Christian leaders protest Israeli police mistreatment of pilgrims at Church of Holy Sepulcher

Our friends at Catholic Near East Welfare Association are reporting that Christian leaders in the Holy Land have protested Israeli police mistreatment of pilgrims at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during the May 4 Holy Fire ceremony.

CNEWA links to the statement by the leaders, who said: “We understand the necessity and the importance of the presence of security forces to ensure order and stability, and for organizing the celebration of the Holy Fire at the Church of the Resurrection. Yet, it is not acceptable that under pretext of security and order, our clergy and people are indiscriminately and brutally beaten, and prevented from entering their churches, monasteries and convents.”

Easter this year was celebrated May 5 on the Julian calendar, used by the Greek Orthodox and many Catholic parishes throughout the Palestinian territories and Israel. Following a directive from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, within two years all Eastern Catholics and the Latin Patriarchate in the Holy Land will officially adopt the Julian calendar date.