Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) denounced the latest Israeli decision targeting churches and their property in occupied Jerusalem, and said that such violations not only target holy sites, but are attacks against all Palestinians.
She said that freezing church assets in occupied Jerusalem, and the illegal decision to impose taxes on church property, are very serious violations targeting holy sites in occupied Palestine.
“These churches and their lands have existed in the holy land centuries before the Israel occupied Palestine, including Jerusalem – The Palestinian identity and heritage include the oldest and contiguous Christian presence in the holy land,” Dr. Ashrawi added, “Israel is now violating international laws, and basic religious rights, in addition to violating the status quo of the holy sites.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM IMEMC NEWS
By Idris Tawfiq – The Egyptian Gazette
Saturday, April 14, 2012 09:25:57 AM
Muslims believe that Islam is the religion of peace. The two fought one another for centuries over Jerusalem, the city of Peace. Much life was lost and many terrible things were done in the Holy Land, and after much fighting and bloodshed not much had really changed in the region when the dust finally settled. In fact, for all they achieved, the Crusades need never really have been fought at all!
It is worth remembering that Christians and Muslims have lived together in this region for fourteen hundred years. It is true, though, that there are hands at work trying to cause division between these groups. It is only natural that those who do not want Egypt and other Arab countries to be strong should do their best to weaken them. What better way of doing this than to stir up religious strife.
There are even some Arabs who travel abroad and appear on Western TV channels talking of religious oppression, and even religious persecution. It is time that these voices stopped their mischief, since the only ones to gain by it are people with no faith at all. Let us return to the Easter festival. According to tradition, Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, is alleged to have discovered, in the early fourth century, many sites associated with the life of Jesus Christ, including what was claimed to be the True Cross on which he died.
The emperor ordered churches to be built on many of these sites. A church was built in Bethlehem over the spot alleged to be the place where Jesus was born, and another in Jerusalem over the spot where he is said, according to Christian tradition, to have died.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is said to stand on the very place where the Hill of Calvary stood. It is, of course, on Calvary that Christians believe Jesus was crucified.
The church was actually built as three separate churches, to mark three separate events.
One was for the hill of Calvary. Another was for the place where Jesus was buried, and the third was where he was said to have risen from the dead. When Constantine ordered that the churches be built, the spot was little more than a mound of rubble.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE EGYPTIAN GAZETTE