In the holiest place of all Christendom, a single Muslim holds the key, Christians fight with one another, and Jewish police intervene — among the Christians — to keep the peace. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Christ’s burial and resurrection, is also one of the most ironic places in all Christendom.
Credit: Pierre Klochendler/IPS.
Every morning, a monk must come to the door which is unlocked by a Muslim man who holds the keys to the church. Muslims have been entrusted with the keys since 1187.
image credit: CNN.com
Primarily because the various Christian factions which reside in the church cannot agree to nearly anything, and therefore to keep the church and its shrine open, the keys are entrusted to a Muslim family.
image credit: Orthodoxy Today
According to historical records, and Adeeb Jawad Joudeh, who holds the keys, they have been handed down from one generation to the next, since being given to the family in 1187 by Sultan Saladin.
The door to the tomb would be then closed with holy beeswax sealant. Ghodayya would then fix his personal seal on it on Easter Saturday every year.
When asked how he feels holding the key to this important church, Ghodayya said, “The church is my second home. When I look at its gate, I can see my grandparents and my great-grandparents. I can see Saladin standing in front of it.”