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Listening: Jerusalem's Christian leaders issue statement on Palestinian election

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  • Fr John Brian
    Episcopal News Service Listening, Learning & Epiphany Wednesday, February 1, 2006 Listening: Jerusalem s Christian leaders issue statement on Palestinian
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2006
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      Episcopal News Service
      Listening, Learning & Epiphany

      Wednesday, February 1, 2006

      Listening: Jerusalem's Christian leaders issue statement on Palestinian
      election

      [ENS] The Rt. Rev Riah Abu El-Assal, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, joined 12
      Christian leaders in Jerusalem in congratulating the Palestinian people "for
      their democratic performance in the recent parliamentary elections," a
      January 31 statement said.

      The group, which includes Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem,
      also prayed for "all those who will govern in this difficult period" that
      they may be committed to "justice and peace." The full text of the statement
      follows:


      The Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem

      January 31, 2006

      We congratulate the Palestinian people for their democratic performance in
      the recent parliamentary elections. We express our respect and our support
      to the will of the people expressed in these elections. We congratulate all
      those who were elected.

      Our message as Christian leaders in this new phase of our history is the
      message of our faith and our concern for all. Some may be afraid or troubled
      because of this new phase. We respond, first, with the words of Jesus
      Christ: 'Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Peace I bequeath to
      you; my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give' (Jn.
      14:27). Second, 'Be strong and stand firm' (Jos. 1:9). We call upon the
      Palestinian people to continue their contribution to the making of their
      history whatever may be the difficulties or obstacles, internal or external.

      We pray for all those who will govern in this difficult period, and we
      extend our cooperation to them for the public good and the national
      Palestinian aspirations together with the cause of justice and peace in a
      non violent way, whether in regard to foreign relations, the rule of law
      together with full religious freedom, especially in the social and
      educational fields.

      Our message to the Government of Hamas, members and leadership, is the
      message of Our Lord Jesus Christ in his Sermon on the Mountain: 'Blessed are
      the poor in spirit: the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are the gentle:
      they shall have the earth as their inheritance. Blessed are those who mourn:
      they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
      uprightness: they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: they
      shall have mercy shown them. Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see
      God. Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognized as children of
      God' (Mt 5:3-10).

      We ask God to guide us towards what is good for all and for this Holy Land
      with all its inhabitants, Palestinians and Israelis, be they Moslems,
      Christians or Jews.

      Signed:

      * Patriarch Theophilos III: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
      * Patriarch Michel Sabbah: Latin Patriarchate
      * Patriarch Torkom II: Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
      * Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, Gustos of the Holy Land
      * Anha Abraham: Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate
      * Swerios Malki Mourad: Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
      * Abune Grima: Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
      * Paul Nabil Sayyah: Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
      * Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal: Episcopal Church of Jerusalem & the Middle East
      * Bishop Mounib Younan: Lutheran Evangelical Church
      * Pierre Melki, Exarch for the Syrian Catholics-Jerusalem
      * Andre Dikran Bedoghlyan: Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
      * Archimandrite Mtanious Haddad: Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
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