THE STATUS OF CHRISTIANS IN JERUSALEM AND BETHLEHEM IN THE SEVENTEENTH ACCORDING TO THE OTTOMAN SIJILLS OF THE SHARI'A COURT IN JERUSALEM-SIJILL NO. (119) AS A MODEL-
This scientific paper is meant to shed light on part of the conditions of the Christian denominations in the Sunjuk of Jerusalem that included Bethlehem, which was then a small village during the Ottoman rule in the seventeenth century. The researcher followed the conditions of these denominations in general, and focused on one of the sijills of the seventeenth century, namely sijill no. (119), which consists of (562) pages, and covers the events of about (100) days - starting from the 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1041 AH Corresponding to July 1st, 1632 and ends on 19 Rabi` al-Awwal 1042 AH corresponding to October 4, 1632- Judge Muhammad Effendi Ibn Ismail reviewed it, and Muhammad Pasha was the Emir of the Sunjuk of Jerusalem at the time. This is based on the said sijill’s indexing of Professor Ibrahim Rabaia, to identify the relevant arguments and documents. This issue was addressed through this sijill (119) due to the abundance of information contained in it, through which it is possible to depict a clear picture of the nature of the relations among the Christian denominations in the Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem) and the vicinity during that period, especially the conflict on ecclesiastical property and rituals in both Jerusalem and the village Bethlehem. The competition was also on the possession of the keys of the Church of the Nativity was mainly between the Greek Orthodox and the Franks at the time. It also showed the role of the Ottoman Empire, at the level of the Humayun Court (the Sublime Porte) in issuing rulings that obligate everyone to comply. However, there were a number of royal decrees that dealt with the disputes among Christians in Jerusalem during that period. Results and recommendations will be presented at the end of the paper.
Keywords: Sijill of the Sharia Court of Jerusalem, Christian denominations (Christians)