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1989 Christmas Statement by the Heads of the Christian Communities in Jerusalem

Further statements from the Heads of Churches and Christian Communities in Jerusalem are available in Jerusalem Testament: Palestinian Christians Speak, 1988-2008 by Melanie May (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2010)

25 December 1989

To our beloved children in the Lord.

As we approach the third Christmas under the present difficult and trying conditions, we, the spiritual Heads of the Christian Communities, wish to address our compassionate greetings to our children in the Holy Land, who experience times of great injustice and violence.

We remind the world of our solidarity and sympathy with the victims of violence. We wish to tell to the world that we are witnessing an escalation in the sad events and there are omens of a human tragedy unfolding in the coming year; hence our appeal to all concerned and to the world.

As we live these moments of despair and tragedy, the message of “peace on earth” which was proclaimed from the fields of Bethlehem brings consolation and a ray of hope to all the afflicted and suffering.

Jesus Christ, “the Prince of Peace,” through His Incarnation calls all people in this Land to reconcile in mutual love and respect, based on justice and reciprocal tolerance.

“Peace on Earth” is possible only when all people and states concerned recognize the legitimate rights of all individuals and nations to freedom and self-determination.

Specifically today, when the Superpowers are heading for global reconciliation, we appeal to the leaders of the world to give urgent attention to the pressing, painful problem in the Holy Land. We, the spiritual Heads of the Christian Communities, are called by our Lord to stand by those who suffer from injustice and pray for the establishment of justice and peaceful settlement of the conflict.

In this spirit, we condemn all manifestations of violence, [and] indiscriminate use of force, [which] we have witnessed almost every day during the last two years.

We grieve with the families who have lost their beloved ones, and we pray God to alleviate the suffering of the wounded and the prisoners.

We expect . . . the Leaders and concerned Authorities to show timely courage and wisdom in solving the painful problem of this land to the mutual benefit of both nations.

We address . . . both peoples in the area, despite . . . the sufferings they are passing through, to prepare themselves for reconciliation and love towards one another.

Pray to the Lord to strengthen us in hope and love to carry our burden as Shepherds of our people . . . that soon we will witness the end of human suffering and bloodshed in this Land of Peace, so that all of us together may glorify the name of the Lord.

May the divine Infant of Bethlehem bless you on this Christmas time and all through the new year 1990.

 

Further statements from the Heads of Churches and Christian Communities in Jerusalem are available in Jerusalem Testament: Palestinian Christians Speak, 1988-2008 by Melanie May (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2010)