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Christian Embassy Condemns Palestinian Abuse of Bethlehem Churches

Information about the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

(Resume: Den kristne ambassade i Jerusalem fordømmer de væbnede palæstinensiske krænkelser af Fødselskirken og andre religiøse hellige steder i Bethlehem. Desuden fordømmer ambassaden PLO's opfordring til at bruge kristne steder som base for terrorhandlinger og opfordrer til at respektere alle hellige steder i Det Hellige Land.)

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
P. O. Box 1192, Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Tel (02) 539-9700· Fax: (02) 566-9970
E-mail: icej@icej.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 4 APRIL 2002.

CHRISTIAN EMBASSY CONDEMNS PALESTINIAN ABUSE OF BETHELEM CHURCHES

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem today strongly condemned the deliberate and provocative exploitation by armed Palestinian elements of the landmark Church of the Nativity and other religious sites in Bethlehem as a safe haven, along with their use of innocent civilians as human shields.

"As a voice for millions of Christians worldwide, we cannot accept this transgression on the sanctity of the Church of the Nativity and we thoroughly denounce it," said Rev. Malcolm Hedding, Executive Director of the ICEJ. "It is a premeditated offense by militant outlaws who know it is a place central to our faith and thus would provide them unquestioned refuge."

"Christians and church leaders everywhere should be outraged by this action and join in condemning it," said Hedding. "The current conflict is a difficult and complex one, but everyone must recognize that these Palestinian gunmen took the battle inside this Church by design."

The Christian Embassy continues to call for the respect of all religious sites in Bethlehem and throughout the Holy Land, whether churches, synagogues or mosques.

The Christian Embassy also noted that the Palestinian Authority has actually encouraged armed gunmen to use the Manger Square area and its Christian places as a shelter and base for terrorist operations in recent months. Such tactics are shocking but not surprising, the ICEJ said, since the PLO systematically defiled and destroyed churches and other Christian properties in Lebanon after sparking that nation's long civil war.

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
P. O. Box 1192, Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Tel (02) 539-9700· Fax: (02) 566-9970
E-mail: icej@icej.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact David Parsons, ICEJ Media Officer; Tel: (02) 539-9771; Mobile 053-816-214; E-mail: david.parsons@icej.org.
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