23 December 2021
His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine spoke about the difficulties that the Christians of Jerusalem are currently experiencing, presenting on December 21, 2021 at a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the Al Husseiniya Palace. According to the well-established tradition, in the days preceding the celebration of Christmas, the Monarch of Jordan holds an event to which the heads and representatives of the Christian Churches of the Holy Land are invited.
In his speech at the solemn event, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem emphasized the need to tell the world about about the threats that the Islamic and Christian holy sites are going through as a result of the ambitions of radical zionist groups in light of the lack of seriousness on the part of local authorities in Jerusalem in protecting those holy sites.
He also mentioned the recent increase in attacks on Christians and Muslims living in and around Jerusalem.
“Christians have become the target of repeated and continuous attacks by radical zionist groups, especially in the Holy City. Since the year 2012, countless crimes have been committed against Christians, including physical and verbal attacks against priests and clergy, attacks have been launched against churches, holy places have been vandalized and systematically desecrated, in addition to continuous intimidation of Christian citizens who all they want is to live normal lives as God has given them this right.” – said His Beatitude.
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem expressed confidence that such actions of certain radical groups are dictated by their desire to expel Christians from Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land. He noted that Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem have decided to carry out an international campaign that would put the Christian world in the light of the violations being committed against the Holy City and its suburbs, because the Christian presence is being targeted by radical zionist groups in the city of Jerusalem, especially in Omar Ibn al-Khattab Square in Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, which is the route of pilgrims to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the various monasteries and churches, in addition to the radicals efforts to distort the cultural and historical identity of the New Gate area.
“We raise our voice loudly at this time of Christ’s birth to confirm that the Holy Land is not only the land of the birth of Christ, but is the land of the launch of Christianity to the whole world.” – Patriarch Theophilos continued – “The entire Christian world is responsible for the survival of Christians in the Holy Land and the East in general. Therefore, we are working hand in hand, in order to implement sustainable development projects, to preserve the authentic local Christian presence in Jerusalem.”
“Your Majesty, Christmas is the feast of the embodiment of love that is not realized with words but is embodied in actions. For Christian holy sites, we will not forget what you have done for the restoration of the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Ascension. If this indicates anything, it is indicative of the character of the Arab Muslim Hashemites who accept the other, and highly value the Christian holy sites, and the presence of Christians and their historical roles in Jerusalem and the East, as an integral part of the history, present and future of this region.”
Published at www.patriarchia.ru
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