People may have different views about a belief or religion, but often both sides see a place of importance to them in the same way. Jerusalem has a religious importance for three religions. For Christians, the city is the site of many of the events in the life of Jesus Christ. For Jews, Jerusalem is the focus of their religious longing, the site of their ancient Temple, and theirhistorical capital. For Muslims the city is their third holiest as the site from which Muhammad is said to have risen to heaven, and the site of important mosques. As a pilgrimage for three world religions Jerusalem is considered to be the holy city. .
The importance of Jerusalem to Jews stretches back about five thousand years. About 2500 B.C.E., the Canaanites inhabited the city, later Jerusalem became a Jebusite citadel. When David captured the city in 1000 B.C.E., the Jebusites were absorbed into the Jewish people. David made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom, and Solomon built the first Temple to house the Ark of the Covenant. Because of David making Jerusalem the capital of their kingdom and Solomon building the first Temple located in Jerusalem, which is important to Jews because it housed the Ark of the Covenant which Jews see as important to them because it is a symbol of their freedom from slavery and the Covenant God made with Moses, and allowed Jews to establish their promised land. .
Jerusalem is considered by Jews as their holiest city. In 586 B.C.E., the Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylonia. Fifty years later in 537 B.C.E! ., Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylonia and permitted theJews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple. ( Safdie, 1990, p.107) Jerusalem is theholiest city for Jews because their Temple, their place of worship was placed here until it wasdestroyed. Again when they were allowed to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem they obviously had a religious attachment to this city and that is why today it remains a holy pilgrimage for Jews.