Jerusalem Religious Significance
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The city of Jerusalem, located in modern-day Israel, is significant in a number of religious traditions, including the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
What is the Religious significance of Jerusalem to Jews and Muslims?
For the Jews, the significance of Jerusalem is quite clear. The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is an ancient and powerful one. Judaism made Jerusalem a holy city over three thousand years ago and through all that time Jews remained steadfast to it. Jews pray in its direction, mention its name constantly in prayers, close the Passover service with the wistful statement "Next year in Jerusalem," and recall the city in the blessing at the end of each meal.
For Muslims, the role of Jerusalem is more complex, a combination of religious and political aspects. Some Arabs claim they are related to the Jebusites who founded Jerusalem during the bronze age. At the time of the arrival of the Israelites in Palestine the Jebusites were defeated by Joshua and their king was slain, but they were not entirely driven out of their city Jebus till the time of David, who made Jebus, renamed Jerusalem, the capital of his kingdom instead of Hebron. The site on which the temple was afterwards built belonged to Araunah, a Jebusite, from whom it was purchased by David, who refused to accept it as a free gift (2 Sam. 24:16-25). The Jebusites disappeared by 586 BC and it is highly doubtful that any modern Arabs, nomads from Arabia, are descended from them.
Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Qur'an and did not occupy any special role in Islam long after Mohammed's death. Following the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 636 AD, the new government did not make Jerusalem the political center of the area. This was fixed at Lydda till the year 716, then at Ar-Ramla (Ramleh). But in the Muslim view, too, Jerusalem, the city of David and Christ, became a very holy place, third only after Mecca and Medina, because of political developments.
Religious significance of Jerusalem to Christians
A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew talk about the significance of the Holy City in three faiths.
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What is the Religious significance of Jerusalem
For Christians, Jerusalem's place in the life of Jesus gives it great importance, in addition to its place in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible.
Jerusalem is the place where Jesus was brought as a child, to be 'presented' at the Temple and to attend festivals (Luke 2:41). According to the Gospels, Jesus preached and healed in Jerusalem, especially in the Temple courts. There is also an account of Jesus' 'cleansing' of the Temple, chasing various traders out of the sacred precincts. At the end of each of the Gospels, there are accounts of Jesus' Last Supper in an 'upper room' in Jerusalem, his arrest in Gethsemane, his trial, his crucifixion at Golgotha, his burial nearby and his resurrection and ascension.