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Who is Who in the Churches of Jerusalem

     Every biographic dictionary has its own future.  One becomes interesting only for experts, another satisfies the pride of popularity-lovers and their admirers, while the third takes a place on shelves of libraries of intelligence services.  The purpose of this book is quite different because it includes biographies of people who are concerned with God.  These people, according to poet Regina Derieva, “are called to give continuous witness to Christ in order to help save others from conceit.  One saved from conceit becomes a man of God, than which there is no higher rank.”  In other words, this book includes biographies of real people of God who live in Jerusalem and work for the Church of this holy city.  
     The Church has existed in the Holy Land since the time of Jesus Christ.  There have been times of persecution from outside and division within.  The Church has had power and has been externally weak, has been united and divided, has represented the majority and a small minority.  At the same time, through all centuries and under all circumstances, the Church has preached the Risen Lord through liturgy, hymns, sermons, prayers, and fellowship.  From the Church of Jerusalem, the Mother Church, the Gospel has spread towards all corners of the earth.  All Christians, therefore, are related to the Church of Jerusalem.  Whatever Church tradition one is a member of, the Church of Jerusalem is the root of the family tree of his own Church.
     This book serves as guide to the Church of Jerusalem by highlighting the rich traditions everyone, as a Christian, is a part of.  Nowhere else in the world can one encounter his Christian heritage to such an extent as one can in Jerusalem.  In addition to visiting the holy sites, meeting with the Church in the Holy Land, that is, with the local Christians whose biographies are included in this book, gives an enriching perspective to a pilgrimage.
     Of course, this book cannot determine who are all the well-known people of the Jerusalem Church.  During the compiling of this book, some of those whose biographies are not included left Jerusalem on a mission.  Others have been just appointed to Jerusalem and were on their way here.  Still others refused to take part in this book, following either orders of canons or their own reasons.  At the same time, all of them are represented in this book, either visibly in pictures, or invisibly in their prayers and benedictions.  

Alexander Deriev