Ascension Church on Mount Olives

-The church tradition saved us the place from which the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, forty days after He was raised among the dead, the mountain of olives in Jerusalem, as the Holy Gospel (Luke 24: 51)

– This church was built over the mountain of olives, in circular form, by Queen Helena, mother of the great Emperor Constantine, in the middle of the 4th century, that is, in the beginning of the era of the Turkey Empire (Byzantine) and the original church walls were without ceiling, that is open towards heaven, And that is to remind the believers entering it of the rise of Christ to heaven.

– The Persians destroyed it when they invaded Palestine in 614 and then restored the patriarch of the rum Saint Mothestos.

At the siege of the Muslim Arabs of Jerusalem, and before their occupation of the city in 637, they broke the cross above the dome of the church and turned it into a mosque in the name of “Khalifa Omar Ibn Al-Khattab”, but Christians continued to worship the place as “Church of Ascension”.

– The ruling khalifa destroyed by the order of Allah Fatimi in 1009 to erase its trail, and destroyed the church of resurrection and dozens of churches in the same year.

– Alfranges (Crusaders) rebuilt it in 1102 according to the original design established by Queen Helena but with some changes and modifications to it.

– Salah Al-Din Al-Ayube turned it into a “Mosque” after Jerusalem fell in 1187, but the flow of Christian pilgrims to the place to pray continued non-stop, and it caused many tensions, and later the Muslims built in the Covenant Ottoman collector adhesive to the church. To this day, the site is still subject to the Islamic Waqf Authority in Jerusalem, and fees are paid to enter the place!

– in 1835 the Turkish Ottoman messed up the church as they closed the roof and added walls between the columns!

In 1852, the Ottoman authorities concluded the agreement known as ” Estatico ” which regulates prayer times among different Christian communities, by which they allowed Christians to come and pray in the place only one day a year, on ” Thursday of Ascension

Inside the church there is a small rock with a “foot” trail that tells the inherited tradition that it is the place where the Lord Jesus Christ stood before he ascending to heaven before his mother and students.

– In 1870, the Russian church built the ” Orthodox boarding monastery ” near the place, to be able to pray and worship freely, and near the original church there is also a Roman Orthodox monastery known as the ” Galilaíaíaías.

Written by: Romanus Crete

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