ONE @ 50: The Holy City

In honor of ONE magazine’s 50th-anniversary year, the CNEWA blog series, ONE @ 50: From the Vault, aims to revive and explore the wealth of articles published in ONE magazine throughout its history. Learn more about the significance of Jerusalem to Christianity, Judaism and Islam in this Spring 1975 story from ONE’s archive.

Read an excerpt from “The Holy City” below, then read the full story.

For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

For almost 20 centuries devout Christians have gone on pilgrimage to venerate the sacred places in the Holy Land. To Jerusalem especially they have made their way to visit the scenes associated with the life of our Lord. There they worship, first, at Christendom’s most sacred shrine, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which encloses the place of Christ’s crucifixion and of his empty tomb.

Not only to Christians, but to the Jews, of course, and to the followers of Muhammad, too, Jerusalem is the Holy City. For 3,000 years since David, the shepherd king, first wrested it from the pagan Jebusites, Jerusalem has been the center of religious pilgrimages.

Jerusalem, “the Citadel of Zion,” is for any true Jew the source and summit of racial and religious identity. Zion is God’s Holy Mountain, the site of his temple, and his dwelling place among them. The remnant of the Chosen People in Babylonian captivity sang in their sadness, “If I ever forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten; may my tongue cleave to my jaws if I make not Jerusalem the beginning of my joy.” This ancient lament of the sacred psalm evokes an echo in the heart of any Jew.

Less well appreciated in the West, perhaps, is the intense religious significance Jerusalem holds also for the followers of Muhammad. It is the spot the prophet originally designated to which his sons were to turn daily to pray. Next to Mecca, it remains still the second most holy shrine of Islam.

Read more.

F.C. Edward, editor, correspondent and frequent traveler in the Middle East records his impression of Jerusalem.

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