Christians mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Apr 2 (EFE).- Thousands of Catholic Christians celebrated Palm Sunday in Jerusalem as church leaders denounced the spiraling violence in the region.
Religious processions took place at the Mount of Olives Church in Jerusalem’s Old city, as well as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the world’s holiest Christian site where Jesus is believed to have been crucified and buried before his resurrection.
Orthodox Christians will celebrate Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Holy Week commemorating Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem, next week.
The leaders of the churches took advantage of the occasion to denounce the wave of attacks against their places of worship in recent months, some of them were attributed to Jewish extremists.
“An escalation of violence has devastated the Holy Land. Local Christians, in particular, have suffered increasing hardships,” the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches said in a statement.
“Over the past year, some of our churches, funeral processions and public meeting places have become targets of attack, and some of our holy places and cemeteries have been desecrated,” they added.
Jewish settler violence against people of other religions in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank has increased dramatically in the past year.
Among the hate crimes settlers have committed were insulting clergy, vandalizing places of worship and violently interrupting processions.
In January, settlers attacked several people in the touristic Christian quarter of the Old City, causing damage.
The leaders of the churches in Jerusalem called on the international community to “guarantee the security, and religious freedom of the Christian community of Jerusalem and of the millions of Christian pilgrims who come to the city.”
The main groups of Christianity, including Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and Anglican, distribute branches of palm and other trees native to the land.EFE