Bush, Blair Excommunicated: Church Of The Nativity
- Bush, Blair Excommunicated: Church Of The Nativity
By Yasser El-Banna, IOL Palestine Correspondent
BETHLEHEM, March 31 (IslamOnline.net) - Spokesman of the Orthodox Church in the Holy Lands, archimandrite Attallah Hanna
declared that U.S. President George Bush, his Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, British Premier Tony Blair, his Foreign
Minister Jack Straw have all been deprived from visiting the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.
This decision was taken to express the refusal of the Palestinian Christians of the U.S.-led invasion on Iraq.
In a special interview with IslamOnline.net, Monday, March 31, Hanna described both Bush and Blair as excommunicates, as
they have turned a deaf ear to several calls by the Orthodox Church and other churches before war erupted.
“This indicates that leaders of the invading states did not listen to the church, and hence, we deem them excommunicates
“Bush and Blair behave in an antagonistically to the Semitic Church that calls for stopping the aggression and
hostilities against Iraq,” he added.
The Church of Nativity decided on Sunday, March 30, 2003, to excommunicate Bush, Rumsfeld, Blair and Straw due to their
military attacks on Iraq.
The decision was declared Sunday by Father Banar Teyous, representative of the Orthodox Nativity Church during a march,
organized by Orthodox institutions in front of the Church, to criticize the U.S. British invasion of Iraq.
Father Banar Teyous said that U.S.-British invaders are war criminals and children assassins and hence, the Church
decided to excommunicate them.
The War Has No Religious Cover
The attacks undertaken by the alliance in Iraq is contrary to the instructions and message of Christianity, Father
“Such a war targets both Muslims and Christians and is in favor of the world Zionism that seeks to promote the notion of
religious and civilizational struggle,” he added.
“We condemn the aggression and call for an immediate stop thereof, as what is happening in Baghdad, capital of
civilization, is extremely painful.”
He expressed the sympathy of the Christian church with the Iraqi people, underlining that there is no moral or religious
cover for the deeds of invaders in Iraq.
Hanna said that the excommunication decision is only a means to express disapproval and strong condemnation of what is
currently going on in Iraq. It is also an expression of the Church’s sympathy with the Iraqi people.
The Church also declared its desire to put an immediate end to the war on Iraq, he said.
Global Christian Campaign
Hanna unveiled the efforts and contacts made by the Oriental Orthodox Church with several Christian churches the world
over to organize a global Christian campaign in coordination with the Islamic institutions in order to stop the
aggression that targets the Arab nation, the civilization and human values stipulated under the heavenly scriptures.
Archimandrite Hanna called upon the whole world, Christians and Muslims, to cooperate in order to defuse the Zionist and
He said that there must be an Arab, Islamic and Christian cooperation with the objective of boosting historical links
among followers of both doctrines in order to strengthen the values of dialogue and unity in the Arab world.
It is worth noting that the Church of Nativity is the first church on earth and has a special importance for different
Christian sects, as it was established where Jesus Christ was born.
The Church consists of a huge religious compound that includes the church building as well as a number of monasteries
and other churches that represent different Christian sects.
The Church is managed by three sects, namely, Orthodox, Earth and Franciscans.