Arthur F. Billy: Slide Show – The Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem
May 7, 2012
The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Muristan, Old city of Jerusalem, Palestine
The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer is the second Protestant church in the Old City of Jerusalem (the first being Christ Church near Jaffa Gate).
It is a property of the Evangelical Jerusalem Foundation, one of the three foundations of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) in the Holy Land.
Built between 1893 and 1898 by the architect Paul Ferdinand Groth (*1859-1955*) following the design of Friedrich Adler, the Church of the Redeemer currently houses Lutheran congregations that worship in Arabic, German, Danish, and English.
The Church, together with the adjoining provost building, is the seat of the Provost of the German Protestant Ministries in the Holy Land ("Evangelisch in Jerusalem"). It also serves as the headquarters of the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, since this Arabic-speaking (Palestinian) church became independent from the German provost in 1979.
The Church of the Redeemer is built on the site of the medieval church St. Mary la Latina, which fell into ruin.
A second St. Mary’s church and a St. John’s church were built as part of a huge building complex which was called the Muristan, the Persian word for hospital. Nearby there is said to have been a hospice (hostel) for western pilgrims, near the place of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
People from Italy revitalized the Convent of St. Mary la Latina before 1070 AD and a hospital was established near the Church of St. John.
When the Crusaders were the administrators of Jerusalem during the twelfth century, the religious brothers who served in the hospital developed into one of the three great orders of knights, the Order of the Knights of St. John. They cared for the pilgrims who visited Jerusalem, many of whom became ill and needed nursing. Thus the knights also became known as “hospitalers.”
For a century, 1099-1187 the Muristan was the headquarters of the Knights of St. John, with churches and hospitals. It is reported that at times there were up to 2000 patients with hundreds of nursing brothers caring for them.
When Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb, Saladin to the Western world, conquered Jerusalem in 1187 AD, the hospital continued as an Islamic institution
1870 Kaiser Wilhelm I) in 1869 by Sultan Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire, the church was constructed from 1892-1898. The location had been the site of the old church of St. Mary Minor.
In 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II made a trip to Jerusalem to personally dedicate the new church. For the dedication of the church, the Kaiser entered the city on horse back through two specially made ceremonial arches, one a gift of the Ottoman Empire and one a gift from the local Jewish community.
The church was dedicated on Reformation Day, 1898. At the dedication, Wilhelm said:
“From Jerusalem came the light in splendor from which the German nation became great and glorious; and what the Germanic peoples have become, they became under the banner of the cross, the emblem of self-sacrificing charity.”
By the sixteenth century the Muristan of the Old City of Jerusalem fell into ruins.
The City of Jerusalem and its churches were all but forgotten by the West.
However, pilgrims began coming once again to Jerusalem and by 1840 European nations and churches wanted to be represented in Jerusalem.
In 1841 the Anglicans and the Prussians arrived in Jerusalem and established a joint Jerusalem bishopric. By 1886 the two churches had grown and developed, and went their separate ways.
Several Lutheran congregations were established under German Lutheran leadership, and in 1959 the indigenous Palestinian Lutheran church was recognized by the King of Jordan. The West Bank and a part of Jerusalem including the Old City were under Jordanian control at that time.
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem
by Zoran Strajin
360 Viewing of the Inside of the Church of the Redeemer, Muristan
and parts of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Palestine