STATEMENT – We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, strongly condemn the irresponsible and provocative images that were displayed at the Haifa Museum of Art which is under the patronage of the Haifa Municipality. The Haifa Museum of Art allowed an exhibition that aimed to criticize ‘consumerism’ within the Israeli society. The content of this exhibition includes insulting images of the most sacred figures and symbols of the Christian faith. This issue is unacceptable and should be denounced and undone immediately. The respect of religious symbols and figures, whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, should be preserved no matter what.
We realize that Israel upholds the right of free expression and speech, however, the character of the Holy Land and the sanctity of the three Abrahamic Religions should be at all times respected and revered. Such an insulting behavior does not help the three religions in their mission to promote tolerance, conviviality, and co-existence among the people of the Holy Land and beyond.
We call upon the Municipality of Haifa, and the management of the Haifa Museum of Art to remove, and without any delay, all the insulting images of our Christian Faith and Traditions. Moreover, we expect a formal apology from the municipality or those responsible for such an exhibition.
The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
January 12, 2019