Christianity, a religion based upon theophanies, or sacred past events, attaches numinous significance to the sites at which these divine miracles are said to have occurred. Many of these sites are found in and near Jerusalem, the scene of the most eminent and fundamental mysteries. Moreover, the most sanctified and revered sites associated with the more significant and constitutive events upon which Christianity is based are situated in and near Jerusalem. These are the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Crucifixion, Sepulchering and Resurrection in Jerusalem. These sites, having been monumentalized by sumptuous basilicas, evolved into the most sacred shrines of the entire Christian world. As such, these sites became an object of desire for Christians everywhere; a goal of visitation as well as aspirations of attachment, possession and control. From the moment that Christianity split into different churches and rites, these aspirations came into conflict. The Holy Sites Question (as this situation has come to be known) is the complex result of the inter-church conflict over these sanctuaries and the political authorities’ attempts to handle the issue. Another set of problems associated with the Question and contributing to its complexity is derived from the fact that these sites— Christianity’s holiest shrines—have for centuries been under the political rule of non-Christian powers, and in the case discussed here, under Islamic Ottoman rule.