The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in occupied Jerusalem condemned in a statement today the recent desecration by Israeli settlers of more than 30 gravestones at the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion on New Year’s Day.
“The choice of these specific targets signals to us that the perpetrators of these criminal deeds were clearly motivated by religious bigotry and hatred of Christians,” the statement read.
The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches described the attack as a terror act, and called on the concerned authorities to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law, including those laws pertaining to hate crimes.
The statement added, “These acts cannot be seen as isolated incidents, but a clear and systematic attempt to bring about exclusivity in favor of one side, and a fierce attack on historical Status Quo enshrined in our beloved Holy Land”.
The statement urged the religious and political leaders across the region to condemn and combat these acts of vandalism and to promote safety and religious tolerance.