Patriarch Theophilos: Christians are facing expulsion from the Holy Land
The head of the Jerusalem Church spoke about the struggle that Christians are waging when faced with oppression from radical Israeli groups.
During a meeting with a member of the House of Lords, the Minister for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and the UN at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Tariq Ahmad, Patriarch Theophilos spoke about the destruction of prayer houses, hospitals, community centers, schools, and residential areas in the Gaza Strip.
The Patriarch emphasized the collective efforts of various Christian churches to preserve the multicultural and multireligious nature of the Holy Land.
He stated that their goal is "to ensure that these territories remain places of worship, prayer, and reconciliation."
Patriarch Theophilos also spoke about the struggle of Christians facing persecution from radical Israeli groups seeking to expel them from the Holy Land.
He mentioned that Orthodox Christians are actively working to maintain harmony in holy places, referring to an agreement made in the 7th century between Patriarch Sophronios and Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab.
He pointed out the historical role of churches as safe zones during conflicts and expressed deep concern for all victims of war, including civilians, especially women and children suffering in the Gaza Strip.
In turn, Tariq Ahmad expressed deep concern about the atrocities occurring daily and discussed ways to restore peace and stability in the region.
Lord Ahmad acknowledged the central role that the Church, in partnership with other religious institutions, plays in the Holy Land. He expressed readiness to hear the ideas of the Patriarch and declared support for the victims of church bombings in the Gaza Strip.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the US Congressman claimed that "innocent Palestinian civilans" sounds the same as “innocent Nazi civilans.”