In a statement, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem condemned the attempt to burn the Church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem by an Israeli radical. Patriarch Theophilos described this attempt as a racist crime that exposed Israeli radical mentality in targeting churches and their properties.
Patriarch Theophilos said, “This radical act is a crime inspired by an extreme ideology that seeks to drive Christians from the Holy Land.” He added, “I call on the international community to take its role in protecting Christian shrines, and preserving the indigenous Christian presence in the Holy Land.” Patriarch Theophilos also praised efforts of King Abdullah II, the Hashemite Custodian of Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in the Holy Land, on local and international levels. Patriarch Theophilos pointed out that the crime of attempting to burn the Church of Gethsemane is no less appalling and horrible than the radical organizations’ attempts to control churches properties, especially in Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate.
Patriarch Theophilos stressed that racism was a horrible enemy of all nations and that peace, tolerance and coexistence were the ideal gateways for a bright future in the city of Jerusalem, which suffered from hatred, racism and the resulting crimes.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem