The heads and representatives of 13 churches and Christian denominations of Jerusalem expressed their fear “for any variation of the status quo,” namely, all the rules for the management of the holy places of the Holy Land, which guarantee freedom of access and of worship to the faithful of the various religious communities, reported Fides on Thursday, July 20, 2017.
In the text, moreover, the signatories express their “serious concern” over the new spiral of tension and violence registered around the Esplanade of the Mosques in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Among others, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III; the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francis Patton signed the statement.
“Every threat to the continuity of the status quo could lead to grave and unforeseeable consequences, which should be the least desired in the present atmosphere of religious tension,” warned the heads of the Jerusalem Churches.
The statement also manifested their appreciation of the “permanent custody of the al Aqsa Mosque and the Holy Places of Jerusalem and of the Holy Land by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which guarantees to all Muslims the right to freely access and freely practice their worship in the al Aqsa Mosque, according to the existing status quo.”