Bethlehem – “Bethlehem deplores the cartoons which in France offend Mohammed and Islam”. This is what a group of Christians and Muslims from the Holy Land wrote on their placards and banners, gathered yesterday, Wednesday, April 28th. October, in Bethlehem in the square in front of the Church of the Nativity. The gathering was intended to expess their disapproval of the cartoons that denigrate the Islamic religion and were republished in France by the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”, sparking a massive wave of anti-French protests in many Muslim-majority countries.
Atallah (Theodosios) Hanna, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia, of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, also took part in the demonstration in Bethlehem. The participants condemned insulting figures and symbols from various religious traditions on posters and in their speeches.
On Tuesday 27 October, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, also condemned all forms of violence against people with different religious opinions or beliefs, expressing concern about the increasing polarization following the “unfortunate sequence of events in France”. In doing so, he recalled the importance of dialogue: “The only appropriate way to deal with the intellectual distances between the various religious and ideological affiliations”.
Source: Agenzia Fides