“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.” (Psalm 122:6–7)
Over the past two weeks, indiscriminate acts of violence have taken place in various parts of our Holy Land. These have in turn led to violent confrontations throughout the region. More than a dozen people have lost their lives as a result of these attacks and ensuing conflicts. Others have suffered serious injury.
We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches of Jerusalem, condemn and decry these and all acts of violence against every human person, and we offer our prayers and sympathies on behalf of the families and friends who grieve over the loss of their loved ones because of them. We also pray for the recovery of those who have been wounded as a result.
With this sudden increase in bloodshed, we share the widespread concern that tensions will continue to increase during the rare confluence of major religious festivals among the three Abrahamic faiths: Ramadan, Pesach, and Holy Week/Easter. We therefore call upon the faithful within each of these three traditions to show forth the mutual respect and care for one’s neighbor that is central to the teachings of each.
We likewise call upon the overseeing governmental authorities to exercise policies of religious tolerance, restraint of force, and de-escalation of conflict—and we commend them to the extent that they have already done so.
In these coming weeks that are sacred to our respective religious traditions, we encourage all people of good faith to walk in the pathway of peace that is so central to the symbolism of Jerusalem, “the City of Peace.” In this way, we can be true witnesses to the world of the common vision of Peace/ Shalom/Salaam that is enshrined within the heart of our separate but intertwined religious beliefs.
The Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches in Jerusalem