Needless to say, there are LOTS of churches in the Holy Land. Like the relationship among different groups of people, the church situation is….complex. There are: Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian, Druse, Coptic, and even some Baptists and other Protestants tossed in for good measure.

In many cases churches share; literally, they share the same building. In some cases, different denominations are allocated specific time when they have “possession” of a building. Some buildings have sections for each, such as a Catholic section, a Coptic section, and an Orthodox section. Some holy sites are actually commenorated in two or more locations, with each church claiming they have the “real spot” where an even occurred.

In the Jewish holy places one must cover their head; in the Catholic churches one must remove their hat. Anybody can go into the Temple Mount area where the Dome of the Rock is, but Jews and Christians cannot pray or make any  overt “religious” actions.

There are laws, treaties, and status quo agreements.

It’s all very complex and hard to understand. One thing is easy to understand, though. The architecture, engineering, artisan-ship of many of these various places of worship is outstanding, and worth appreciating regardless of one’s beliefs.

On the left is the Greek Orthodox Monastery on the Mountain of temptation. The two on the right are Greek Orthodox Churches near the Jordan River.

The Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter

Church of the Loaves and Fishes

Carmelite Monastery on Mount Carmel

church mt carmel monastery

Church of the Mount of the Beatitudes

Church of the Nativity

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Chapel of the Condemnation and the Church of the Flagellation

Church of Saint Peter’s Denial

Church of All Nations

Chapel at the Shepherd’s Field

The Dome of the Rock

Various Mosques