Church of Jerusalem

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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Founder(s) The Apostles
Autocephaly/Autonomy declared Traditional
Autocephaly/Autonomy recognized 692 by Quinisext Council
Current primate Metropolitan Cornelius of Petra (locum tenens)
Headquarters Jerusalem, Israel
Primary territory Israel, Palestine, Jordan
Possessions abroad United States
Liturgical language(s) Greek, English
Musical tradition Byzantine Chant
Calendar Julian
Population estimate 130,000
Official website Church of Jerusalem

The Church of Jerusalem is the mother church of all of Christendom, because it was in Jerusalem that the Church was established on the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus Christ. From Jerusalem the gospel of Christ was spread to the world.

As Christianity spread, and the persecutions of the Jews by Roman authorities in their homeland increased, causing the dispersion of many of the Christians from Jerusalem, the import of this church and its impact on the ongoing life of the whole Church diminished. As other churches gained ascendency, namely the Churches of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch, the Church of Jerusalem was accorded a place of honor with them among the five original Christian patriachates of the Christian world, called the Pentarchy.

The Church of Jerusalem remains the custodian of many of the holy sites in Jerusalem and environs, sometimes jointly with Roman Catholic or Coptic or Armenian Christians, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Lately there has been criticism of the church leadership by Palestinian faithful, who accuse the Greek-speaking and largely Greek-born leadership of squandering their money and treating their Arabic-speaking members as second-class faithful.

Following the recent deposition of Patriarch Irenaios I following scandals regarding the transfer of land to Jewish control, the Holy Synod of the church has named as their temporary primate His Eminence Metropolitan Cornelius of Petra, Locum Tenens of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine.

External links