ASIA/HOLY LAND - The Churches in Jerusalem on the tensions around al-Aqsa-Mosque/Haram esh-Sharif: no to measures that alter the Status Quo

Thursday, 20 July 2017 holy places   middle east   oriental churches   islam  


Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - Leaders and representatives of all Churches and Christian communities in Jerusalem express "serious concern" regarding the new spiral of tension and violence around Haram ash-Sharif. With a document signed by high representatives of 13 Churches, the Christian leaders of Jerusalem condemn any act of violence and also express fears for "any change in the Status Quo", set of codified rules governing the management of the Holy Places in that area and throughout the Old City of Jerusalem, which guarantee the freedom of access and worship of the faithful of various religious communities. "Every threat to the continuity of the Status Quo", underline the leaders of the Churches and Christian communities, "can lead to serious and unpredictable consequences, which should be the least desirable in the present climate of religious tension". The Christian leaders also show appreciation for the "permanent custody of the Mosque of al Aqsa and the holy places of Jerusalem and the Holy Land on behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which guarantees all Muslims the right to freely access the Mosque of al Aqsa, according to the current Status Quo". A system, that of the Status Quo, which, according to the Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem, is to be "fully respected, for the benefit of peace and reconciliation for the whole community".
The list of the signatories, opened by Teophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, also includes Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Father Francesco Patton, Custodian of the Holy Land. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 20/7/2017)