Church in Holy Land concerned about anti-Christian “price tags” as Pope Francis pilgrimage approaches

(FMC)  Two weeks before the arrival of Pope Francis, there is growing concern in the Church of the Holy Land on account of the wave of fanaticism and intimidation that are multiplying against Christian targets. 

On Monday, May 5th, outside the office of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in Jerusalem, these words were written “Death to the Arabs and Christians and all those who hate Israel.” 

And during the night between Friday and Saturday, in front of the Romanian church , also in Jerusalem , blasphemous words against Jesus were written.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem fears this escalation of violence. “The Heads of the Churches of the Holy Land – they said in a statement – are preparing a series of actions to inform the public locally and internationally, and to confront the authorities and law enforcement agencies with their responsibility.” 

A press conference of the Patriarch Archbishop Fouad Twal is planned, and also a protest by the Interreligious Council of Israel in front of the Prime Minister’s residence.

Deep concern has also been expressed by the Custody of the Holy Land in a statement that calls for urgent action by the State of Israel “against these extremist elements to ensure public safety and the protection of Christian sites.” 

The Custody also states: “In recent days, we have witnessed a series of violent actions against Christian holy places , along with harsh incitement against the Church and her people, and against the Vatican .” 

“It is difficult – the Custody of the Holy Land continues – to avoid the impression that this escalation of violence is closely linked to the forthcoming visit of the Pope.”