By Oded Peri

An incredible factor in 19th-century global politics, the query of Christianity's holiest shrines in Jerusalem is roofed by way of a wide physique of literature. such a lot of this scholarship, despite the fact that, concentrates at the interval whilst the query of the Holy websites has already advanced from a family Ottoman challenge into an all-European factor. less is understood approximately this challenge in past instances, whilst the Ottoman Empire used to be nonetheless a dominant strength capable of suggest ideas freed from international interference and outdoors pressures. in line with reliable Ottoman files present in the registers of the kadi's court docket in Jerusalem in addition to the top Ministry's files in Istanbul, this learn deals a radical therapy of Ottoman coverage with recognize to the Holy websites through the first centuries of Ottoman rule in Jerusalem. It makes a speciality of 3 vital matters: (a) The felony prestige of the Holy websites below Ottoman rule; (b) The Ottoman nation and the inter-church fight over the Holy websites; (c) The Holy websites as a resource of source of revenue to the Ottoman country. The dialogue of those concerns sheds new gentle on the most vague and debatable chapters within the historical past of Christianity below Islam in Jerusalem.

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Extra resources for Christianity Under Islam in Jerusalem: The Question of the Holy Sites in Early Ottoman Times (Ottoman Empire & Its Heritage)

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The Copts meanwhile lost nearly two thirds of their number. Their share in the Christian population of Jerusalem, which in the mid-sixteenth century was over twenty percent, dropped by the late seventeenth century to four percent. The Copts of Jerusalem were thus reduced to the fifth largest Christian sect. The impressive growth of the Armenian community in Jerusalem may be partially explained by the above-described process of its urbanization. 26 The Coptic decline helped the Jacobite Syrians, whose number rose in the meantime by some fifty percent, to improve their standing in Jerusalem becoming the third largest Christian sect.

36 CHAPTER ONE but also, and primarily, as the exclusive representatives of the Roman Catholic church, thence of Europe's Catholic states, at the Holy Sites. As representatives (and dependents) of such world-wide, heavyweight powers, it was only natural that the Franciscan monks, despite their small number, would constitute the main rival to the Greek Orthodox church in its struggle for preeminence in the Holy Sites. Until late in the seventeenth century, the Greek Orthodox had the upper hand, which left the Franciscan monks with possession of the Chapel of Invention (22), the Chapel of Apparition (24), the monastery around it (23), and the Chapel of St.

54 42 CHAPTER ONE Of particular note is Justinian I (527-565), who as part of his struggle against Monophysism, denied its adherents access to the Holy Sites. 65 The Muslim conquest of Jerusalem resumed the interrupted development of the Holy Sites as universal venues of worship and pilgrimage common to all Christians regardless of their church. On the one hand, the Muslim conquest eliminated Byzantine state control of Jerusalem. It also removed local church affairs from the intrusive reach of the ecumenical leadership of the Byzantine church.

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