You’ve arrived in Jerusalem - holy city to all 3 major Abrahamic religions. This city has an eventful history; it’s been inhabited since the 4th century BCE, and in that time it’s been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times.

Bishop Hosam Naoum from the Diocese of Jerusalem shares why he is hopeful - and invites you to visit soon!

Distance you've covered: 74.3 miles

Elevation: 760m

Population: 883,000

Christian population: 15,800

Principal churches:

  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Latin Patriarchate; built around the sites of Christ’s death and burial)
  • Cathedral of St George (Anglican)
  • Church of St Anne (Latin Patriarchate; traditionally the birthplace of the Virgin Mary)

Economy and culture

The Old City of Jerusalem is known for its holy sites, visited by locals, pilgrims and tourists alike.

  • Jews gather to mourn and pray at the Western Wall of the old temple;
  • Muslims visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the prophet Muhammad is said to have led prayers;
  • Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands today.

Most of the Palestinian population of Jerusalem, both Muslim and Christian, lives in East Jerusalem. Previously under Palestinian control, it was annexed by Israel in 1967, and since then has been increasingly cut off from Palestinian communities in the rest of the West Bank. The economic situation in East Jerusalem is incredibly difficult: 3 out of 4 children live below the poverty line and 1 in 4 Christian families rely on financial support from their churches.

Christian heritage

King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and made it his capital, and the temple built by his son Solomon was destroyed at the time of Israel’s exile, then rebuilt on their return.

But Jerusalem holds a key place in our hearts first and foremost as the city where our Lord was crucified and buried, then rose from the dead on the 3rd day. This video gives a glimpse of the places where Jesus was condemned and then executed.

Since medieval times, the Old City has been divided into Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters.

Friends of the Holy Land in Jerusalem

  • We work alongside both the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem to provide help to vulnerable Christians of all denominations. This includes help with food, rent, medical needs and education costs.
  • Through the pandemic, we provided 45 families with emergency aid through the Latin Patriarchate, and supported many with the cost of school fees to keep their children in school.

You’re nearing the end of your journey: our next stop, Beit Sahour, is only a mile from Bethlehem. Listen out for choirs of angels - they’ve been heard here before!