Israeli extremists a threat to Christian presence in Jerusalem, says church leader


JERUSALEM: The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem has blamed extremist Israeli gatherings for undermining the presence of Christians in the heavenly city, in comments that Israeli authorities dismissed as unjustifiable.

In a segment in the Times of London on Saturday, Theophilos III said he accepted the point was to drive the Christian people group from Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel caught East Jerusalem, including the Old City, alongside the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in a 1967 conflict. It attached East Jerusalem after the conflict in a move that has not won global acknowledgment.

“Our essence in Jerusalem is under danger,” the patriarch wrote in the article, distributed a day after the Greek Orthodox festival of Christmas.

“Our places of worship are undermined by Israeli revolutionary periphery gatherings. Because of these Zionist radicals the Christian people group in Jerusalem is enduring significantly,” he said.

“Our siblings and sisters are the casualties of disdain wrongdoings. Our temples are consistently defiled and vandalized. Our church are liable to visit terrorizing.”

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By singling out fanatics as Israeli, Theophilos’ analysis was more private and abrasive than that of an aggregate assertion gave by the heads of other chapels in Jerusalem before Christmas.

Their proclamation talked about “regular and supported assaults by periphery revolutionary gatherings”, yet avoided recognizing them as Israeli. A US State Department report distributed keep going year on strict opportunity all over the planet said Christian pastorate and explorers kept on announcing cases of super Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem bothering or spitting on them.

Church bunches have for quite a while announced assaults of defacement at strict destinations in the city.

Theophilos didn’t denounce any extreme gatherings by name or refer to explicit occurrences. He didn’t give proof that they were Israeli, or that their objective was to drive Christians from the city.

On Sunday, an Israeli authority said the truth on the ground for Christians was totally not the same as that depicted by the patriarch, refering to an unfamiliar service articulation on Dec 22 that countered the previous church pioneers’ cases.

In his section, Theophilos said the extremists that he scrutinized “are not agent of the territory of Israel or the Jewish public”, and called for Jerusalem to stay an assorted “mosaic local area” of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

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