Pax Christi USA and Pax Christi International support the statement by a group of civil society organizations in the Holy Land, including our Pax Christi partner the Arab Educational Institute. 

These organizations urge the international community to support the cause of Christians, to be respected in their faith and culture. In the statement, they also ask to end the occupation and pressure Israel to uphold international law and human rights. Read the entire statement here.

Together for the protection of our presence

In recent times, we’ve witnessed a series of events that have disrupted the harmony of the Christian presence in the Holy Land. One such event is the controversial deal involving a portion of properties in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. These occurrences are part of a broader pattern of recurring attacks on Christian churches, cemeteries, clergy, nuns, pilgrims, and Christian gatherings across various regions in our lands. This situation leads us to believe that there is a deliberate Israeli policy aimed at targeting our historical existence, institutions, rituals, and spiritual symbols. This policy is occurring within the context of the occupation’s efforts to assert control over Jerusalem, to Judaize sacred lands, and to intimidate and displace Christians.

The current deal is set against a backdrop of ongoing political realities and the mounting pressures imposed by the Israeli occupation on the freedom to worship. As Palestinian Christians, we perceive the Israeli authorities as being lenient in holding those responsible for attacks on Christian and Islamic properties accountable. We also note their reluctance in safeguarding the freedom of expression, and their imposition of restrictive and provocative measures during non-Jewish religious observances. These actions represent clear violations of our heritage, existence, and historical legacy. They stand in opposition to the cultural, religious, and spiritual diversity that characterizes the holy lands, and are in conflict with the principles enshrined in human rights and international law.

The challenges that have accumulated in Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, including restrictions on Christian observances during holidays and on Muslims at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as alterations to the character of Palestinian neighborhoods, reveal a long-term Israeli strategy aimed at undermining the presence of Jerusalem’s inhabitants. This strategy involves taking over our neighborhoods in Jerusalem, intimidating its residents, reshaping the city, and altering its identity. This agenda sidelines the indigenous population and disregards their rights and freedoms. It occasionally even excludes Jews who dissent from the prevailing Israeli regime.

Jerusalem carries deep symbolic significance for the three major monotheistic religions and their various denominations. Its heritage is one of embracing diversity, respecting multiplicity, and upholding spiritual and humane values. …

Use this link to read the entire statement, which includes the list of signatories.

Station 14, Jesus meets his mother, on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem

2 thoughts on “Statement from Palestine: Together for the protection of our presence

  1. May our government leaders learn the truth of the terrible things that Israel is doing to the Palestinians!

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