November 18, 2023
We, as the Christian community of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, share grave concern over the recent events taking place within the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem. In recent days, a contested contract for development on a considerable portion of the Armenian Quarter has been declared canceled. Instead of it being handled through the proper legal channels, the alleged developers have decided to hire armed provocateurs, obstruct parking entrances, and begin demolition work.
We are worried that these events potentially endanger the Armenian presence in Jerusalem, as they set a precedent for similar engagements. The illegal actions taken by the alleged developer against the Armenian Patriarchate and community are not conducive for the social order that the peaceful and law-abiding Armenian community, which is a member of our Christian family in the Holy Land, longs for.
The provocations that are being used by the alleged developers to deploy incendiary tactics threaten to erase the Armenian presence in the area, weakening and endangering the Christian presence in the Holy Land.
As the Heads of the Churches, we express our solidarity with the Armenian Patriarchate and community in their decision to take the proper legal procedures in their cancellation of this transaction and urgently appeal to all relevant governmental and non-governmental bodies able to assist in this matter to help us restore the former peace and harmony enjoyed by all those who have used this land in the Armenian Quarter.
We are convinced that matters of this nature should be handled only through legal negotiations and procedures to avoid further escalations and violence.
-The Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem