|Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem|
|Autocephaly/Autonomy recognized||451 by Fourth Ecumenical Council|
|Current primate||Patr. Theophilus|
|Primary territory||Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States (except Kuwait)|
|Possessions abroad||United States, South America|
|Liturgical language(s)||Greek, English, Arabic|
|Musical tradition||Byzantine Chant|
|Official website||Church of Jerusalem|
The Church of Jerusalem is the "Mother of all Churches" 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 patriarchates 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 deposition of Patriarch Irenaios I amidst scandals regarding the transfer of land to Jewish control, the Holy Synod of the church named as their temporary primate His Eminence Metropolitan Cornelius (Rodousakis) of Petra. On August 22, 2005, the Holy Synod unanimously elected the former Archbishop of Tabor, Theophilus, as the 141st Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Places of importance
- Holy Monastery of St. Catherine (Mount Sinai), believed to be the site of the Burning Bush from the Old Testament, belonging to Church of Sinai.
- The Holy Lavra of St. Savas the Hegiasmenos (Mar Saba)
- The Monastery of St. George the Hozevitou (location)
- The Monastery of St. Martha and Mary (Bethany)
- The Monastery of The Holy Archangels (Andromedos)
- The Monastery of St. Eythymios the Great (Khan-Ahmar)
There are 25 monasteries within the city of Jerusalem:
- The Holy Monastery of Abraam, a dependency of the Holy Sepulchre
- The Holy Monastery of St. Haralampus
- The Holy Monastery of the Forerunner
- The Holy Monastery of the Archangels
- The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas
- The Holy Monastery of Ss. Theodore
- The Holy Monastery of St. George the Jew
- The Holy Monastery of St. George of the hospital
- The Holy Monastery of St. Basil
- The Holy Monastery of St. Katherine
- The Holy Monastery of St. Spyridon
- The Holy Monastery of St. Nikodemus
- The Holy Monastery of the Praetorium
- The Holy Monastery of St. Anne, the Mother of the Theotokos
- The Holy Monastery of St. Symeon of Katamonas
- The Holy Monastery of the Holy Cross
- The Holy Monastery of St. Onouphrious
- The Holy Monastery of St. Sion, also the Patriarchal Theological college
- The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen
- The Holy Monastery of St. Panteleimon
- The Holy Monastery of the Resurrection
- The Holy Monastery of St. Modestos
- The Holy Monastery of the Great Panagia (female)
- The Holy Monastery of St. Euthymios (female)
- The Holy Monastery of Panagia "Seidanagias"
There are two churches in Jerusalem, the Church of St. Demetrios and the Church of St. Thekla. There is also the cathedral church of St. James the Brother of the Lord, which also has two chapels dedicated to the Myrrh-bearers and the Forty Holy Martyrs of Jerusalem. The chapel of the Forty Holy Martyrs holds the relics of all the patriarchs of Jerusalem.
Saints and Elders
The Holy Land has been primarily sanctified by the presence of Christ, however, through his divine economy, the Holy Land has also generated a cloud of Martyrs, Hierarchs and Saints. Some of these include:
- List of Patriarchs of Jerusalem
- Monastery at the Shepherds Field (East Jerusalem, Israel)
- New Church of St. Mary, the Theotokos (Jerusalem)
- Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in North and South America
- Official Website of the Church of Jerusalem (Main page)
- Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, Taybeh (Palestine)
- Interviews with Christians in the Holy Land (Ancient Faith Radio)
- Eastern Christian Churches: The Patriarchate of Jerusalem by Ronald Roberson, a Roman Catholic priest and scholar
- Rum Orthodox Ivri: The Website of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Community within Israeli Society, served by Fr. Alexander Winogradsky, a priest of Jewish ethnicity serving mainly in Hebrew
|Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Orthodoxy|
|Four Ancient Patriarchates: Constantinople | Alexandria | Antioch | Jerusalem |
Russia | Serbia | Romania | Bulgaria | Georgia | Cyprus | Greece | Poland | Albania | Czech Lands and Slovakia | OCA*
|Sinai | Finland | Estonia* | Japan* | China* | Ukraine*|
|The * designates a church whose autocephaly or autonomy is not universally recognized.|