By Oded Peri
An incredible factor in 19th-century global politics, the query of Christianity's holiest shrines in Jerusalem is roofed by means of a wide physique of literature. so much of this scholarship, in spite of the fact that, concentrates at the interval while the query of the Holy websites has already developed from a household Ottoman challenge into an all-European factor. less is understood approximately this challenge in previous occasions, whilst the Ottoman Empire was once nonetheless a dominant energy capable of suggest options freed from overseas interference and outdoors pressures. in keeping with legitimate Ottoman documents present in the registers of the kadi's courtroom in Jerusalem in addition to the leading Ministry's data in Istanbul, this examine deals an intensive remedy of Ottoman coverage with recognize to the Holy websites in the course of the first centuries of Ottoman rule in Jerusalem. It makes a speciality of 3 significant concerns: (a) The criminal prestige of the Holy websites less than 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 probably the most vague and arguable chapters within the heritage of Christianity less than Islam in Jerusalem.
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Additional resources for Christianity Under Islam in Jerusalem: The Question of the Holy Sites in Early Ottoman Times (Ottoman Empire & Its Heritage)
Unable to get help from its small and impoverished congregations in Jerusalem 58 See, for example, firman dated Evasit-i Cemaziyelewel 1047 (1-10 October 1637), Kilise 10: 29. " The complaint was reiterated several more times during the second half of the seventeenth century, Kilise 8: 26-8, 28~30; 9: 16-7. 59 Deposition by the Coptic bishop in Jerusalem as to the predicament of his small community of monks, 17 Rebiyiilewel 1055 (13 May 1645), Sijill 135: 442. 61 To recap: the system of Christian rights to the Holy Sites described thus far touches mainly on those parts where a particular church had an exclusive claim to which the others acquiesced outright.
Their share in the studied population far surpassed that of the Armenians (approximately 15 percent), who were the second largest Christian sect. The shares of the other Christian sects were much smaller still. Furthermore, nearly half of the Greek Orthodox community lived outside Jerusalem, either in Bethlehem or in Beyt Jala, while the other Christian communities were represented in Jerusalem only. The Christian lay population of Bethlehem and Beyt Jala seems to have been wholly Greek Orthodox, but this was not always the case.
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. On the other hand, and in contrast to the policies of the Byzantine state (or church), Muslim rule permitted all Christian rites to maintain relations with their holiest sites.