Patriarchs, Head of Churches in Jerusalem Urge Israel to Secure Religious Freedom of Christians in Easter

Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. (Photo: Michał Józefaciuk, via Wikimedia Commons)

In their annual Easter message, the patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem called on Israel to secure safety, access and religious freedom for Christians in the Holy Land during Easter, the official news agency WAFA reported.

“As we have all seen in recent months, escalating violence has engulfed the Holy Land. Local Christians in particular have increasingly suffered adversities,” they said.

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“For over the past year, some of our churches, funeral processions, and places of public gathering have become targets of attack; some of our holy sites and cemeteries have been desecrated; and some of our ancient liturgies, such as the Palm Sunday Procession and the Holy Fire Ceremony, have been closed off to thousands of worshipers,” the church leaders said.

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There has been a visible rise in attacks against Christians in Jerusalem.

“Terrorist attacks, by radical Israeli groups, targeting churches, cemeteries, and Christian properties… have become almost a daily occurrence that evidently increases in intensity during Christian holidays,” the Greek Orthodox Church said in a recent statement.


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