Back to OWR Homepage Back to Christianity Flowchart

Back to
Eastern Christianity


The Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Doctrines - On all major issues the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is in agreement with other Eastern Orthodox churches. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)

History - Jerusalem has always been at the heart of the Christian world. It was here that Jesus conducted his ministry, was crucified and resurrected. In recognition of its importance the Council of Chalcedon decreed that Jerusalem should be give n place of honour after Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch. Christian rule came to an end in 637 when the city fell to the Muslims. In 1054 Jerusalem followed Constantinople when it broke from Rome. However, it was once again placed under Roma n jurisdiction when the Crusaders captured the city in 1099 and a Latin Patriarch was established. After 1187, when Saladin captured Jerusalem, the city was oversees by rival Latin and Greek Patriarchates. With the Ottoman conquest of 1517 Jerusalem cam e under the complete control of Constantinople. After the end of the first world war, and the collapse of the Ottoman empire, Palestine came under the jurisdiction of the British.
The outbreak of the Jewish~Arab war and the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 led to the dispersal of Orthodox Arabs throughout the Middle East. In 1967 Israel occupied the whole of Jerusalem and the West bank of Jordan. These areas continue to remain under Israeli occupation.

Symbols - Festal icons, Christ as Pantocrator Mary as Theotokos. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)

Adherents - The patriarchate of Jerusalem contains an estimated 260,000 adherents in Israel, the Israeli-occupied territories, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia (Europa Publications Limited 1995, 1:1610).

Headquarters/Main Centre - POB 19632-633, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Street, Old City, Jerusalem.