Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem
Built between 1893 and 1898 by the architect Paul Ferdinand Groth (*1859-1955*) following the designs of Friedrich Adler, the Church of the Redeemer currently houses Lutheran congregations that worship in Arabic, German, Danish, and English. The Church, together with the adjoining provost building, is the seat of the Provost of the German Protestant Ministries in the Holy Land ("Evangelisch in Jerusalem"). It also serves as the headquarters of the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, since this Arabic-speaking (Palestinian) church became independent from the German provost in 1979.
Built on land given to King William I of Prussia (after 1870 Kaiser Wilhelm I) in 1869 by Sultan Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire, the church was constructed from 1892-1898. The location had been the site of the old church of St. Mary Minor. In 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II made a trip to Jerusalem to personally dedicate the new church. For the dedication of the church, the Kaiser entered the city on horse back through to specially made ceremonial arches, one a gift of the Ottoman Empire and one a gift from the local Jewish community. The church was dedicated on Reformation Day, 1898
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Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.
The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.
Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!
When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.
Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.
Text by Steve Smith.