The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has warned that it may shut its doors to pilgrims in protest at a dispute with an Israeli water company, reports the BBC.
The church, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, has had its bank account frozen at the request of Hagihon over an unpaid $2.3m bill.
The dispute has left hundreds of priests, monks and teachers unpaid. The church has traditionally not been charged for water, but Hagihon says it is owed money for the past 15 years.
According to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, there was a tacit agreement between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem - which, along with the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate and the Roman Catholic Franciscan Custos, is jointly responsible for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre's administration - and a former mayor of the city that the church would be exempt from water bills.
But in 2004, Hagihon sent a demand to the church for 3.7m shekels, or $950,000. It was backdated to when the company took over the water supply in the late 1990s.
FULL STORY Church of the Holy Sepulchre may close over water bill (BBC)