Holy Land: Christians re-enact Palm Sunday procession

 On Palm Sunday, Palestinians and internationals, Muslims and Christians, gathered at the Lazarus Gate checkpoint to commemorate Palm Sunday and highlight the travel restrictions the Israeli government imposes on Palestinians through the use of permits and Israel's separation barrier. Most Palestinians from the West Bank cannot travel to Jerusalem. Palestinians and internationals processed in the path that Jesus traveled from Bethany to Jerusalem. Participants carried olive branches, palm leaves, and signs reading, "Stop the Wall" and "Where could Jesus go?" When they arrived at the Lazarus Gate the group worshipped together. Nora Carmi of Sabeel said: "Today, what we are doing is re-living this memory of Jesus]and challenging the authorities in the same nonviolent, peaceful way, that Jesus did . . . A few soldiers with their guns and their tear gas, are not going to stop us from praying." Israeli border police arrived and threatened to fire tear gas at the worshippers, but they continued with some Scripture readings. While the group were completing their event on the grounds of a local religious community, the border police came and again told the worshippers to disperse. After the service, many internationals continued on to Jerusalem to be a witness at the regular Palm Sunday procession for the Palestinian Christians who could not travel to Jerusalem. For photos go to: http://tinyurl.com/3xbanx Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical initiative to support violence reduction efforts around the world. To learn more about CPT's peacemaking work, see: www.cpt.org

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