Membership, Community, Diversity

Do Christians have a holy city?

Members of various individual churches have come to associate sanctity with a number of places uniquely important for their traditions. For Mormons, several sites along the church’s difficult path from New York to Nevada are holy in retrospect, as well as nostalgically sad, because they represent places from which Mormons were expelled or where they were persecuted. Above all stands Salt Lake City, founded by Brigham Young, and seat of the church. Geneva remains a city with overtones of sanctity for Christians of Calvinist traditions. For Western Catholics, Rome is especially holy because of its place at the center of the church’s entire history and because it is Catholicism’s administrative home. But perhaps the majority of Christians consider Jerusalem the only genuinely holy city, and regard the surrounding territory as the Holy Land. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the hundreds of lesser sites associated with the life and death of Jesus remain for many a source of spiritual strength and hope.


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