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Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Holy Land: church leaders' joint statement on Hamas victory
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¬†Following the victory of Hamas in last week's elections in Gaza and the West Bank, church leaders issued the following statement last Tuesday: We congratulate the Palestinian people for their democratic performance in the recent parliamentary elections. We express our respect and our support to the will of the people expressed in these elections. We congratulate all those who were elected. Our message as Christian leaders in this new phase of our history is the message of our faith and our concern for all. Some may be afraid or troubled because of this new phase. We respond, first, with the words of Jesus Christ: "Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Peace I bequeath to you; my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give" (Jn 14:27). Second, "Be strong and stand firm" (Jos 1:9). We call upon the Palestinian people to continue their contribution to the making of their history whatever may be the difficulties or obstacles, internal or external. We pray for all those who will govern in this difficult period, and we extend our cooperation to them for the public good and the national Palestinian aspirations together with the cause of justice and peace in a non violent way, whether in regard to foreign relations, the rule of law together with full religious freedom, especially in the social and educational fields. Our message to the Government of Hamas, members and leadership, is the message of Our Lord Jesus Christ in his Sermon on the Mountain: "Blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as their inheritance. Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognized as children of God" (Mt 5:3-10). We ask God to guide us towards what is good for all and for this Holy Land with all its inhabitants, Palestinians and Israelis, be they Moslems, Christians or Jews. + Patriarch Theophilos III: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate + Patriarch Michel Sabbah: Latin Patriarchate. + Patriarch Torkom II: Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land + Anba Abraham: Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. + Swerios Malki Mourad: Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate. + Abune Grima: Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate + Paul Nabil Sayyah: Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate. + Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal: Episcopal Church of Jerusalem & the Middle East. + Bishop Mounib Younan: Lutheran Evangelical Church. + Pierre Melki, Exarch for the Syrian Catholics - Jerusalem + Andrť Dikran Bedoghlyan: Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate. Archimandrite Mtanious Haddad: Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate. Source: Caritas Jerusalem
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