PRESS RELEASE – On November 6, 2014, Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem published a statement in which they express their concern about the outbreak of violence and the rapid deterioration of the situation in the Holy City. They also call for the respect of the Status Quo, especially on the Haram al Sharif, the esplanade of the Mosques.
We, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, wish to express our serious concern regarding response to recent activity on Haram al Sharif which has included both full closures and some limitation of access to Al Aqsa Mosque.
These events have been provoked by acts of extremism which are becoming a phenomenon both here in the Holy Land and in the wider region.
We condemn threats of changes to the status of the Holy Sites from wherever they may come. The Holy Sites need constant watchful protection so that reasonable access to them can be maintained according to the prevailing Status Quo of all three Abrahamic faiths.
The existing agreed Status Quo governing these sites needs to be fully respected for the sake of the whole community. Any threat to its continuity and integrity could easily lead to unpredictable consequences which would be most unwelcome in the present delicate political climate.
The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
+Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarchate
+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
+Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+Archbishop Anba Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
+Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
+Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+Msgr. Joseph Antoine Kelekian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate