JERUSALEM — In a symbolic display of solidarity, a delegation representing diverse Christian civil society institutions in Jerusalem visited the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus III, at the Patriarchate headquarters to express unwavering support for the collective decision by the Churches of the Holy Land to suspend non-religious celebrations.
The move comes in response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and as a mark of deep respect for the innocent lives lost in the war. The delegation voiced their commitment to endorsing the appeal issued by the Patriarchs and heads of Churches in Jerusalem, urging an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for humanitarian reasons. They delivered a signed letter affirming their backing of the Churches’ stance on this matter.
During the meeting, the group emphatically condemned the tragic atrocities in Gaza, specifically highlighting the heartbreaking loss of life at Greek Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrius and the Anglican Church Hospital.
In response, Patriarch Theophilus III reassured the delegation that this year’s Christmas celebrations would be marked by solemnity and spirituality, foregoing the usual festivities in acknowledgment of the somber reality created by the current situation.