Response to statement by Church leaders in Jerusalem:
The accusations that appear in the statement by Church leaders are baseless, and distort the reality of the Christian community in Israel.
The Christian population in Israel – including in Jerusalem – enjoys full freedom of religion and of worship, is constantly growing, and is part of the unique fabric of Israeli society.
Since the day it was established, the State of Israel has been committed to freedom of religion and worship for all religions, as well to ensuring the freedom of access to holy sites.
The statement by Church leaders in Jerusalem is particularly infuriating given their silence on the plight of many Christian communities in the Middle East suffering from discrimination and persecution.
Religious leaders have a critical role to play in education for tolerance and coexistence, and Church leaders should be expected to understand their responsibility and the consequences of what they have published, which could lead to violence and bring harm to innocent people
The State of Israel wishes all Christians in the Holy Land and across the world a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!