Church of All Nations

Church of All Nations

Today, the Basilica of the Agony Church is more commonly referred to as the Church of All Nations. The church and its gardens were established on the spot where the Book of Mark describes Jesus issuing his final prayer, anticipating his arrest and crucifixion as Judas approached, accompanied by a throng of Roman soldiers. Located on the Mount of Olives, adjacent to the Garden of Gethsemane, this spot is considered a central point of interest to Holy Land pilgrims touring Jerusalem.

The Basilica of the Agonies was originally founded during the 4th century, but this structure was razed by a massive 8th century earthquake. It was rebuilt by Crusaders, who abandoned the area in 1345 and then rebuilt yet again in the early 20th century. The current church was paid for with donations from 12 nations and is therefore known as The Church of All Nations.

Visitors will note that above the entrance to the church is a panel of large, multi-colored mosaics that depict Jesus weeping over the future destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans. To the left, you’ll see a man holding a tablet engraved with the Latin word "Ignoratio" (ignorance), a reference to the lack of awareness among Jerusalem residents as to the fate of their city during the final days of the Second Temple, as described in the Book of Luke. In between the mosaics are statues of Matthew, Luke, Mark and John.

Inside the church, a mural above the main altar shows Jesus in his secluded prayer. A highlight of Christian tours to Israel is a chance to pray at the flat stone here, referred to as the Holy Rock of Agony, believed to be the surface upon which Jesus sat weeping and praying.

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