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Christian leaders' statement regarding the Separation Wall in Holy Land

Posted on: September 1, 2003 2:03 PM
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Anglican bishop is among the signatories

[ACNS Source: Diocese of Jerusalem] 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 well-being 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.

Jerusalem 26th August, 2003

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