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WCC asks Israel to recognize head of Orthodox Church of Jerusalem

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_06103wccjer.shtml WCC asks Israel to recognize head of Orthodox Church of Jerusalem -03/10/06 The
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2006
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      http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_06103wccjer.shtml

      WCC asks Israel to recognize head of Orthodox Church of Jerusalem -03/10/06

      The World Council of Churches (WCC) has called for "the prompt and
      unqualified recognition of His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III as the
      primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem by the Government of Israel."

      The statement came from WCC general secretary, the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, in
      a letter sent to Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the end of last
      month (September 2006). It follows a lengthy dispute between the Orthodox
      Church of Jerusalem and the Israeli administration.

      Under long-standing agreements, the election of the patriarch of Jerusalem,
      the oldest and largest church in the Holy Land, is endorsed by the Israeli,
      Jordanian and Palestinian authorities.

      The Israeli authorities have, however, refused to validate the August 2005
      election of the leader of the Word Council of Churches' largest member
      church in the Holy Land, and have thus prevented the church from fulfilling
      its regular functions.

      Qualifying this refusal as an "unjustified delay", the WCC general
      secretary also objected to Israel's continued recognition of the "duly
      deposed" former patriarch Irineos which, he stated, was "in contravention
      of the actions of the legitimate religious representatives" of the church
      in Jerusalem.

      The WCC central committee meeting in September 2006 requested the general
      secretary to intervene with the Israeli government on this issue.

      "I would end this letter with the observation that meaningful and
      appropriate demonstrations of respect for religion do honour to those in
      positions of power in every place. Nowhere is this more the case than in
      the divided city of Jerusalem and among communities around the world that
      look to it in faith and hope," concluded Dr Kobia.

      The full text of the letter sent to Israel's Prime Minister is available on
      the WCC website.

      [Also on Ekklesia: Jerusalem church leaders praise non-violent activists;
      Common standards needed for Israel-Palestine peace, says WCC; Christians
      meet to step up peacemaking in Israel and Palestine; Israel-Palestine
      conflict is cause of Lebanon chaos say church leaders; Middle East peace
      needs religious commitment, says WCC leader; Christian hunger strikers
      welcome ruling on Israel's Separation Wall; Israel-Palestine peace plan
      needed, say churches and agencies; Muslim joins Christian accompaniers in
      Israel-Palestine]
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