Warring monks threaten destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre





A long-running row over the rights to a rooftop section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre could bring the entire structure tumbling down, destroying Christendom’s holiest site.

While renovations are needed across the church, the small Deir al-Sultan monastery on its roof has reached an “emergency state”, according to engineers who completed an evaluation this month.

The Times has learnt that in 2004 the two chapels and twenty-six tiny rooms that comprise the monastery were pronounced in dire need of reinforcement. They have since deteriorated to the point where engineers now fear that they will crash through the roof and into the church, venerated by millions of Christians as the site of the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus.

Yigal Bergman, the engineer who led the investigation, reported that the church, situated in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, was in a dangerous state of construction. “The structures are full of serious engineering damage that creates safety hazards and endangers the lives of the monks and the visitors. This is an emergency”.



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