PEOPLE: Religious Freedom


Land of Three Religions (Courtesy of The Israel Philatelic Service)



Each site and shrine is administered by its own religious authority, and freedom of access and worship is ensured by law. Major holy places are:


Jewish: Jerusalem’s Kotel (the Western Wall), last remnant of the retaining wall of the Temple Mount from the Second Temple period; Rachel’s Tomb, near Bethlehem; Tomb of the Patriarchs in the Cave of Machpela, in Hebron; the tombs of Maimonides (Rambam) in Tiberias and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai in Meron.

 PEOPLE: Religious Freedom


Jerusalem: The Kotel (Western Wall) – Photo: I. Sztulman


The Haram a-Sharif building complex on the Temple Mount, including the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem; Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron; El-Jazzar Mosque, in Akko.

 PEOPLE: Religious Freedom


Jerusalem: The Dome of the Rock (Photo: Ministry of Tourism)


Via Dolorosa, Room of the Last Supper, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and other sites of Jesus’s passion and crucifixion in Jerusalem; Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem; Church of the Annunciation, in Nazareth; Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, and Capernaum, near the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret).


 PEOPLE: Religious Freedom


Mount of Beatitudes: church exterior, traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount (Photo: Ministry of Tourism)


Druze: Nebi Shueib (tomb of Jethro, father-in-law of Moses), near the Horns of Hittin in Galilee.
– Video: Faith in the Holy Land – the Druze community


(independent world religion founded in Persia, mid-19th century): Baha’i world center, Shrine of the Bab, in Haifa; Shrine of Baha’ullah, prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith, near Akko.
– Video: Faith in the Holy Land – the Bahai sect 

 PEOPLE: Religious Freedom


Haifa: The Bahai Shrine of the Bab and gardens
(Photo: Ministry of Tourism)