In their Easter message, the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in the Holy City note that “the human family is celebrated in the light of the divine life”. Jerusalem is also a “beacon of hope". They call on believers to pray for the "regions of violence and distress" and for women and children "who face violence”.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – Easter is the time when "the human family is celebrated in the light of the divine life and abundance", and the holy city, site of the resurrection, is "the beacon of hope,” write the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem in their Easter message to the faithful, sent to AsiaNews for information.
The Church leaders note the role of "peace and reconciliation" entrusted to Jerusalem, which must maintain its "multi-religious and multicultural status", and urge people to pray for the "regions of violence and distress". The Patriarchs and Heads also call for prayers for "all women and children who face violence and injustice throughout the globe."
The full message of the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches of the Holy Land follows.
We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, bring you Easter greetings in the name of our Risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. From the heart of Jerusalem and the center of the world we proclaim again: Christ is Risen; He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! This Easter greetings have been handed over to us by our faithful fathers and mothers across the centuries. “He is not here. He has been raised…,” this was the announcement of the angel who appeared to the women at the tomb, and proclaimed that it is not death that has the final word, rather, it is the God of life.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10.10). We, as people of faith, are called to walk in Jesus’ risen life; in abundance, not in scarcity. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus brought about new creation and restored all things; including God’s image in human beings. The Feast of the Resurrection reminds us that human dignity is to be respected and honoured.
Human beings are created in God’s image, and therefore stand equal before God. Easter is a season where the human family is celebrated in the light of the divine life and abundance. Jerusalem, the city of the resurrection, is the beacon of hope and life. The empty tomb constantly reminds us of the events that took place in and around the holy city. Jesus came to offer abundant life in which sin and death are defeated. The city of life is also the city of peace and reconciliation. Therefore, the multi-religious and multi-cultural status of Jerusalem have to be maintained and all Abrahamic faiths may find it none other than the city of peace and tranquility. We continue to pray for a just and lasting peace in Jerusalem and throughout the world.
We are steadfast in praying for all regions of violence and distress, especially, violence against innocent people and places of worship. We also remember in our prayers all women and children who face violence and injustice throughout the globe. We call upon all people to respect the dignity of every human person and walk together toward wholeness and fullness of life.
We invite all our fellow Christians around the world in general, and our faithful people in the Holy Land and the wider Middle East in particular, to take strength in the Easter celebrations. May we all be witnesses to the resurrection through promoting the values of our Risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, through active involvement in the life of the church and the wider society.
Christ is Risen; He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate
Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
Archbishop Gabriel Daho, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
Archbishop Yaser AL-Ayash, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
Bishop Ibrahim Sani Azar, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
Most Rev. Krikor-Okosdinos Coussa, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate