Christianity's 'Holiest Site' May Close Over Unpaid Bills
Water company says Jerusalem church owes it $2.1M
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2012 5:25 PM CDT
Christian pilgrims hold candles at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during the ceremony of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem's Old City, Saturday, April 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

(Newser) – Can we call this an unholy water dispute? The Greek Orthodox Church is threatening to shut down the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—the most revered site in Christendom—over unpaid water bills, the AFP reports. An Israeli water company says the church owes $2.1 million in back bills, but church officials contend that the site of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection was always exempt from paying for its water.

So the Greek Orthodox church is protesting to Israeli officials while the Holy Sepulchre's bank accounts remain frozen, leaving other bills unpaid and forcing priests to work for free. But "it's not a matter of money," says the president of the National Christian Coalition in the Holy Land. "It’s a change in the status quo that has protected the church for hundreds of years, it’s a way to pressure the churches and to introduce new Israeli-designed measures."

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Nov 5, 2012 11:39 AM CST
Christianity's holiest site? Give me a break, that's the offering plate....
Nov 4, 2012 2:11 PM CST
It will be Christianity's driest site pretty soon.
Nov 4, 2012 9:55 AM CST
B-Diddh is a total ass. He insults the Jews (Israel also has muslims and Christians) becUSAE THEY DO NOT PROVIDE FREE SERVICES FOR THE CHURCH...what have you given away in the wahy of resources do you get your water paid for by the state? It is because of bigots like you that there is now a state of go forth and continuing wanking.