The word “Jerusalem” literally means “city of peace,” even though it is hard to imagine another city on the planet that has been a center of more conflicts than Jerusalem. Even today Jerusalem is more frequently mentioned in the news than other cities in the world because of various conflicts and terrorist attacks.
Part of the reason for this is that Jerusalem is located on a bridge of a land that connects three continents. Jerusalem is also right in the middle between Israel and Palestine. As such, Jerusalem is the place where a lot of cultures come together and this is not always peaceful.
Jews consider Jerusalem to be the most sacred city on the planet. This is the place where God’s home, the Temple, was located. The Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C. E. Many religious Jews to this day believe that no one should walk upon the Temple Mount until the ritual of purification occurs. Some Jews also believe that by walking on the Mount they can accidentally step on the part of the ground where the most sacred part of the temple was located. Since the Temple is no longer there, modern Jews pray at the Western Wall, which was part of the foundation of the temple. Praying by the wall allows Jews to be close to their most sacred place, but at the same time not have to set foot on the Temple Mount.
Christians believe that Jerusalem is a sacred place because that’s where many events in Christ’s life occurred, including crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
These events have been commemorated by the creation of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Today the structure of the church covers the area where the events took place and millions of Christian pilgrims visit the church for this reason.