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An Easter Message of Peace From Jerusalem

Franciscans and pilgrims pass wooden crosses on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre while walking the Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem on 15 April. The route is believed to be the path Jesus took, carrying his cross, to his crucifixion. (Photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)  

21 Apr 2011 – By Judith Sudilovsky

JERUSALEM (CNS) — In their joint Easter message, the heads of Christian churches of Jerusalem turned their attention to the unrest in the Middle East, noting the need to respect the rights of the minorities in the region.

“We pray for reforms that will lead to a modern civil society, where freedom of expression, religion and human rights — including the rights of those considered minority in number are respected,” they said in their message, released April 19. “We call on all peoples of faith and good will to pursue peace, while recognizing that this peace cannot be obtained at the price of silence and submission to corruption and injustice.”

They also urged all Christians to “pray for reconciliation among people in the Holy Land,” where they said the “deteriorating situation” was “making peace and justice seem further away than ever before.”

The church leaders related Christ’s passion to the current situation.

“The violence, when it erupts, reminds us that the cross of Christ is ever present for the faithful followers of the prince of peace. The crucifixion is an ongoing reality for many of our clergy and people who continue to seek to live with mutual understanding and cooperation with their neighbors,” they said.

Catholic leaders signing the statement included leaders of the Latin, Melkite, Maronite, Syrian and Armenian rites and the custos of the Holy Land.

The text of their statement can be found at

Tags: Middle East Christians Jerusalem Middle East Palestine Israel