Skip to content

Palestinian Christians prevented from Easter pilgrimage to Jerusalem since 1967

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Palestinians' only means to visit through special permit issued by Israeli authorities

Palestinian Christians feel the sting of segregation acutely during Holy Week. Strict, Israeli restrictions on movement prevents their access to holy sites in nearby Jerusalem. Many holy sites have remained out of reach in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967. Israel at that time defied international law to occupy and effectively annex East Jerusalem, home to the city's most sacred sites. Palestinians wishing to visit the city is through a special permit issued by Israeli authorities.

Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians.

Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/20/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Palestine, Christians, Jerusalem, restrictions


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Having access to the Holy City or to churches there especially at this time of year is our normal right as Palestinians," one of the lucky few who have been granted permission to visit says. "It should not be associated with anything political."

"It is very painful to see people coming from the whole world, from places [as far as] Japan, and they can easily reach the holy sites while our people and Christians from Iraq, Jordan and other [Arab] countries cannot," another Christian says.

Check out our fine selection of Bibles -- by going here!

In lieu of celebrating in Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the Greek Catholic Church in Ramallah's Old City to solemnly commemorate Good Friday.

Palestinian Christians there re-enacted the burial of Jesus, along with a lengthy ritual of prayer, Gospel recitations and hymn singing. Later, the Catholic congregation joined Greek Orthodox worshippers from a nearby church.

Both Orthodox and Catholic churches, which normally mark Easter at different times, celebrated the holiday the same week; also coinciding with the Jewish Passover.

Restrictions on Palestinian movement were tightened further after Israel first started erecting a separation barrier in 2002. Only about 20 percent of the structure, made of concrete slabs and fences, follows the internationally recognized border between Israel and the West Bank known as the Green Line.

The structure effectively barred Palestinians, from all different religious backgrounds, from entering Jerusalem without Israeli permission.

Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians; and Christians have to apply through their churches and parishes. The number of permits issued are not always reflective of the population, and do not always get issued on time.

Some 17,000 permits were issued to Christians inside the West Bank this year, and 600 in the Gaza Strip.

For the faithful here, Jerusalem is often thought of as an impossibly far-away destination, despite it being only some 50 miles away. "In the past 10 years, I have not been issued a permit for the Christian holidays," one Gaza-based mother of three says.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2017
Parishes.
That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.


Comments


More Middle East

The Catholic Mass returns to Mosul Watch

Image of The Mass has returned to Mosul.

Following the liberation of Mosul, Iraq, from the hands of the Islamic State, Christians are cautiously returning to the city. And as they ... continue reading


Rare Christian mosaic unearthed in Jerusalem Watch

Image of The mosaic is undergoing restoration for possible display.

Workers installing communication cables in Jerusalem's Old City have unearthed a Byzantine Christian mosaic inscribed with honors to ... continue reading


President Trump announces new strategy for Afghanistan - do we get to win this time? Watch

Image of The number of U.S. troops will increase as President Trump orders a new offensive in the region.

President Trump has announced a new strategy for the U.S. in Afghanistan that involves a significant investment in winning the conflict ... continue reading


People in Yemen are dying of a foul and dreaded disease as civil war grips the country Watch

Image of Cholera is a killer disease, easily treated, but without care, will kill half of its victims.

A cholera outbreak in Yemen has now infected over half-a-million people, the latest terrible byproduct of a raging civil war that is ... continue reading


TRUE AGAIN! Archaeologists discover site of Biblical town of Bethsaida Watch

Image of Bethsaida is also the location where Jesus fed 5,000 people.

Archaeologists think they have found the lost city of Bethsaida, which was once home to the apostles Peter, Andrew, and Philip. LOS ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.