Christians are under threat in the cradle of their faith

The Church of the holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the most sacred place in Christianity. Additional suggested reading: Why Did Muhammad Fly to Jerusalem? and Muhammad Asad: A Great Apologist for Islam From Jewish Descent

Jan 08,2022 – JORDAN TIMES

By the office of His Beatitude Theophilos III, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who contributed this article to The Jordan Times

Having served as a priest in the northeast of England many years ago, I remember the cloudy days of January. Here in Jerusalem, while we enjoy a brighter and warmer climate, we know what it is to live in darkness. As Patriarch of Jerusalem I have the privilege of leading the Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land. The first of my 140 predecessors was St James, the first leader of the church in Jerusalem and the brother of Jesus Christ. Along with a number of other leaders St James was martyred for his faith. As a community we have seen empires rise and fall. We have survived sieges, invasions, plagues and persecutions. And through it all, we have remained faithful to our Lord, because in the darkness we know that he is our light and our life.who

In the Gospel of St John the Baptist we read that St John “came as a witness to the light” of Jesus Christ. As churches this has been our mission for two millennia. We are not simply the custodians of holy sites; we are living witnesses to God’s light.

As witnesses to the light we seek to be a blessing in the changing and challenging societies in which we live. We provide healthcare, education and community services. We look after the elderly, welcome refugees and care for the destitute, regardless of their faith, nationality or background. We welcome millions of pilgrims and preserve and serve Christianity’s most holy sites. In all of this we direct people to the light of Christ.

Despite these good works, our presence in Jerusalem is under threat. Our churches are threatened by Israeli radical fringe groups. At the hands of these Zionist extremists the Christian community in Jerusalem is suffering greatly. Our brothers and sisters are the victims of hate crimes. Our churches are regularly desecrated and vandalised. Our clergy are subject to frequent intimidation. The sworn intent of these radical groups is to extinguish the light of the Christian community from the Old City.

A short walk from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on the pilgrim route, stands the Jaffa Gate, the main entrance to the Christian quarter of Old City Jerusalem. To walk this way is to share in the journey of the Christian community; one is immediately surrounded by church groups from around the world as crowds of pilgrims process to worship at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. On Christmas Day I am among those who pass through the Jaffa Gate as we travel to Bethlehem to celebrate Christ’s birth.

It is at Jaffa Gate that an Israeli radical group is seeking to occupy two big buildings, acquired through illegitimate transactions. Quite disingenuously they claim that their physical presence in there will not affect the integrity of the Christian Quarter. However, we know from their previous actions at St John’s Hostel, a site even closer to the Holy Sepulchre, which was also deceitfully taken over by them some years ago, that this is not true. Their behaviour will be devastating for all Christians. Local families, who have lived here for generations, will be made to feel unwelcome in their own home and pilgrims who have longed to visit the birthplace of the Christian faith will have their experience diminished.

The change of status of the Jaffa Gate properties would not only be a misfortune for local families and the global Christian family but for the Holy Land itself. Jerusalem is home to three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and has long been an illuminating example of a mosaic community. It is the spiritual capital of the world, comprising a family of faiths, all of which enjoy a long and unique rich heritage. The beauty of this city rests upon its cultural and religious diversity. By working to exclude one community, the Christians, these radicals pose an existential threat not only to the Christian family but to Jerusalem itself, a point upheld by so many of our Jewish cohabitants of the Holy Land.

We all share the vision that these radicals are not representative of the state of Israel or the Jewish people and that it is essential for the diversity and distinctive characters of all quarters of the Old City to be protected for the benefit of Jerusalem and the whole world.

The office of His Beatitude Theophilos III, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, contributed this article to The Jordan Times

Reference

Suggested Reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:

Everything is a Miracle According to the Holy Quran and Albert Einstein

Einstein’s Quote on Human Compassion

Debate: Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism

If We give up Islamism and Jewish and Christian Sharia in State Affairs, What is Left is Human Rights and Coexistence

BBC Video: The Big Questions: Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic

As an Israeli American, I agree with Ilhan Omar much more than the US politicians weaponising antisemitism

Debunking the myth that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic

Bernie Sanders Hires First-Ever Muslim Presidential Campaign Manager

The Muslim Times’ Collection to Show, Islam or the Holy Quran are Not Anti-Semitic

CNN Documentary: Ultra-orthodox Jews and Israel’s Struggle with Secularism

Why Did Muhammad Fly to Jerusalem?

How can we build the Third Temple together?

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

President Jimmy Carter: Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid

This 90 Year Old Jew Says Zionism is Genocide

Kripkean Dogmatism: The Best Metaphor to Understand Religious and Political Debates

8 replies

  1. Pure nonsense and I’m surprised you
    published this
    Your unconscious hatred of Jews is as endemic
    as omicron.
    Christian population in Israel has
    boomed and blossomed to the extent that the Israeli Army AirForce and Navy have many Christians

    In Palestine Christian population in dwindling !
    They would love Israeli identity cards. You want an unbiased reporting go to the Alameda community or speak to someone from UAE

    • Interesting, that you are accusing His Beatitude Theophilos III, the Patriarch of Jerusalem of sort of telling lies. He is telling what he feels is the truth. You far away is telling what you would like people to believe. / Anyway, I am just publishing to show the readers what different sections say. Your opinion also is given space.

  2. In Muslim Times Today

    Dr Sam Sussman PHD

    January 9, 2022 at 2:50 am
    Pure nonsense and I’m surprised you published this.
Your unconscious hatred of Jews is as endemic as omicron.
Christian population in Israel has
boomed and blossomed to the extent that the Israeli Army AirForce and Navy have many Christians.
    In Palestine territory Christian population in dwindling !
They would love Israeli identity cards. You want an unbiased reporting go to the or speak to someone from UAE community or your own Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

    • Interesting, that you are accusing His Beatitude Theophilos III, the Patriarch of Jerusalem of sort of telling lies. He is telling what he feels is the truth. You far away is telling what you would like people to believe. / Anyway, I am just publishing to show the readers what different sections say. Your opinion also is given space.

  3. I have tried to post an apology many times and it does not go through I will try again

    >> Dr. Sam Sussman, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor ,Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry,Western University >> >> Fellow Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland ,World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), Editorial Board of Armenian Medical Review Journal ,(AMRJ) ,President and CEO Physicians Canada-www.physicianscanada.net >> >> Office/Fax- 306-500-5326 if engaged use USA message and e-fax centre 1.208.248.6314 >> >> CAUTION: This e-mail message and any attachment(s) contain information that is both confidential and possibly legally privileged. No reader may make any use of its content unless that use is approved. Any opinion, advice or information contained in this e-mail and any attachment(s) is to be treated as interim and provisional only and for the strictly limited purpose of the recipient as communicated >>

    >

  4. I have tried to post an apology many times and it does not go through I will try again ! I was wrong to say what I did say! I just looked at the headline and not the article! I then proceeded to address a phantom nonexistent article! I apologize for this sloppy academic performance !

    These fanatic zealot imbeciles are a disgrace to close to 100 percent of Jews world wide! The Israeli people , the Israeli government condemns them! If they haven’t been arrested and jailed they should be!

    I reiterate my most profuse apology! I hope I am forgiven!

    My very best dear SIR

    Dr S Sussman PHD

    >> Dr. Sam Sussman, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor ,Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry,Western University >> >> Fellow Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland ,World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), Editorial Board of Armenian Medical Review Journal ,(AMRJ) ,President and CEO Physicians Canada-www.physicianscanada.net >> >> Office/Fax- 306-500-5326 if engaged use USA message and e-fax centre 1.208.248.6314 >> >> CAUTION: This e-mail message and any attachment(s) contain information that is both confidential and possibly legally privileged. No reader may make any use of its content unless that use is approved. Any opinion, advice or information contained in this e-mail and any attachment(s) is to be treated as interim and provisional only and for the strictly limited purpose of the recipient as communicated >>

    >

  5. Many of the so called Christians posting comments here are radical evangelical red neck American types. They only accept one view somehow forcefully occupy Palestinian land and establish the illegal country. Apparently somehow this will bring back Jesus (as) from heaven and infidels like Muslims who have occupied their lands will all but convert or will be ethnically cleansed.

    How very humanist of the Anglo-Saxon and liberal American corporates that they sponsor and promote this type of attitude. Not surprising because for liberals of western Europe and America their deed is done as long as they can manage the optics and headlines and their fascist fellow counterparts don’t make look too evil. Nevermind the money from military industrial complex. A few century ago these people ethnically cleansed native Americans and yet in previous century murdered millions of jews. Alas what a time we’re living in.

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