Christians of several denominations gathered in Jerusalem Friday for a silent vigil in solidarity with besieged Islamic holy sites at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City.
"We are here to support Al-Aqsa and those who are confined inside it, we are here in support of Muslims whose dignity is humiliated and religious feelings are harmed by attacks on their holiest sites," Archbishop Atallah Hana told those gathered.
This sit-in was a response to the call of Muslim scholars and clergymen to consider Friday a day of solidarity with Jerusalemites, and Muslim holy sites under attack by Israeli forces. By Friday night, Israeli troops in a standoff with more than 100 Palestinian worshippers who refused to leave the Al-Aqsa Mosque gradually left the area.
Palestinian Christians of every denomination were joined by pilgrims from around the world, sitting silently in the ancient building at the heart of the Old City. In his speech to the faithful, the Archbishop said, "being here in this holy site comes in solidarity with our brothers in humanity, in belonging to this holy land and because of our belonging to this blessed city."
He said he considered "attacking Al-Aqsa an assault on our dignity and presence, identity, civilization and an assault the Christians as well as on the Muslims; we are one people with one cause."
(Ma’an News Agency)