Tourists arriving in Jerusalem today are routinely handed maps of the Old City that delineate its quarters as divided by religion, with the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim quarters strictly and permanently separated. Such productions are intended to convey several politically important messages: that Jerusalem is a holy city to all three of the major world religions, that these communities have long existed as separate and potentially hostile entities there, that such communal divisions are primarily theological and religious in nature, and that they have ancient and even primordial origins.
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