We pray and hope that the seizure orders, which are illegal under International law, will be rescinded forthwith so that the lands in question just north of the City of the Nativity can be returned promptly to the Armenian Church as its legal, rightful and age-long owners.
APPEAL to the Government of Israel through its Foreign Ministry and Embassies
We, the undersigned, representing the Armenian Orthodox Church in Germany, France and Great Britain, have been following with mounting concern the news coming out of Jerusalem that the Israeli authorities have seized lands belonging to the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate in the Holy Land. This land is located in Bethlehem and is part of the historic trust that grounds the Armenian Church and its people together. Our appeal today comes in a spirit of reconciliation, healing and peace.
We pray and hope that the seizure orders, which are illegal under International law, will be rescinded forthwith so that the lands in question just north of the City of the Nativity can be returned promptly to the Armenian Church as its legal, rightful and age-long owners. Such action will ensure that this matter will be resolved both peacefully and expeditiously. We cannot forget that Bethlehem witnessed the Birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Nor can we forget that it experienced the coming to this world of our Prince of Peace. Its calling should therefore be one of harmony not acrimony, of reconciliation not confrontation, of justice not injustice.
We all stand in solidarity with His Beatitude the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Brotherhood of St James and all the laity of the Holy Land in praying and requesting that the injustices of this land where two peoples and three religions live as next-door but fearful neighbours will not fester further in the troubled hearts and minds of its long-suffering and challenged peoples.
We share today the anxious concerns of all our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. We support their daily efforts at resolving this issue, stand close to their pain and keep hope alive through the strength of our prayers and intercessions.
ARCHBISHOP KUDE NACACHIAN
Primate of the Armenian Church in Paris
and Pontifical Legate of Western Europe
ARCHBISHOP KAREKIN BEKDJIAN
Primate of the Armenian Church in Germany
BISHOP NATHAN HOVHANNISIAN
Primate of the Armenian Church in Great Britain
and Pontifical Legate to the Archbishop of Canterbury