Christians brutalised in Jerusalem while trying to celebrate Easter!

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What exactly was going on outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on Easter Sunday? I’m not sure. Even so,  I know some of the signatories to this declaration, and I know that they are not brash or inflammatory people. Further, this list seems comprehensive! It seems that all the Christian leaders of Jerusalem are united over this!

It would appear that the Israeli government is trying to make life in the ‘Holy Land’ as uncomfortable as possible for Christians. This makes sense in terms of the goal of maintaining Israel as a Jewish state. The problem is that such actions potentially do enormous damage to the country’s traditional religious support base – American Evangelical Christians!

Father Dave

source: www.facebook.com…

A Statement from the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches inJerusalem, concerning the Israeli police measures on Holy Saturday- May 2013

We, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, watched withsorrowful hearts the horrific scenes of the brutal treatment of our clergy,people, and pilgrims in the Old City of Jerusalem during Holy Saturday lastweek. A day of joy and celebration was turned to great sorrow and pain for someof our faithful because they were ill-treated by some Israeli policemen whowere present around the gates of the Old City and passages that lead to theHoly Sepulcher.

We understand the necessity and the importance of thepresence of security forces to ensure order and stability, and for organizingthe celebration of the Holy Fire at the Church of the Resurrection. Yet, it isnot acceptable that under pretext of security and order, our clergy and peopleare indiscriminately and brutally beaten, and prevented from entering theirchurches, monasteries and convents.

We urge the Israeli authorities especially the Ministry ofInterior and the police department in Jerusalem, to seriously consider ourcomplaints, to hold responsibility and to condemn all acts of violence againstour faithful and the clergy who were ill-treated by the police. We deplore thatevery year, the police measures are becoming tougher, and we expect that theseaccidents will not be repeated and the police should be more sensitive andrespectful if they seek to protect and serve.

We also denounce all those who are blaming the churches and holdingthem responsible of the Israeli measures during Holy Week celebrations. On thecontrary, the Heads of churches in Jerusalem condemn all of these measures andviolations of Christians’ rights to worship in their churches and Holy Sites.Therefore, we condemn all measures of closing the Old City and urge the Israeliauthorities to allow full access to the Holy sites during Holy Week of bothChurch Calendars.

The Heads of Churches of Jerusalem

  • +Patriarch Theophilos III, GreekOrthodox Patriarchate
  • +Patriarch Fouad Twal, LatinPatriarchate
  • +Patriarch Norhan Manougian,Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
  • +Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm,Custos of the Holy Land
  • +Archbishop Anba Abraham, CopticOrthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
  • +Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad,Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
  • +Aba Fissiha Tsion, Locum Tenensof the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
  • +Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey,Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
  • +Archbishop Moussa El-Hage,Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
  • +Bishop Suheil Dawani, EpiscopalChurch of Jerusalem and the Middle East
  • +Bishop Munib Younan, EvangelicalLutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
  • +Bishop Pierre Melki, SyrianCatholic Patriarchal Exarchate
  • +Msgr. Joseph Antoine Kelekian,Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

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