Skip to content

Palestinian Christians prevented from Easter pilgrimage to Jerusalem since 1967

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/20/2014 (2 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 (2 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 FEBRUARY 2017
Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.


Comments


More Middle East

Innocent children forced into horrid orphanages and a life of terrorism Watch

Image of

Innocent and terrified boys, aged from three to 16, entered what appeared to be a Mosul orphanage with tears streaming down their faces ... continue reading


Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes survives Jewish extremist attack - Celebrates first Mass in 2 years Watch

Image of The Church of the Loaves and Fish
 has reopened (Bettina & Dominique Zygmont/Flickr).

After eight months and about $1 million, the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee has ... continue reading


'Death to America' - Thousands celebrate Islamic Revolution by burning American flags and shouting Anti-America slurs Watch

Image of A cutout of U.S. President Donald Trump was lynched at Iran's Revolution anniversary rally (Sobhan Hassanvand/Twitter).

In 1979, Iran underwent an unusual revolution, which resulted in the rise of anti-American Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. LOS ... continue reading


Another Dead Sea Scroll cave has been explored - what did they find? Watch

Image of Archaeologists are searching for new fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls to better understand the world at the time of Christ.

Archaeologists have explored another Dead Sea Scroll cave in the Qumran cliffs of the West Bank. The cavern is the twelfth such cave in ... continue reading


Amnesty International releases powerful video of Syria's 'Human Slaughterhouse' - 'We were sleeping on top of the sound of people choking to death.' Watch

Image of Syria held a mass hanging in which thousands were murdered (Amnesty International).

The Syrian government executed an estimated 13,000 Saydnaya prisoners from a notorious Syrian prison near Damascus in what Amnesty ... 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.