Priest moderates forum involving diplomats, church leaders on Christian presence in Jerusalem

Posted Dec 21, 2023

[Anglican Communion News Service] This week, the Rev. Donald Binder, chaplain to the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem and canon pastor of the English-speaking congregation of St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem, moderated a forum of diplomats and heads of churches on the Battered State of the Christian Presence in the Holy Land.

Below is his description of the meeting.

In my role as undersecretary to the heads of the churches, I was pleased to moderate a forum between our council and more than three dozen ambassadors, consuls general and other diplomats on the state of the Christian presence in the Holy Land. His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III opened the assembly with an introductory address, followed by remarks by the other heads of the churches, including Archbishop Hosam Naoum. Free discussion followed.

Among the topics covered were the recent Israeli Defense Forces attacks against Holy Family Church and Ahli Anglican Hospital in Gaza; fraudulent construction deals in the Armenian Quarter; threats against the Christian schools; and expanding restrictions against worship at Christian holy sites.

The gathered diplomatic corps expressed their support of the churches’ religious freedom rights and pledged to intervene on behalf of the local Christian communities through their respective governments. We thank them for standing in solidarity with us and pray that their efforts will indeed combat the recent rise of radical extremism in Israel and promote justice, peace, and religious freedom for all the faiths represented in the Holy Land.

The Anglican Alliance is in touch with a range of international partners around the Anglican Communion. Please continue to hold the Diocese of Jerusalem and the people of the Holy Land in your prayers and support the Diocese of Jerusalem appeal if you are able.