Holding the Key: Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre

A look at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, its turbulent history and the different denominations using it.

At the very place where many Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified and then resurrected, now stands the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Shared by six denominations, it is a church riven by a confusing and complex series of spiritual battles, placing it at the very heart of the Middle East.

However, the church’s gatekeeper is not a Christian; members of a Muslim family have locked and unlocked the Holy Sepulchre’s front door every day for the last 800 years.

In this 2007 film, Al Jazeera explores the background to this unusual story and how it reflects the meeting of a wide range of people, despite their religious differences.

February 25, 2018: In a rare move, the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been indefinitely closed in protest against what church leaders say is “discriminatory” Israeli policy aimed at weakening Christian presence in the holy city.

Church leaders said Israel was violating the status quo at the site, which is one of the holiest in Christianity, at an “unprecedented level”.

Holding The Key was first broadcast on Al Jazeera English in February 2007.