The World Council of Churches joins the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and all the churches of the Holy Land in condemning the desecration of the historic Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion. The demonstrated lack of respect for the dead and provocation of the Christian community is utterly unacceptable. The attack, captured by security cameras, was perpetrated by vandals who were evidently motivated by religious bigotry and hatred and took place in broad daylight on 1 January 2023.
Such an incident serves to underscore the grave concerns expressed repeatedly by the heads of churches in Jerusalem about increasing attacks and threats against the Christian community by extremist elements of Israeli society. We welcome the supportive statements made by President Herzog, Chief Rabbi Mirvis and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We call on the Israeli authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable under the law, that more effective measures are taken to mitigate the threats of further such attacks, and to provide assurance to the Christian community in Jerusalem and throughout the country in the context of increasing levels of extremist threats against them.
The global fellowship of WCC member churches reaffirms its commitment to uphold the churches and Christian community in the Holy Land in prayer and active solidarity.
Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay
World Council of Churches general secretary