The 13 patriarchs and heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem have expressed their Easter greeting to the people of the Holy Land, the larger Middle East and the world, wishing that the words of Christ, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” be realized everywhere.
In a joint message, the leaders, including Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, say that 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,” they stress, “reminds us that human dignity is to be respected and honoured.”
While noting that Jerusalem is “a beacon of hope, the spiritual leaders call on believers to pray for the "regions of violence and distress" and for women and children "who face violence”.
City of peace and reconciliation
The life promised by Jesus is “in abundance, not in scarcity”, they say, adding “Jerusalem, the city of the resurrection, is the beacon of hope and life.” The city of life, they insist, is also the city of peace and reconciliation. “Therefore, the multi-religious and multi-cultural status of Jerusalem has to be maintained and all Abrahamic faiths may find it none other than the city of peace and tranquility.”
Violence and peace
Jerusalem’s Christian leaders pledge to continue praying 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.”
While praying for all women and children who face violence and injustice throughout the globe, they call upon all people to respect the dignity of every human person and walk together toward wholeness and fullness of life.
The Christian leaders invite their faithful around the world and in the Middle East to be witnesses to the resurrection by promoting the values of the Risen Lord, through active involvement in the life of the Church and in wider society.