christian-pilgrims-carry-crosses-on-via-dolorosa-on-good-friday-jerusalems-old-city_15The Christians Churches in Jerusalem are calling this Easter to pray for the situation in the Middle East and the victims of violence and to remember the christians living in that region, so close to the Holy Sites and many time so far away to be able to visit them. Particularly the Palestinians from the West Bank without permits to pass to Jerusalem to attend the services, meanwhile pilgrims and tourists from all around the world can do it. A very cruel situation in terms of freedom of religion practice rights for that people, born in the Holy Land and banned from the Holy Sites.

A message issued by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and signed by 12 other Christian religious leaders call to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and asks to all christians who cannot do it to pray for the suffering people there:

As a continued witness of the resurrection, the Church in the Holy Land urges all people of faith and goodwill around the world, especially those in authority, to strive for justice and peace among the nations. In particular, pray with us for the situation in Syria; in Lebanon; in Palestine and Israel; in Egypt; in Iraq, and wherever there is political unrest. Pray for all victims of violence and oppression, for prisoners, for those who live with the lack of security, and those who are displaced and refugees, especially here in our land.

 The message defines the Holy Land as the “Fifth Gospel”:

Through many prayers, fasts, and holy journeys, this land we call Holy became a fifth gospel. Indeed, our Easter greetings come from the heart of the City of Hope, Resurrection and the Empty Tomb

Here is the full message:

We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, bless our faithful people in this region and the people of God everywhere in the name of the risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Each year the Church calls us to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through Divine Liturgies and Paschal ceremonies and gatherings. The Church in the Holy Land offers what no other church around the world can offer – Pilgrimage in the land where it all happened. Through many prayers, fasts, and holy journeys, this land we call Holy became a fifth gospel. Indeed, our Easter greetings come from the heart of the City of Hope, Resurrection and the Empty Tomb.

As Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, we call upon all Christians from around the ecumenical world to come and visit with our churches and walk with the living stones of the Holy Land in the footsteps of our risen Lord. And for those who are not able to make their pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we appeal to them to hold the peoples of this land in their prayers, particularly the Christian presence that keeps dwindling and faces existential challenges throughout the Middle East.

The holy fire on Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil remind us, and the entire world, of the ‘Light of the Risen Lord’, which illumines the whole world, even in the darkest places of the earth. Our world today is full of false idols that separate people from the light of Christ and the truth of his Gospel.

The Christian presence here in the Mother City of our faith continues to serve as a beacon of light of the risen Christ, which the first disciples witnessed here at the empty sepulchre in Jerusalem.

As a continued witness of the resurrection, the Church in the Holy Land urges all people of faith and goodwill around the world, especially those in authority, to strive for justice and peace among the nations. In particular, pray with us for the situation in Syria; in Lebanon; in Palestine and Israel; in Egypt; in Iraq, and wherever there is political unrest. Pray for all victims of violence and oppression, for prisoners, for those who live with the lack of security, and those who are displaced and refugees, especially here in our land.

May the light of the risen Lord shine upon the whole world and in our region, and may we all be raised with Christ into life victorious. Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed. Alleluia!

 

 

 

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About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

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Ethics, Middle East, World and Politics

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