WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay was accompanied by Carla Khijoyan, WCC programme executive for the Middle East; Peter Prove, WCC director of international affairs; and Marianne Ejdersten, WCC director of communication.
“The WCC will continue to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians and stand firmly behind United Nations resolutions on the occupied territories, and we will speak out against all forms of injustice, regardless of where or who they come from,” said Pillay.
“Our perspectives are always from the basis of a Christian witness—a point of view in which human rights, justice and peace are cornerstones. We are a faith-based—not a political—organization and part of a worldwide fellowship confessing the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour, Our faith calls us to work for justice and peace in the world” Pillay added.
It was just brought to our notice that the statue of the scourged Saviour was targeted by an Israeli settler in the flagellation chapel which is the first stop of the Via Dolorosa. The WCC general secretary “deplores such malicious and insensitive acts in which there is total disregard for religious statues and symbols. Irrespective of where we come from and what we believe, we must respect the faith and holy statues of others.”
An exhibition entitled “Bethlehem Reborn: The Wonders of the Nativity” is making its way to Geneva. This exhibition showcases the heritage and restoration work of the Church of the Nativity, part of the World Heritage property “Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem.”
This property was inscribed on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012. Following the implementation of corrective measures, including the high-quality restoration work undertaken, the World Heritage Committee decided to remove the property from the List in Danger at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019).
The exhibition presents the history and architecture of the church, through a description of the architectural design, plan, and details, including the mosaic depictions. Much of the historical records presented are through quotations of ancient pilgrims. The exhibition also presents videos that illustrate the quality of the restoration work undertaken, and recounts the stories behind some of the interior mosaics.
The exhibition is organized by the Permanent Delegation of Palestine to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization with the Higher Presidential Committee of Churches Affairs in Palestine, the Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Churches, and the Embassy of the State of Palestine to the Holy See, along with the support of several private sector organizations.