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“26th August 2003
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 them 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 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 impediment to a comprehensive and lasting Peace.
Patriarch Michel Sabbah — Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Patriarch Torkom II — Armeneian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
Fr. Giovanni Battistelli, O.F.M. — Custos of the Holy Land
Anba Abraham — Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem
Swerios Malki Murad — Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem
Abba Cuostos — Ethiopian Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem
Riah Abu El-Assal — Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem
Munib A. Younan — Lutheran Evangelical Bishop of Jerusalem
Archimandrite Mtanious Haddad — Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarch. Jerusalem
Butros Malki — Syrian Catholic Bishop in Jerusalem
THE PATRIARCHS AND HEADS OF CHURCHES IN JERUSALEM”