The Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches in Jerusalem issued a joint statement published May 10 calling on the international community to intervene to put an end to “provocative actions” and urging prayers for peace.
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Christian leaders announced May 26 that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem would once again welcome the public, with some restrictions.
The last time the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was closed for an extended period was in 1349, during an outbreak of the Black Death in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority is also prohibiting all but essential travel between Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities to limit the virus’ spread.
The proposed “Peace-to-Prosperity” plan, announced on Wednesday by U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, outlined a path to statehood for Palestine as part of a “two-state solution.”
The city’s small Christian community doubts its concerns will be addressed, whoever wins in the Oct. 30 municipal vote.
Catholics and evangelicals hold different political and theological views about Israel.
Holy See urges leaders to promote peace and security.
Papal appeal comes shortly after news came out that President Trump would be recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.