Jerusalem: A Walk Through Christian History

St. Mark's Church

The apse of St. Mark’s Syriac Church, a small and very old church in Jerusalem’s Old City

Recently, I have been preparing my next Jerusalem: Meet Jerusalem walking tour, which will focus on Christian Jerusalem for Non-Christians. In the process I have come to explore and discover many of Jerusalem’s churches. Obviously, Jerusalem is a very holy city to Christianity, and there are innumerable churches here, many of them within the approximately one square kilometer surrounded by the Old City walls.

But as I began to explore more, and uncovered some of the lesser known churches here, I became endlessly fascinated by the variety of Christian sects. There are tens of different denominations, split into a number of larger branches of Christianity, many of which are fairly unknown to most people — Christians and non-Christians alike! And of those many sects, tons of them have churches in Jerusalem, including a number of those less known denominations.

I began to organize them all for myself, grouping them into related branches and placing them in the sequence of their various splits from each other. By looking at them this way, I could see the very development of Christianity itself, reflected in the distinctive churches in my city. I soon realized that walking through Jerusalem’s Old City is like a walk through a living museum of Christian history.

With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to expand on this idea. So I wrote a two-part guest blog post for Travelujah, a leading Christian tourism website, exploring just this very topic. I selected four unique churches, one from each of the main branches of Christianity — Non-Chalcedonians, Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic. (I also touched briefly on a fifth branch, as well.) All four churches are inside the Old City and could easily be visited in a single day.

While this may be an interesting article for Christians interested in learning more about their own religious history, I think it may also be interesting to Jews and other non-Christians as well, particularly those who like Jerusalem. Here are links to the two posts:

Jerusalem: A Walk Through Christian History – Part 1
Jerusalem: A Walk Through Christian History – Part 2

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