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Religion & Spirituality

How did holy land become a place of religious significance?


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February 02, 2011 4:41PM

The Holy Land became a place of religious significance because of traditional beliefs and passages in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Scriptures (Bible and Qur'an). The Bible says that God promised the Holy Land to Abraham as a homeland for his descendants, God's "chosen" people. Within the Holy Land, places such as Jerusalem have particular significance because of events that occurred there. Holy sites such as the ancient Temple of Solomon were there; so is the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus' body was placed after the Crucifixion and from which he is said to have emerged in the Resurrection. The first and second Jewish Temples were built on a sacred bedrock that is also holy to Muslims. The Temple was considered God's home on earth. In that same spot, by tradition, Jacob laid his head on a rock and struggled with the Angel of God, as told in the Book of Genesis. The Ark of the Covenant containing the actual stone tablets that Moses received on Mount Sinai are believed to be under the Temple Mount. The holiness of Mount Sinai, another place in the Holy Land, is mentioned in the Qur'an.