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BRITISH AND ISRAELI MAINTENANCE OF THE STATUS QUO IN THE HOLY PLACES OF CHRISTENDOM

  • Marlen Eordegian
Extract

The concept of the “status quo”1 was introduced in 1852, when the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Mejid, in a futile attempt to avoid a war, issued a decree freezing the rights of worship and possession of the religious communities in the Holy Places of Christendom. The decree terminated the bloody rivalry between the Greek Orthodox patriarchate and the Roman Catholic church for predominance in the Christian sanctuaries and recognized the paramount rights of the Greek Orthodox church in the Holy Places affirmed since 1757.2 In 1853, the sultan issued another decree, which transferred the power of jurisdiction over the sanctuaries from the local officials in Palestine to the Sublime Porte. Subsequently, Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin (1878) proclaimed the inviolability of the decree of 1852 and declared it the “Status Quo of the Holy Places.” The successive governments of Palestine, the British Mandate, and the State of Israel further maintained the regulations as set forth by the status quo of 1852.3

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Corresponding author
Marlen Eordegian is Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. 37240, USA; e-mail: marilyn.eordegian@vanderbilt.edu.
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International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
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