His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III of Jerusalem and All Palestine spoke about the difficulties that the Christians of Jerusalem are currently experiencing, speaking on December 21, 2021 at a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the Al-Husseiniyah Palace. According to the established tradition, in the days preceding the celebration of Christmas, the Jordanian monarch holds an event to which the heads and representatives of the Christian Churches of the Holy Land are invited.
In his speech at the solemn event, the Primate of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church stressed the need to tell the world about the threats to the holy places of Christians and Muslims as a result of the ambitions of radical Jewish groups in the absence of a serious attitude of the local authorities of Jerusalem to the issue of protecting these holy places.
He also mentioned that attacks on Christians and Muslims living in Jerusalem and its suburbs have become more frequent recently.
"Christians have become the targets of repeated attacks by radical Zionist groups, especially in the Holy City," His Beatitude stated. - Since 2012, countless crimes have been committed against Christians, including physical and verbal attacks on priests and other clerics; there have been attacks on churches, holy places have been vandalized and systematically desecrated. And this is in addition to the constant intimidation of the Christian population, and after all, all they want is to live a normal life, because God has given them this right."
The Primate of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church expressed confidence that such actions of radicalist groups are dictated by the desire to expel Christians from Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land.
As His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus noted, the Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem decided to conduct an international information campaign designed to tell about violations directed against the Christian presence in the Holy City and its suburbs, about attacks by radical Jewish groups on Christians in Jerusalem, especially at the Jaffa Gate on Omar ibn al-Khattab Square, which is part of the route of pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre and other churches and monasteries, as well as about attempts by radicals to distort the cultural and historical identity of the area New Gate.
"We raise our voice on these Christmas days in order to confirm that the Holy Land is not only the land of the birth of Christ, but also the land from where Christianity spread throughout the world," His Beatitude stressed. – The whole Christian world is responsible for ensuring that Christians continue to live in the Holy Land and in the East as a whole. Therefore, we are working hand in hand to implement sustainable development projects and preserve the deeply rooted Christian presence in Jerusalem."
"Your Majesty, Christmas is a celebration of the embodiment of love, manifested not in words, but in actions. As for Christian shrines, we will not forget what you have done for the restoration of the Kuvukliya in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Ascension," the Primate of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church said, addressing the Jordanian King, noting that this "indicates the character of Arab Hashemite Muslims who accept others and highly appreciate Christian shrines, as well as the presence of Christians and their historical role in Jerusalem and the East as an integral part of the history, present and future of this region."