Jerusalem, Feb 26, 2018 / 14:31 pm
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been closed indefinitely to protest two proposals that Christian leaders see as targeting the presence of Christianity in the region.
Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian leaders united in their decision to close the holy site – containing the areas of Christ's crucifixion, burial, and resurrection – in protest of a land bill and taxation policy currently under consideration.
The land bill would allow the state to claim land that was sold by churches to private organizations in recent years. Critics have voiced concern that this would severely hinder the ability of churches to sell land going forward.
A separate taxation policy would remove tax exemptions from Church-owned properties on which there are no houses of prayer. These include Church-run hospitals, schools, and other social outreach facilities.