Palestinian Christians accuse Israeli police of blocking religious freedoms

[ 24/04/2011 – 05:26 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Arab Orthodox Institutions in Jerusalem has accused Israeli police of persecuting Christians and violating their right to perform religious rites on Holy Saturday as well as most of their holidays.

The group said in a statement on Sunday that Israeli police blocked Palestinian Christians from entering the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem as they tried to perform religious rites on the Christian Holy Saturday. They said police assaulted and hurled tear gas at Christians trying to enter.

The group said the behavior was “totally incompatible with the most basic human rights and conflicts with standard procedure followed for hundreds of years”.

“Israeli measures have been escalating year after year. The facilities authorities have promised to Christian Palestinians is formal and designed to absorb anger and local and international pressure,” the statement says.

The Arab Orthodox Institutions called on Christian and human rights institutions to intervene immediately to help stop Israel’s repeated violations in Jerusalem and to exert serious and urgent efforts to guarantee the rights of Christian Jerusalemites to perform religious rites “with freedom and safety”.

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