Christmas-Message 1988
Patriarchs and Heads of the Christian Communities in Jerusalem

Statement on the Occasion of the PNC Meeting in Algier November 15, 1988

To Our Christian Sisters and Brothers Throughout the World.

This is the voice of the Mother Church of Jerusalem.

We, the heads of Christian Churches of Jerusalem, reach out to you today while our hearts are burning for peace in this Holy City of Jerusalem and in the entire Holy Land.

The decisions of the Palestine National Council (P.N.C.) in Algeria on November 15, 1988 after 12 months of uprising are for us a positive step and a sign that a new time is beginning on the road towards justice, reconciliation and peace.

Peace in this land is not like peace in any other land, it is peace in the land that is holy to all Christians.

Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Redemptoris Mater, in which he announced the Marian year 1987, wrote: “Palestine is the spiritual homeland of all Christians because it is the home of Jesus and Mary.” Peace for the Holy Land therefore has a special spiritual significance. The churches of the entire world cannot be unconcerned about peace in the Holy Land and in the whole Middle East.

Therefore we ask you to work with us for peace:

1)         We earnestly beg you, especially the Bishops of the various Churches, Church organisations and Bishop’s conferences throughout the world, to encourage Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Moslems to move forward in the peace process.

2)         On the occasion of the coming Feast of Christmas we ask you to make a public statement of support and commitment of the Christian world to peace in the Holy Land,

3)         We further ask you to communicate this statement of support to your faithful, to your respective governments and through available means of the mass media.

May the feast of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace in Bethlehem, be the beginning of a new era k the local and international search for justice, reconciliation and peace for Jerusalem, the Holy Land and for all the peoples of the country.

Deutscher Text bei Durst, S. 396 / English: Lindén S. 55f