WCC calls on Israeli government to allow access to holy site

Posted Aug 21, 2023

[World Council of Churches] After thousands of Orthodox Christians were denied access to Mount Tabor, in the Lower Galilee—site of the transfiguration of Jesus—World Council of Churches general secretary the Rev. Jerry Pillay expressed concern about the infringement on religious freedom in the Holy Land.

No less than 1,000 cars waited at multiple checkpoints set up by the Israeli police and were consequently delayed for two-and-a-half hours,” said Pillay. “Among those who were stopped was Audeh Quawas, executive committee member of the World Council of Churches.”

The faithful were surprised that a ban was issued to prevent assembly on Mount Tabor and the open area, and that the police cited safety concerns for the participants. A few days previously, a meeting took place between the Orthodox Council in Nazareth and the Israeli authorities, where it was agreed that the event would take place,” said Pillay. Impediment of the Christian celebration on Mount Tabor comes in the aftermath of repeated harassment of Christians in Jerusalem, Haifa and elsewhere.”

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