ASIA/HOLY LAND - "New" jihadist acronym threatens Christians in Jerusalem

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - Some leaflets containing threats to Christians in Jerusalem and signed by an unknown organization calling itself "Islamic state in Palestine" - with the clear intention of showing their affiliation or proximity to the Islamic State - were found on Thursday evening, June 25 in some Arab neighborhoods in the eastern part of the Holy City. According to reports by the Israeli media, in the leaflets the Christians in Jerusalem are threatened with death if they do not leave the city before 18 July, the day in which the feast of Eid al Fitr falls this year, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In the message - that also contains threats against Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas - Christians are called "agents of Israel".
The message of intimidation contained in the leaflets caused immediate reactions by Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem of the Latins, and Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia, of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. "No one knows who distributed the leaflets", says to Agenzia Fides Fr. Raed Abusahliah, Director General of Caritas Jerusalem. "Of course the episode has spread concern among some Christians. Some of them ask themselves: how can these fools have come this far?". Father Raed points out that "Muslims reacted before Christians: many Muslim leaders have condemned the threats contained in the leaflets and said they will be the first to defend their Christian brothers, if something happens.
While many faithful Christians have said they will never leave the land of Christ, where they were born, before any threat". The Director of Caritas Jerusalem also notes that "these acronyms and such groups are most probably supported and infiltrated by forces acting in the shadows. Maybe now some want to show that Christians are fragile and need some kind of 'protection' ". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 27/06/2015)