In June 2007, World Council of Churches General Secretary Dr Samuel Kobia and a small ecumenical delegation visited Jerusalem. Here are some of the stunning images of the holy city that were taken during their visit...


Light from Above

The small portion of the planet's surface known to Christians as the Holy Land has a great many places where the heavens seem to be especially connected to the earth. The June 2007 visit to Palestine/Israel by the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Samuel Kobia and a small ecumenical delegation started at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre [photo] in Jerusalem. PICTURE: Juan Michel/WCC



The Old City of Jerusalem has holy places not only for one but three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All of them find within its walls - an area of barely one square kilometre - several of their holiest places. For Judaism, Jerusalem - "Heritage of Peace" - is the holiest city and plays a central spiritual role in Jewish life and self-understanding. The land is at the core of God's covenant with the Jewish people and commandments relating to the land undergird much of the Torah. PICTURE: Peter Williams/WCC



Christians come as pilgrims from all over the world to walk paths their Lord walked some 2,000 years ago. The places where the greatest events in Jesus' life occurred are in the custody of different Christian confessions. The sites are shared according to centuries-old agreements, and not without sporadic tensions. In the photo: WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia and Mrs Ruth Kobia at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. PICTURE: Christo Asfour/WCC



For Islam, Jerusalem - in Arabic, "Al-Quds", which means "The Holy" - is the third holiest city after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The Prophet Muhammad is believed to have visited heaven from Jerusalem during what Muslims call the "night journey". The Dome of the Rock [photo, on right] marks the site. It is built over a what Jews believe to be the remnant of the Temple. PICTURE: Peter Williams/WCC


Peace in Jerusalem

Today, many believe that Jerusalem will necessarily have to be at the heart of any lasting resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For the WCC, any comprehensive peace settlement must establish Jerusalem as an open, inclusive and shared city in terms of sovereignty and citizenship. The rights of its communities - Muslim, Jewish and Christian, Palestinian and Israeli - should be guaranteed, including access to holy places and freedom of worship. PICTURE: Peter Williams/WCC


The Western Wall

The WCC delegation visited the Western Wall, also known as Wailing Wall, regarded by religious Jews as the most holy place for their faith. The wall is a remnant of the base of the vast esplanade which was part of Herod's massive renovation of the Second Temple in 19 BC. In the photo, WCC general secretary Kobia. PICTURE: Christo Asfour/WCC 

For more information on the trip, visit All images are subject to copyright.