Roberto Mazza

Christian Churches in Jerusalem during the World War, 1914-1920

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Middle East during the First World War, Palestinian nationalism, Christian population in Jerusalem

The article discusses the role of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem in the early twentieth century with a particular focus on the First World War period and its aftermath. It provides some historical background concerning the history of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem; their relationships with the Ottoman authorities; the competition between the European Powers for the control of the Holy Places; the Status Quo and the capitulations and their abolitions which were the most important political feature of Christian Jerusalem until 1914. The second part of the article analyses how Christian Churches faced the war period, paying a special attention to the relations with the local population and the creation of the Christian-Muslim associations, which united the Arab population against the Balfour Declaration and Jewish immigration and proved to be one of the most important channels in the development of Palestinian nationalism. In the pre-war period the Christian Churches were mainly concerned with the competition over the control of the Holy Places and internal issues, but the impact of the war radically changed the context and Christian institutions turned their attention over local issues. Promotion of Zionism through British policy making brought about considerable change for Palestinian Christians who became politically active alongside Palestinian Muslims against Zionism and Jewish immigration.

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