CV NEWS FEED // Christian representatives met with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem to show support for the decision to refrain from traditional Christmas festivities in solidarity with those affected by the war in Gaza.
According to a November 18 press release, “Representing the diverse Christian civil society institutions in Jerusalem,” a group of religious delegates met with His Beatitude Theophilos III, The Patriarchate of Jerusalem last weekend at the Orthodox Patriarchate’s headquarters:
The purpose of their visit was to express gratitude for the decision taken by the Holy Land Churches to suspend all non-religious ceremonial celebrations of the Christmas Advent and Christmas feast. This decision is in response to the ongoing war in Gaza, aiming to show respect for the lives lost in the war and the suffering endured by civilians.
During the meeting, delegates spoke out against tragedies occurring in Gaza, “particularly the killing of 18 individuals in Saint Porphyrios’ Church and the 500 lives lost at the Anglican Church hospital.” The Patriarch responded by emphasizing the necessity of observing Christmas celebrations with “solemnity and reflection.”
His Beatitude emphasized the significance of the Christian presence in the Holy Land, the cradle of Christianity. Despite challenges posed by radical Israeli elements, the Patriarch affirmed his commitment to preserve the indigenous Christian presence and declared the land as a land for its people. He urged Christians to manifest their presence through participation in Christmas festivities, albeit in a more somber manner this year.
The Patriarch continued to reaffirm his commitment to the citizens of Gaza, highlighting the “sanctity of every human life as an image of God.”
The representatives have committed to continue meeting for the purpose of promoting peace in the region through “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.”