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A Muslim family has the keys to one of the holiest sites in Christianity

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But people who follow different religions are still at war with one another.


The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the holiest sites in Christianity, and is believed to be the resting place of Jesus Christ. Christ’s tomb underwent renovation recently, and during that time the inner sanctum was kept locked up, without giving the public access.

Who had the key to the giant gates of the church? For five centuries, a Muslim family in Jerusalem has been the caretakers of the church, with the ornate iron key passing from father to son over 80 generations.

It is this story that a new video by National Geographic uncovers as part of its exploration of world religions.

“This is an honour not only for our family,” says Adeeb Joudeh, the current caretaker in the video above. “This is an honour for all Muslims in the world.”

The responsibility was given to Joudeh’s ancestors because Church authorities wanted a neutral caretaker, as there was a mix of followers among Christians, including Armenian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Franciscans, and more.

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