Holy Land

Friday, 24 December 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Star of Bethlehem in the Church of Nativity © Dirk D./cc-by-sa-3.0

Star of Bethlehem in the nativity grotto of the Church of Nativity in Betlehem © Dirk D./cc-by-sa-3.0

The Holy Land is an area roughly located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the region of Palestine. The term “Holy Land” usually refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern State of Israel, the State of Palestine, western Jordan, and parts of southern Lebanon and southwestern Syria. Jews, Christians, and Muslims regard it as holy. Part of the significance of the land stems from the religious significance of Jerusalem, and the location of the First and Second Temples), as the historical region of Jesus’ ministry, and as the site of the first Qibla of Islam, as well as the site of the Isra and Mi’raj event of c. 621 CE in Islam.

The holiness of the land as a destination of Christian pilgrimage contributed to launching the Crusades, as European Christians sought to win back the Holy Land from Muslims, who had conquered it from the Christian Eastern Roman Empire in the 630s. In the 19th century, the Holy Land became the subject of diplomatic wrangling as the holy places played a role in the Eastern Question which led to the Crimean War in the 1850s. Many sites in the Holy Land have long been pilgrimage destinations for adherents of the Abrahamic religions, including Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Baháʼís. Pilgrims visit the Holy Land to touch and see physical manifestations of their faith, to confirm their beliefs in the holy context with collective excitation, and to connect personally to the Holy Land.

The map of the Holy Land by Marino Sanudo, drawn in 1320 Star of Bethlehem in the Church of Nativity © Dirk D./cc-by-sa-3.0 Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem © Gerd Eichmann/cc-by-sa-4.0 Olive trees in Jerusalem, intrinsic symbols in Christianitiy, Islam and Judaism © Sally.a.asmar/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Olive trees in Jerusalem, intrinsic symbols in Christianitiy, Islam and Judaism © Sally.a.asmar/cc-by-sa-4.0
For Christians, the Land of Israel is considered holy because of its association with the birth, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, whom Christians regard as the Savior or Messiah. It is also because Jesus was himself Jewish, and personally considered it the Holy Land within the original Jewish religious context.

Christian books, including many editions of the Bible, often have maps of the Holy Land (considered to be Galilee, Samaria, and Judea). For instance, the Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae (lit.: ‘Travel book through Holy Scripture’) of Heinrich Bünting (1545–1606), a German Protestant pastor, featured such a map. His book was very popular, and it provided “the most complete available summary of biblical geography and described the geography of the Holy Land by tracing the travels of major figures from the Old and New testaments.”

On 4 January 1964, Paul VI made the first visit of a reigning pontiff to the Holy Land. It was a one day visit to Jerusalem. On 20 April 1984, John Paul II fully recognized the Jewish nation and on 21 March 2000 he made the first five-days pilgrimage of a pope in Israel.

Read more on Jesus Trail, List of Christian holy places in the Holy Land, Jerusalem in Christianity, Travelogues of Palestine, Christian pilgrimage, List of religious sites – Christianity, Christianity in Israel, Christianity in Lebanon, Christianity in Jordan, Palestinian Christians, Holiest sites in Islam, Holy cities of Judaism, Wikivoyage Holy Land and Wikipedia Holy Land (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.










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