Christian Leaders Concerned Over Israeli Measures during Easter

JERUSALEM, May 12, 2013 (WAFA) – Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, issued a statement on Sunday concerning the Israeli police measures during Easter, in which they expressed concern over such practices.

The statement said “we, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, watched with sorrowful hearts the horrific scenes of the brutal treatment of our clergy, people, and pilgrims in the Old City of Jerusalem during Holy Saturday last week.”

“A day of joy and celebration was turned to great sorrow and pain for some of our faithful because they were ill-treated by some Israeli policemen who were present around the gates of the Old City and passages that lead to the Holy Sepulcher,” said the statement.

They urged the Israeli authorities, especially the Israeli ministry of Interior and the police department in Jerusalem, to seriously consider their complaints, to hold responsibility and to condemn all acts of violence against their faithful and the clergy who were ill-treated by the police.

“We deplore that every year, the police measures are becoming tougher, and we expect that these accidents will not be repeated and the police should be more sensitive and respectful if they seek to protect and serve,” the statement added.

They also denounced all those who are blaming the churches and holding them responsible of the Israeli measures during Holy Week celebrations. “On the contrary, the Heads of churches in Jerusalem condemn all of these measures and violations of Christians’ rights to worship in their churches and holy sites.”

The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem condemned all measures of closing the Old City and urged the Israeli authorities to allow full access to the holy sites during holy week of both church calendars.

Source: WAFA News