On April 15, 2015, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem strongly condemned the desecration of the Maronite cemetery of Kfar Bir’im in Galilee, which occurred the day before. They deplore the lack of reactions and resulting action from the justice and police authorities. Below is the full text of this press release translated from Arabic. We learned this morning of the acts of desecration of the tombs and crosses of the cemetery in Kfar Bir’im, committed by unknown persons. This is not the first attack against the cemetery of the depopulated village.
Today, the Israeli President Rivlin visited the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem to their present his wishes on the occasion of the feast of Easter, recently celebrated. He stressed that any attack affecting Christian and Muslim holy places is comparable to an attack on Jewish holy places.
We have heard similar statements in recent years. However, the attacks continue and we have never found a serious measure taken in the pursuit of the criminals and their appearance in a judicial court nor any efforts at the education of all to respect the sacred places of others as well as their own.
While we wait for the Israeli State to establish justice for abandoned villages, especially in Kfar Bir’im and Iqrit, at least out of respect for the decision issued by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1952, we claim it is the State’s duty to establish justice and to take the necessary measures to prevent the repetition of such attacks against places saints.
The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, expresses its full solidarity with the people from this abandoned village, and especially with the families of the dead whose graves were vandalized last night. The members of the Assembly pray to the Most High and Almighty God, so that senior officials will understand the severity of the attacks, and then take the necessary measures to prevent these attacks that target the holy places in the Holy Land.