MEPI programs include visits to many of the following sites, which often have significance for more than one religion. This is a form of “peace tourism” and an important aspect of learning about each others' faith.
Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Plaza: Islam’s third most holy site (after Mecca and Medina). Muslims honor the rock as the place from which Mohammed departed on his "Night Journey" (Qur’an 17). Jews honor it as the place where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22:1-13) and the site of the Temple.
Garden of Gethsemane: Contains olive trees estimated at 2,000 years of age. Jesus brought Peter, James and John here to pray with him, and Judas betrayed him (Luke 22:39-53).
Temple Mount and Western Wall: King Solomon constructed the Temple (1 Kings 6), later destroyed by the Babylonians and rebuilt after the return from the Exile (Ezra 1:1-4). Herod the Great rebuilt the Temple. Jesus taught in this Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Below the Temple Mount is the Western Wall, a remnant of the Temple’s retaining wall. It is the holiest location in Judaism that is accessible for prayer.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre: The most celebrated and fought-over church. It contains the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. See Qur'an 4:156-159 for the Islamic views.
Via Dolorosa (“way of sorrows”): This route represents Jesus’ suffering journey from his trial to his crucifixion (Luke 23 and 24).
Mount of Olives: King David’s escape route during Absalom’s rebellion (2 Samuel 15:30). The prophets Ezekiel (11:17-23) and Zechariah (14:4) referred to it. Jesus taught here (Matthew 24 and 25) and traveled this route between Jerusalem to Bethany. According to Acts 1:12, Jesus ascended into heaven from here.
Dominus Flevit (“The Lord wept.”): A chapel on the Mount of Olives in memory of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44).
The Cenacle (“dining room”): Associated with the "Upper Room" where the Last Supper was held (Luke 22:7-23) and the room where the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost (Acts 1:13-2:4). Under the Ottoman empire it was a mosque.
Yad Vashem: The Holocaust memorial.
Jewish and Muslim cemeteries: East of the wall of the Old City. Zechariah prophesied the Messiah would appear here (14:4), and Muslims believe the last judgment will take place here.
King David's Tomb: Jewish pilgrims come here during Shavu'ot (Pentecost), traditionally the anniversary of the death of King David (I Kings 2:10-12). Muslims honor David as a prophet (Qur’an2:251; 4:163, 17:55).
Saint Peter in Gallicantu (“cock-crow”): Believed to be the location of Caiaphas' house, where Jesus was held for trial, and where Peter denied his connection with Jesus and shed tears upon hearing the rooster crow. (Matthew 26:57-75) '
Church of the Nativity: The traditional site of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:1-7; Qur’an 19) and oldest Christian church. King Herod had all the children in Bethlehem under the age two killed (Matthew 2:16). Here Jacob’s wife Rachel was buried (Genesis 48:7), and David was anointed king (1 Samuel 16:4-13).
Jordan River: At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-16).
Tiberias: The spiritual center of Judaism after the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem in 135 CE. Here Jewish oral tradition was compiled in the Mishnah. With additional commentaries by generations of rabbis, it became the Jerusalem Talmud.
Sea of Galilee: A ride on a replica of a boat found in the Sea of Galilee dating from the first century CE. Many of Jesus’ teachings and miracles took place along this sea (Matthew 4:21-22; Mark 4:4, 36-41, 5:21).
Mount of Beatitudes: A church was built on a hill said to be where Jesus preached the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5:1-13). Below the church is a natural amphitheatre.
Capernaum (Kfar Nachum): Jesus taught in the synagogue here and healed people. Across from the foundations of a second-century synagogue is a church built over the remains of a house believed to be of Jesus’ disciple Peter (Mark 1:21-28).
Where an angel announced to Mary that she would have a son; Jesus’ boyhood home.
A fortress near the Dead Sea where Jews heroically resisted a Roman invasion in the first century CE.