Las Iglesias en Jerusalén cierran el Santo Sepulcro  en señal de  protesta

Clamorosa iniciativa en Jerusalén contra los ataques sin precedentes  contra los derechos  y las propiedades de las comunidades cristianas. Por primera vez en su larga historia la Basilica del Santo Sepulcro cierra sus puertas en señal de protesta. Esto sucedió la mañana del domingo 25 de febrero de 2018 en Jerusalén, es una iniciativa clamorosa que continuará por tiempo indefinido. Se encuentra cerrada la puerta de ingreso del lugar más visitado de los peregrinos cristianos que visitan la Tierra Santa, este cierre está acompañada por un anuncio que dice: «Ya ha sido suficiente: basta con la persecución de las Iglesias». En el anuncio también aparece la cara del Alcalde o Presidente municipal de Jerusalén Nir Barkat, que en las últimas semanas, con una acción unilateral ha abolido las excepciones de los impuestos municipales que históricamente eran reconocidas a las Iglesias y ha dado el mandato de hipotecar las cuentas corrientes para recuperar los pagos atrasados.

El cierre por motivo de protesta va acompañado de una nota firmada por el Patriarca griego-ortodoxo, Teófilo III; del Custodio de Tierra Santa, Fr. Francisco Patón; y del Patriarca Armenio, Nourhan Manougian, que son los líderes de las tres comunidades que en Jerusalén administran conjuntamente la Basílica y los principales Lugares Santos de las tradiciones cristianas. (Fuente: Vatican Insider)

Enseguida se encuentra la declaración oficial (texto en inglés):

Statement on Municipal threats and the discriminatory “Church Lands Bill”

We, the heads of Churches in charge of the Holy Sepulcher and the Status Quo governing the various Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem – the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate – are following with great concern the systematic campaign against the Churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land, in flagrant violation of the existing Status Quo.

Recently, this systematic and offensive campaign has reached an unprecedented level as the Jerusalem municipality issued scandalous collection notices and orders of seizure of Church assets, properties and bank accounts for alleged debts of punitive municipal taxes. A step that is contrary to the historic position of the Churches within the Holy City of Jerusalem and their relationship with the civil authorities. These actions breach existing agreements and international obligations which guarantee the rights and the privileges of the Churches, in what seems as an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem. The greatest victims in this are those impoverished families who will go without food and housing, as well as the children who will be unable to attend school.

The systematic campaign of abuse against Churches and Christians reaches now its peak as a discriminatory and racist bill that targets solely the properties of the Christian community in the Holy Land is being promoted. This abhorrent bill is set to advance today in a meeting of a ministerial committee which if approved would make the expropriation of the lands of churches possible. This reminds us all of laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe.

This systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land severely violates the most basic, ab antiquo and sovereign rights, trampling on the delicate fabric of relations between the Christian community and the authorities for decades.

THEREFORE, and recalling the Statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches in Jerusalem, dated 14 February, 2018 and their previous statement of September 2017, as a measure of protest, we decided to take this unprecedented step of closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Together with all Heads of Churches in the Holy Land we stand united, firm and resolute in protecting our rights and our properties.

May the Holy Spirit answer our prayers and bring a resolution to this historic Crisis in our Holy City.

THEOPHILOS III
Patriarch of Jerusalem

FRANCESCO PATTON
Custos of the Holy Land

NOURHAN MANOUGIAN
Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem