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12/25/2021 Israel (International Christian Concern) – The Heads and Patriarchs of the Churches of the Holy Land have submitted a request for “urgent dialogue” with Israel, Palestine and Jordan to “safeguard the integrity of the Christian Quarter in Old City Jerusalem and to ensure that its unique character and heritage are preserved for the sake of the well-being of the local community, our national life, and the wider world”.

The request seeks the protection and “creation of a special cultural area relating to the Christian heritage”. It would also protect the Holy Places at an international level and allow access to Christians from all over the world. While the Heads of the Churches of the Holy Land acknowledge efforts completed to date and the facilitation of millions of Christian pilgrims every year, they noted the “innumerable attacks” the Christian population and sites suffered by “radical groups”.

The spiritual and cultural character of the Christian sector “should be protected”, citing the protection of the Jewish Quarter under Israeli law. “Yet radical groups continue to acquire strategic property in the Christian Quarter, with the aim of diminishing the Christian presence, often using underhanded dealings and intimidation tactics to evict residents from their homes,” the appeal continued.

The local Christian community, though small and decreasing, provides a disproportionate amount of educational, health and humanitarian services in communities throughout the Holy Lands.

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