Judean Desert Draws In Tourists

BY DANIELA BERRETTA 9/2/2012 JERICHO, West Bank -- Located between Jerusalem and Jericho, the Judean Desert provided an inspiration to thousands of hermits who lived here in the early Middle Ages. With its breathtaking, rugged beauty, it was the perfect setting for those searching spiritual fullness in the emptiness of the desert. Today only a handful of monks ...

“Price tag” graffiti daubed on Jerusalem monastery

 Israeli police officers stand with a priest beside a car that was sprayed with graffiti outside the Monastery of the Cross, which was also defaced with graffiti, in Jerusalem February 7, 2012

7/2/2012 (Reuters) - A Jerusalem monastery, built on the site where tradition says the tree used in the making of Jesus's cross once stood, was defaced with "Death to Christians" graffiti on Tuesday. The words "Price Tag" daubed on a vandalized car parked outside the 11th-century Monastery of the Cross suggested that militant Jewish settlers were responsible ...

Churches in Israel struggling to keep up with mass influx of foreign workers

By Julia Niemann 30/12/2011 While the number of Christians with roots in Israel is on the decline, temporary residents are flocking to local services in record numbers. Shifting demographics are changing the landscape of Israel's Christian communities as an influx of migrant workers poses a new set of demands for local churches. While the number of Christians with roots ...

Clerics clash in Church of the Nativity

A member from the Greek Orthodox clergy (L) and a Palestinian use diesel to scrub the floor and columns of the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 28, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Ammar Awad

BETHLEHEM, West Bank 28/12/2011 (Reuters) - A Christmas cleaning of the Church of the Nativity turned into scuffles on Wednesday between rival Christian clerics zealously guarding denominational turf at the holy site. Brooms and fists flew inside the church marking the birthplace of Jesus as some 100 priests and monks of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic churches ...

Christians in Israel: Thriving, Beleaguered at the Same Time

David Rosenberg 22/12/2011 They succeed at school and at work, but their numbers are barely growing Economically, the Holy Land’s tiny Christian minority is thriving as its moves into the holiday season this year. But, except for a one-time boost from a wave of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, their numbers are barely growing and they ...

Israeli army to ease Christmas travel

20/12/2011 Jerusalem: The Israeli army announced special measures, on Monday, to ease the movement of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from now till into January to allow for seasonal celebrations. The West Bank Christians will be allowed to visit Israel without any age limitations, the army said without saying how many would ...

Israel’s Red Carpet for Christian Pilgrims

Pilgrims pray at the St. George’s monastery (Photo: Matthew Bell) By Matthew Bell 16/12/2011 Christians are a tiny minority in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. They account for about 2 percent of the population. But Christian pilgrims are visiting the Holy Land in record numbers these days. The Greek Orthodox monastery of St. George’s is built into a ...

A Christmas journey part 3: ‘Tis the season

Ramallah – Wadi Qelt – Beir Zeit – Ramallah: popping into summer. 13/12/2011 More Snaps here: My Australian readers will have to forgive me on this one, but Christmas is about winter. The first condition to knowing holiday spirit is a Jack Frost-bitten nose. This is why I was so glad to arrive last night from Taybeh into ...

Israel openes the traditional baptism site of Jesus for daily Visits

13/7/2011 Israel opened the traditional baptism site of Jesus to daily visits Tuesday, a move that required the cooperation of Israel’s military and the removal of nearby mines in the West Bank along the border with Jordan. The location, where many believe John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River, is one ...

Ousted Patriarch behind locked doors in Jerusalem

By JOSH LEDERMAN The Associated Press 6/1/2011 JERUSALEM -- Six years ago, Irineos I was the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem with about 100,000 followers. Today, he sits behind locked doors in his Old City apartment, claiming he has been imprisoned by the successor who ousted him in a dispute over sale of church land ...

Bethlehem Is Booked for Christmas

Written by Arieh O’Sullivan 15/12/2010 As tourism swells, no room in any inns despite Israeli restrictions Amid unseasonably sunny December days in Bethlehem, it appears history is about to repeat itself. During the week of Christmas all the city’s hotels are fully booked for the first time in decades, which will leave some of the estimated 90,000 expected ...

Fayyad Denounces Greek Orthodox Church Decision

2/12/2010 Ramallah Prime Minister Salam Fayyad denounced Wednesday the participation of officials from the Greek Orthodox Church in an event marking the opening of an Israeli road in the occupied West Bank. The Tuesday event was slammed by Arab Orthodox associations in Palestine and Jordan, who said church participation in the event asserting Israeli control over the ...

Orthodoxy in Pictures – November 2010

30/11/2010 Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theofilos III, center, serves a mass for Saint Philoumenos, in the Church of the Greek Orthodox monastery of Jacob's Well, in the Balata refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus, Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. Father Philoumenos was the head of the Church of the Greek Orthodox monastery ...

Palestinian Authority and Christian leaders signs an accord to restore the historic church built on the traditional site of Jesus’s Birth

2/9/2010 Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (C) addresses a meeting to discuss repairing the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank biblical town of Bethlehem on September 2, 2010, during which the Palestinian Authority and Christian leaders signed an accord to restore the historic church built on the traditional site of Jesus's birth. From L ...