Statement 1988
Heads of Christian Communities in Jerusalem

To all our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land

“Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices kindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

The recent painful events in our Land which have resulted in so many victims, both killed and wounded, are a clear indication of the grievous suffering of our people on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. They are also a visible expression of our people’s aspirations to achieve their legal rights and the realization of their hopes.

We, the Heads of the Christian Communities in Jerusalem, would like to express in all honesty and clarity that we take our stand with truth and justice against all forms of injustice and oppression. We stand with the suffering and the oppressed, we stand with the refugees and the deported, with the distressed and the victims of injustice, we stand with those who mourn and are bereaved, with the hungry and the poor. In accordance with the Word of God through the prophet Isaiah, chapter 1, verse 17:

“Learn to do good; seek justice; correct oppression; defend the father less; plead for the widow.”

We call upon the faithful to pray and to labor for justice and peace for all people of our area.

And in response to the same Word of God, prompted by our faith in God and our Christian duty, we have decided to call upon all our sons and daughters who are with us, an integral path of the people of this Holy Land who are laboring and witnessing for justice and peace, to give expression to what we feel we ought to do in these ways:

1.         We call upon all our sons and daughters to pray for justice and peace for or Land and for all its peoples throughout this Week of Prayer: Sunday, 24. January, to Sunday, 31 January 1988.

2.         We call upon faithful Christians to dedicate next Friday, 29 January 1988, as a day for fasting and self-denial, identifying ourselves with our brothers and’ sifters in the camps on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. We request to give what you thus save towards the support of our needy brothers and sisters, remembering that Friday speaks to us of passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, of his crucifixion, and of his death to redeem all humanity.

3.         We have resolved to set apart Sunday, 31 January, in all the churches of our various communities as a day prayer and preaching when fervent prayer will be offered in the regular worship services, that justice and peace may be realized in our Land, so that all may live there in safety, security, and peace. At the end of this services , donations toward the support of our needs brothers and sisters will be collected.

We solemnly charge the Christian faithful to fill the churches by their presence, and actively to contribute to the success of what we intend to do, praying that God may inspire and direct all leaders and people in authority to bring to reality what all of us hope and work for so that the foundations of truth, justice, and peace may be firmly laid in our beloved part of the world.

Therefore, we again state unequivocally that all our Christian Churches in this country, standing together, seek real peace based on jus¬tice and which will never be established unless every person’s .rights are fully respected: only when this happens will crises cease, peace permeate our country, and the song of the angels on the birthday of Jesus Christ, “the King of Peace” be a reality.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will towards men”

  • The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
  • The Latin Patriarchate
  • The Armenian Patriarchate
  • The Syrian Orthodox Bishopric
  • The Greek Catholic (Melkite) Bishopric
  • The Anglican Bishopric
  • The Lutheran Bishopric
  • The Syrian Catholic Church
  • The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land

JT S. 20 | Durst, S. 393f,

See: sog. Gegenerklärung, Durst, S. 394f