The Easter Message of the Heads of Churches of Jerusalem

We, the Heads of Churches in the Holy Land, bring you our Easter greetings from Jerusalem, the City of the Resurrection, hope, and peace.

Every year The Feast of the Resurrection revisits the church, the holy people of God everywhere. The faithful, through their Lenten journey and pilgrimage, walk in faith toward the empty tomb so that they may be filled with grace through the Risen and Triumphant Lord. The message of Easter speaks through the living church in the here and now; through their hopes and fears, joys and sorrows.

The people of God, the “Living Stones” of the holy lands, anticipate through prayer and fasting to behold the joys and victories of the Risen and Triumphant Lord Jesus Christ. Christians in the region are continuously walking in the ‘Way of the Cross’. Injustice, oppression, incitement and subjugation are evil powers that require our diligent prayers and intentional advocacy. Our hearts are drawn in intercession for peace based on justice toward the people of Palestine and Israel, respect of human rights in Syria, Egypt, and the rest of the Middle East.

Reconciliation and Peace are the ultimate consequence and fruition of the Resurrection. Peace is no mere Easter greeting, but a call upon the church to strive for justice, equality, and reconciliation among all nations and peoples. We call upon the leaders of the nations to empower the peacemakers within their communities and countries, so that a generation of peace may arise and the light of peace may shine from this region to the whole world.

Our celebration of the Resurrection is the joy of the light that shines on in the darkness, and our hope for the whole world is to be aglow with the radiance of God’s peace and life. As an Easter hymn goes: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.” Alleluia! Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed. Alleluia!

+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch
+Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch
+Patriarch Torkom II Manoogian, (Archbishop Nourhan Manoogian, Patriarchal Vicar), Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarch
+Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+Archbishop Anba Abraham, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
+Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Abouna Matthias, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
+Msgr. George Shehan, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
+Bishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
+Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+Bishop Joseph Kelekian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate

(Easter 2012)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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