Sign the Petition

Petition (EN)

The early 20th century church on the site

The Greek Compound is of profound religious, historical and cultural significance to Christians, Jews and Muslims, who have lived side by side in this area for centuries. It has long been a place of pilgrimage; monasteries and convents have existed here since the beginning of the Christian era. The last monastery ceased activity only during the Second World War, when the Church was unable to bring enough monks to Palestine from Nazi-occupied Greece.

According to Christian tradition (based on religious and pilgrim sources), it was on this site that:
  • Ancient Kings of Israel were anointed.
  • The Three Wise Men first saw the star that led them to Jesus’ birth place in Bethlehem.
  • The Jewish High Priest Caiaphus and his associates agreed to hand over Jesus to the Romans — a decision that changed the course of history and gave rise to the site`s name, the “Hill of Evil Counsel”.
  • An early church dedicated to the disciple Luke may have been erected.
  • Procopius, an early 4th century martyr and alleged Judeo-Christian, reputedly prayed in the still-extant underground cistern that was converted into an early church. His bones are said to have been interred here after his death in Caesarea.
  • The famous 7th century Greek Patriarch Modestus, who rebuilt the Holy Sepulcher after its destruction by the Persians in 640 AD, erected a Byzantine Church.
  • Its ruins are still visible, although its mosaic floor has been covered to protect it.
  • The bones of Modestus are said to have been interred, alongside those of Procopius, in an underground burial chamber beneath the Byzantine Church.