A statement released on Wednesday by the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem states that the intention to impose municipal tax on Churches contradicts the historical position between Churches and civil authorities over the centuries. It further states that the civil authorities have always recognized and respected the great contribution of the Christian Churches, which invest billions in building schools, hospitals, and homes, many for the elderly and disadvantaged, in the Holy Land.
The statement declares that Imposing taxes on Churches both undermines the sacred character of Jerusalem, and jeopardises the Church’s ability to conduct its ministry in that land on behalf of its communities and the world-wide Church.
The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches have made a formal request to the Municipality to retract their statement and ensure that the status quo which was sanctioned by the sacred history is maintained, and the character of the Holy City of Jerusalem is not violated. The declaration is signed by thirteen Heads of Churches and Christian communities present in Jerusalem.