temple, the center of Jewish spiritual life for centuries.

For Jews, the wall is one of the last remaining links to that time, and they gather before it to hold religious services, to pray or to slip notes into its cracks.

“There's a tradition that notes put in the wall are like notes transmitted to heaven,” Heilman said, “since this is as close as Jews were able for generations to get to the Temple Mount where they believed God dwelt on earth.”

How close Jews get - and which kind of Jews - has been a subject of fierce debate in recent years.

The praying area is divided into men’s and women’s sections, and ultra-Orthodox men have hurled chairs at women who sing and pray at the wall or try to enter the men’s section, accusing them of violating Jewish law.

In response, a group called Women of the Wall has launched a highly publicized protest campaign to win the right to wear prayer shawls, lead prayers and read collectively from the Torah at the holy site.

4. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

In the fourth century, after converting to Christianity, Emperor Constantine launched what historian Karen Armstrong calls “one of the first recorded archaeological excavations in history.”

He was looking for Jesus’ tomb and thought he found it in Jerusalem. Constantine asked his mother to oversee the construction of a magnificent church on the site.

Originally called the Church of Resurrection, it was destroyed by a Muslim caliph in 1009, but later Muslim leaders allowed Christians to rebuild the church.

Now called the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, it is believed by many Christians to house a piece of the cross on which Jesus was crucified, his tomb and the site of his resurrection.

Under a centuries-old agreement, the church is shared by six Christian communities, but they squabble over every stone, sometimes coming to blows over perceived slights.

In 2008, for example, Israeli riot police broke up a melee between Greek Orthodox and Armenian monks. Ethiopian monks reportedly sneaked into the church's rooftop monastery during Easter prayers in 1970 and changed the locks, evicting the its former owners, the Copts.

The six Christian communities at the Holy Sepulcher don’t even trust each other with the church keys. A Muslim family has held them, opening the church every morning and closing it every night since the 12th century.

5. The Garden Tomb

Not all Christians believe that Jesus was buried and rose again at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

In the 19th century, doubts crept in about Constantine’s site, said Robert Wilken, a professor of Christian history at the University of Virginia.

“What it really boils down to is that Protestants came to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the 19th century and were appalled that it was an Orthodox church,” Wilken said. The icons and incense were apparently too much for Protestants more austere sensibilities.

In 1867, British Christians unearthed what they believe was the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, outside the Old City's Damascus Gate, where they believe Jesus was entombed.

The Gospel of John says that Jesus' tomb was near a garden, and the British Christians who run the Garden Tomb say their site matches the Bible’s descriptions perfectly.

The tomb is carved from solid rock, it sits near an escarpment that looks like a skull (Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, means “place of the skull,”) and most importantly, they say, the tomb is empty, signifying a resurrected Jesus.

READ MORE: 10 things to know before visiting Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

So, is there any chance the battle for Jerusalem will end before the End Times?

Muqtedar Khan says yes, if the traditions that trace their history to Abraham - Jews, Muslims and Christians - start seeing themselves as part of the same sacred lineage, rather than three separate religions.

"If there were willing to share this identity," Khan said, "perhaps they'd be more willing to share Jerusalem."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown • Belief • Christianity • Greek Orthodox Church • History • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Israel • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Middle East • Muslim • Religious violence • Sacred Spaces

soundoff (453 Responses)
  1. Colin

    Jerusalem is the property of the Jews and should be totally in their care. The abomination on Temple Mount should be leveled and the proper Temple restored to it's assigned place.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Tareq Abdeen

      yeah go ahead "level" it! If you want a billion people revolting against their rulers and "leveling" israel.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Colin

        The hated of God the idolatrous muslims will never defeat Israel at anything. God gave Israel the land and no false prophet such as a mohammed can one up God. At the sight of one Jew a thousand muslims flee.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Arsio

          Muslims dont worship Idols but God...Allah or Illah (in hebrew). Muhammad is the final messenger..how about you open a Quran and read it.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Colin

          muslims are idolatrous impostors and mohammed as evil as hell itself, the koran is the filth of a proven liar and an idolatrous rag. allah is not God. allah is a false god or an idol.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          I have read the quran, and the bible and a whole slew of other religious texts. They are each as pointless as the rest. Believing in what they say is just illogical, and unreasonable

          September 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Mike

          Nahh Judea belongs to the Romans!

          September 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          And I am an authority on lack of logic and reason as proved by my incessant drivel and lack of insight.

          September 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I suspect that Colin is motivated by his belief that the restoration of the Temple will lead to the return of Christ. Of course, actions like the one he proposes will only cause more death and war and suffering in the world, but christians like Colin don't care about things like that. It's all about them, really, and their pretend reward.

          September 15, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Brampt

      Arsio – read this. MAtt 24:23: "“Then if anyone says to ​YOU, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it.24For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones.25Look! I have forewarned ​YOU.26Therefore, if people say to ​YOU, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it

      Jesus almost wrote Mohammed on that!

      September 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Brampt

      Colin – Jesus already gave the sentence regarding the temple before it was destroyed by the romans.

      Matt 24:1 "Jesus was on his way from the temple, but his disciples approached to show him the buildings of the temple.2In response he said to them: “Do ​YOU​ not behold all these things? Truly I say to ​YOU, By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down.”

      September 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Or the bible was written retrospectively to "show a prophesy coming to be".

        September 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Colin's comment pretty much answers the question of "why everyone fights of Jerusalem". It's because there are too many religious bigots willing to bulldoze the beliefs and the homes and the lives of others in the name of a god they can't even prove exists.

      September 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  2. Kat

    A senior archaeologist at Tel Aviv University has cast doubt on the alleged Jewish heritage of Jerusalem. Israel Finkelstein's claims have been made in the face of official Israeli and biblical claims to the occupied city.

    Professor Finkelstein, who is known as "the father of biblical archaeology", told the Jerusalem Post that Jewish archaeologists have found no historical or archaeological evidence to back the biblical narrative on the Exodus, the Jews' wandering in Sinai or Joshua's conquest of Canaan. On the alleged Temple of Solomon, Finkelstein said that there is no archaeological evidence to prove it really existed.

    According to Finkelstein's university colleague, archaeology lecturer Rafi Greenberg, Israel is supposed to find something if it digs for a period of six weeks. But, Greenberg told the Jerusalem Post, Israelis have been excavating the so-called City of David in the occupied Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan for two years to no avail.

    Professor Yoni Mizrahi, an independent archaeologist who has worked with the International Atomic Energy Agency, agreed with Israel Finkelstein. He said that the right-wing Elad Association has not found anything "saying welcome to David's palace" although that was taken for granted by Elad, as if the group depended on scriptural texts to guide them in their work.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Tareq Abdeen

      They been digging since east jerusalem went under their control in 1967. brain washed jewish people by determined zionist war mongers to stick in a region that they don't belong to. kidnap the food the culture and the land in a very rude fashion

      September 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Robert

        So you are saying it should belong to the Arab Muslims who have only been there since the 700's and who stole much of the non violent tenants of their religion from Jewish/Christian beliefs? Heck, even the garb that many Muslim women are forced to wear is Jewish.

        Oh, I am an atheist ... no bias.

        September 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • Tareq Abdeen

          i am saying it should not be stolen from its palestinian owners and be paid as a compensation for the atrocities the west committed against the jews. i am saying that the jews should not byte the hand that was extended to help them while they were prosecuted slaughtered and gassed in poland and germany. am saying they were living in peace as guests and as residents in the muslim world. so it is not fair that arab in general and palestinians in particular pay the bill.

          September 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
        • Robert

          Actually there was allegiances between Hitler and certain Islamic groups, so I would hardly say that there was a hand extended to help. Of course not to mention 1000's of years of repression.

          Of course, if it was under Muslim control, it would just turn into another warn torn wasteland so perhaps you should be happy it is under Jewish control. At least it is safe from being destroyed by zealots.

          It is land that has been stolen over and over again that it is time to move on. It has never been "owned" by Palestinians ... not most of it. Really more squatters as their arabic brothers have never wanted them.

          September 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
        • Tareq Abdeen

          jews were living in peace in palestine when they back stabbed the only people on earth who didn't slaughter them. i personally got over it long time ago if you ask me. but you got to convince another billion people that this is the case. for them, it is just a matter of time. israel is an itch that they will scratch sooner or later ...

          September 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • Robert

          A billion people ... that is the stupidist thing ever. What does a Muslin in Indonesia ... or Philipines or Pakistan ... or just about anywhere on the planet have a car for what happens in that region more than anyone else on the planet. The answer is absolutely nothing as Muslims as a whole have no real attachment to the area.

          If 1 billion muslims try to scratch that itch, they may be kissing 10's of millions of their brothers and sisters good bye as I have no doubt if Israel truly feels threatened by invasion they will nuke as many of their enemies back to the stone age as they can ... and the number will not be small.

          September 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • Kat

          A 1400 years old history (not 700 years) of a continuous Muslim presence in Jerusalem and Muslims pilgrimage to the city from all corners of earth, their many sacrifices in blood & money to defend and liberate it from the Crusades, Napoleon, the British, and Zionazis is more than enough to claim their rights to the city, regardless if you believe that prophet Muhammad visited the city. After all European settlers have been in America for 400 years but Muslims have been in Palestine for 1400 years.

          September 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • Robert

          First, learn to read. I said since the 700's ... not 700 years. Also it was not a muslim "prescence', it was a conquer. They did not defend against the crusades, the crusades were a response to a very violent and ongoing land grab by muslims seeking to subjugate the world, not through choice by by the sword. I am glad for the crusades, otherwise we could still be in the stone ages.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
        • Kat

          ha! european zionazis are the only squatters in the Mideast. They are european in DNA, language, names, and racial supremacist idology. You belong to the ghettos of Poland, Russia and Germany.

          September 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
        • Robert

          Sorry but Jewish people have been in that area for Millenia ... as have Arabs, etc. It is really funny how people associate Arabs in that area with 1 billion Muslims ... yet seem to forget that before the Muslim expansion late 600s and on ..... very violent ... that Arabs were NOT Muslim. They are Muslim now because of force, not choice.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • Kat

          "The Ottomans followed, then Britain, then Jordan, before finally, in 1967, the city came nearly full circle when Israel annexed East Jerusalem."

          Wrong!. The city will come full circle when it comes back to the Canaanites (modern day Palestinians) as the you correctly say in the paragraph before that one: "King David subdued the Jebusites, the city's Canaanite founders."

          The Egyptian slaves known as the Hebrews did not build Jerusalem, they only stole it from the Canaanites, let alone through brute force and genocide, according to the toilet torah rolls.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • Tareq Abdeen

          some of those countries are nuclear already. some are on their way. so unless israel blends well into its surroundings when the hell's day come, adios!

          September 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • Robert

          With the exception of Pakistan, none of them could reliably deliver a warhead. Pakistan has enough to worry about with India, they could not give a rats ass about Israel. They can't even feed their people.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • Tareq Abdeen

          you think israel is immune .. ask its own people .. they will tell you that their demise with the current abusive situation is not possible but probable. look into the past 50 years history .. the soviet union ... shah of iran .. the apartheid of south africa ..
          and yes muslim see themselves as a unit, regardless of the geographic and political borders.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
        • Robert

          Could that be because it is more a political offiliation than religious?

          Israel is not immune, never said it was. What I said is that if truly threatened, they will ensure that any nation involved in the attack pays dearly. They may ultimately lose, but a few enemy cities may no longer exist.

          It is foolish for muslims to waste so much precious energy, emotion and mind-set on something that at the end of the day is of so little meaning to them as Israel. Most of the muslim world has far far far greater issues than Israel. Shiites and Sunni's are killing each other en-mass, poverty, war, famine ..... Time to stop blaming everyone else for the issues in the Muslim world and look in the mirror. Your issues are not the fault of Israel, or the U.S. or anyone else for that matter. They are your own. Time to take ownership.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
        • Colin

          Why not get the small percentage of Jews, Christians and Muslims who are violently opposed to each other, give them all the weapons they need to ensure an even fight and let them kill each other down to the last man. We then shoot the sole survivor.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
        • Kat

          is that why the crusades massacred Jews and Orthodox Christians too in their bloody campagin of death & destruction? You know the Pope has been able to visit Muslim states such as Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey and was warmely welcomed but when he visited Greece he was booed and spit on by the greek orthodox faithful, because of the Crusades.
          You're right though about the Crusades pulling Euorpe out of the stone ago, when they came to the Mideast and learned from Muslims civility and knowledge that they took back to europe.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
        • Robert

          Unfortunately that seemed to be the high point of Muslim culture until recently. Really surprising how little progress there was.

          The crusades were obviously nothing to be terribly proud of, but the fact they pushed back muslim expansion I believe made the world a better place. There were terribly attrocities much like other religious crusades ... like the muslim expansion.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm |


    September 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm |


      September 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • M MURDOCH

        U R WHAT I SAY

        September 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  4. Brampt

    Jerusalem could be and interesting city if you like history, but its just that.
    Regarding the fight that goes on there, because of religions....its Stupid. If you are a person inclined to the bible, you would clearly see that Israel is NOT Gods people.

    September 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • james

      Thank you, well said.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  5. Linghong

    Earlier this year, a group of terrorists bombed Buddhism Holy Site Bodh Gaya. Few of the Mainstream media ever reported that event because no one cares. Buddhists themselves didn't talk about it much.

    Hopefully, one day Jerusalem will become somewhat like that (I'm not talking about the bombing), just an old city where people live peacefully.

    September 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  6. Robert

    We should give everyone a chance to leave and then nuke Jerusalem in a way that makes the land unlivable for the next 100 years. Too much trouble for just one city.

    September 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Robert

      Saves the nukes, eliminate religion. The effect will be greater and longer lasting.

      September 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • Robert

        I could live with that but I'd rather focus on more attainable goals.

        September 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  7. chiz3914

    Religion is the primary source of hatred in the world and man's worst invention

    September 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  8. Lionly Lamb

    Current and Former DEA Heads Publicly Support Medical Marijuana…


    September 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Robert

      What does this have to do with an article on Jerusalem?

      September 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • Robert

        Promoting your own agenda to the obvious detriment of others ... sounds like religion to me 🙂

        September 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Free speech advisories are the main supplements for liberties and the rights to live one's Life without much heartaches such as terminal illnesses ensuing those who cannot be cured with pharmacological drugs radioactive carcinogens when civilization is finally waking up to the curative powers of hemp oils for any disease from cancers to seizures and beyond...

        Medical Cannabis Prescribed In Israeli Nursing Home…


        September 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  9. Santorum

    "The six Christian communities at the Holy Sepulcher don’t even trust each other with the church keys. A Muslim family has held them, opening the church every morning and closing it every night since the 12th century."

    –There's only one word to describe this-SAD!

    September 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Gibson

      Which is more sad?

      Seeing that golden dome shine in the heart of Jerusalem or the keys to the Holy Sepulcher being held by strangers???

      September 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        the SAD part is they don't lock the place up and throw away the key.

        September 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • He is Jehovah Shammah!

      Ezekial 48:35
      Rev. 20/21


      September 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The saddest thing in the world is that so many have died because of conflicting mythologies.

      September 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  10. Lionly Lamb

    Congressman gives a history lesson on marijuana “prohibition”…


    September 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Vic

      I am not sure what's driving the marijuana posts but if it helps, the US Federal Government has already conceded to Colorado and California by promising not to enforce marijuana federal laws there. Since both states allow marijuana, the Federal Government will not prosecute users there.

      September 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • Observer

        Ye shall pray for "Sired Lionly lamb" that he will let up on his 'hemp' love and seek God's kingdom first!

        September 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Seek ye 1st the kingdom domains of God which I have found its whereabouts for the kingdom domains of God are internally inside our bodies whereby one's body is a Godly kingdom domain structured building to be inhabited by all of God's generational branches...

          September 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sired Vic....

        Drug prohibition has made what was once not controlled by federal congregants now fast becoming big money for marijuana businesses wherever legalizing the usages be it for medicinal uses and even recreational uses as two states have so now done... If political parties could all see past their own money noses and see all the varying ways that the three varieties of the cannabis plants which could become useful to our nation's economic woes.

        Legalize and regulate cannabis for medical reasons and curb the recreational uses to be limited to adults and illegal for children whose minds are not yet fully developed…


        September 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  11. Bootyfunk

    much ado about nothing...

    there is no god, for christians, muslims or jews. no invisible sky fairy. which means those 'sacred' plots of land have no value except for the cult beliefs bestowed upon them. what a complete waste of time, energy and lives. idiots fighting over a few acres of desert. the hilarious thing is, christianity sprang from judaism, and islam from judaism and christianity. it's basically the same religion.

    why is jerusalem sacred? it's not.

    September 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Robert

      Perhaps sacred as a reminder of just how stupid and cruel human beings can be.

      September 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • william mason

      Si­­nce I st­a­r­t­ed fre­­el­anci­­­ng I'v­­e be­e­n br­in­gin­g i­n $­9­0 bu­ck­­s/h… I s­i­­t a­­­t ho­m­e a­n­­d i a­m do­in­g m­­y wo­rk fr­om m­y la­pt­op. Th­℮ be­st th­ing i­s th­­a­t i g­­­­et m­­o­­r­e ti­­me t­­o sp­­e­­­nt wi­t­h m­y fa­mily a­­n­d wi­t­h m­y ki­ds a­nd i­n th­­e sa­me ti­me i ca­n e­a­­rn en­oug­h t­o su­pp­­ort them... Y­ou c­a­n d­o i­t t­oo. St­­a­rt her­e-­-­-­-­>g­i­­g­­2­­5­.­­­ℴ­

      September 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  12. Reality # 2

    Sacred sites in Jerusalem? Give us a break !!

    Nothing sacred there as most of the "historic" sites are nothing more than tourist traps.

    The cons:

    "David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital,
    was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide
    a rallying point for a fledgling nation."

    The JC crucifixion embellishment.

    The JC resurrection con

    Mohammed's ascent to heaven con.

    September 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  13. Sabapete

    History: No question the Jews were there first, followed by the Christians. When Mohammed was alive in the seventh century and began the Moslem expansion northward from Arabia, he need to show his supremacy to the other two faiths. He did so by concocting his dream of being carried to Jerusalem – he never physically even neared that city – with the subsequent construction of Al Aksa by Moslem conquerers. It is only holy to Islam because the other two faiths claim it as their own. Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran – not once. Yet the Old Testament mentions it by name in excess of 600 times. In order to gain superiority, Moslems will claim anything, then believe their own claims. Go figure.

    September 15, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tareq Abdeen

      says who?! a zionist settler!

      September 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Robert

        He has a good point actually. There seems to be little if any historical proof of Mohammed ever visiting Jerusalem except in a description of a dream. This is quite at odds with the Christian bible in which Jerusalem is a key location.

        Call liar all you want, but I know it is outside religious norms, but perhaps you would like to show any proof that the prophet actually was there? Because he says so is not an argument.

        September 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          there's also zero proof that jesus went to jerusalem... or that jesus lived at all.
          religion isn't usually big on evidence.

          September 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Robert

          I am an atheist, but there is historical evidence for a person called Jesus in and around Jerusalem. I don't that is not a tenant of bible belief. Similar to people not disputing that Mohammed lived. Only that it is highly unlikely he was ever in Jerusalem

          September 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • moas786

      God hates LIERS....

      September 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Robert

        Great earlier we just had all the Christian nuts out here, now we have the Muslim nuts too.

        September 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • tallulah13

        So god can't stand people who lie down?

        September 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the muslims will claim anything is theirs? sounds like they have a lot in common with the christians.

      September 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  14. ScottCA

    Fighting over Fairy tale stories of imaginary men in the clouds. Ridiculous.

    September 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Clouds or cloudless skies makes for reasons of why's... Inwards or outwards these are the ways... Religions know not the nights' days... Many are stuck seeking that which was once long in the known... Cannabis the plants, their powers to fight diseases are now becoming socially grown...

      Medical Cannabis Leads to Increased Use In Seniors…


      September 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  15. Minkowski

    It's a lovely land. But I'm sorry, there's nothing the least bit holy about it.

    September 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Robert

      Except for the craters from the religion fueled bombs and rockets.

      September 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • william mason

      Si­nce I st­ar­t­ed fre­el­anci­­ng I'v­e be­en br­in­gin­g i­n $­9­0 bu­ck­­s/h… I s­i­­t a­­t ho­m­e a­n­d i a­m do­in­g m­­y wo­rk fr­om m­y la­pt­op. Th­℮ be­st th­ing i­s th­a­t i g­­et mo­re ti­­me t­­o sp­e­­nt wi­th m­y fa­mily a­n­d wi­th m­y ki­ds a­nd i­n th­e sa­me ti­me i ca­n e­a­rn en­oug­h t­o su­pp­­ort them... Y­ou c­a­n d­o i­t t­oo. St­­art her­e-­-­-­-­>g­i­­g­­2­­5­.­­­ℴ­

      September 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  16. Lionly Lamb

    Legal Cannabis 2013 – Documentary


    September 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yeah, yeah we get it. We got it before you started spamming videos: You smoke weed.

      September 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        If only you could validate your prognosis regarding my cannabis usage... Since you can't then why talk dirty..?

        Syrian refugee camps becoming sex markets for Gulf state Arabs...


        September 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  17. Vic

    The New Jerusalem

    Revelation 3:12
    "12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name."

    Revelation 21:1
    "21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband."

    Revelation 21:10
    "10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,"

    Scripture Is From:

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation


    September 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Vic

      "Revelation 21:1,2"

      September 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  18. puddintane

    you all can have it, and then get all selfish, rude and vulgar, then kill one another over it, I could care less

    September 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  19. Leslie Davis

    All that religious stuff is bah-humbug. If you're talking about the Creator of Everything is has nothing to do with god. Duh!

    September 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Sired Leslie D....

      Just answer me this... "How many big bang universes is it going to take to fill up the infinite vastness of nothingness..?"

      September 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • Thinker...

        Uh... you can only fill infinity with infinity. Therefore it will take an infinite amount of big bangs. Now what was the point of that excersise?

        September 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  20. soviedo

    correction: the first temple (solomon's temple) was first destroyed by the babylonians and not the Byzantines

    September 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.