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Statement on the Separation Wall

 

Jerusalem, 26th August, 2003

We, the heads of churches in Jerusalem affirm our determination to do all in our power to work for Peace in this Holy Land, a Peace that is concerned with the wellbeing of every resident of this land, be they Israeli or Palestinian, to give the security, justice, freedom, independence and personal dignity.

Let no one doubt our abhorrence of violence, whoever the perpetrator. Peace will only be established when all violence, is eradicated from both sides. If the present road Map for Peace is to bring positive results, we believe the Separation Wall constitutes a grave obstacle. For both nations the Wall will result in a feeling of isolation. Moreover, for many Palestinians it means the deprivation of land, (some 10% more than that of the Occupation in 1967), livelihood, statehood and family life. Occupation remains the root cause of the conflict and of the continuing suffering in the Holy Land,

Take for example the proposed Separation Wall around Bethlehem, for us Christians, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace. The consequences will be devastating to the Christian Community; not least, the psychological impact on daily life. The community will be isolated following the deprivation of access to land and the freedom of movement. Visits of pilgrims will be further discouraged.

We appeal to both authorities, Israeli and Palestinian, and to all Peace loving peoples around the world, who should make urgent contact with their leaders, both Political and Religious, in an effort to remove this implement to a comprehensive and lasting peace.

Signed by:

Patriarch Michal Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

Patriarch Torkom, II Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem

FR. Giovanni Battistalli, OFM Custos of the Holy Land

Anha Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem

Abba Cuostos, Ethiopian Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem

Ruah Abu Ansal, Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem

Munib A. Younan, Lutheran Evangelical Bishop of Jerusalem

Archimandrita Mtanious Haddad, Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarch. Jerusalem

Buxtom Malki, Syrian Catholic Bishop in Jerusalem

 

 

THE PATRIARCHS AND HEADS OF CHURCHES IN Jerusalem

26.viii.2003
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