>> As darkness falls in Jerusalem, Adib Judah, a Muslim makes his way across the city holding the key to one of Christianity's most sacred sites. Centuries ago the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was entrusted to his family, one of Jerusalem's most prominent clans. Another of the city's oldest Muslim families has the task of opening and closing the church doors.
Reuters is in Jerusalem.>> Historians differ on why a Muslim family was picked to hold the key to the sacred Christian site. Some say Saladin awarded the duty to the family in order to assert Muslim dominance over Christianity in the city. Saladin was the Muslim conquerer who seized the holy city from the crusaders in the year 1187.
Adib is among those to say that's when the arrangement began.>>
> The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is revealed as the place where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected. It's shared between three main denominations. Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic. Religious passions here run high, sometimes sparking tension between them. But Adib also seems to hold the key to peace.
>> Scholars say that the tradition by which a Muslim family holds the key is so ancient that it's simply taken for granted nowadays. No one has ever asked for it to be changed. Some say having non-Christian families in charge of the church entrance keeps the matter neutral and therefore helps in keeping tensions down.
>> Adib says it's a great honor to be in charge of the key to this church, which some see as a symbol of coexistence.