The 13 patriarchs and heads of the Churches of Jerusalem have issued a statement, congratulating the Palestinian people for their “democratic performance” in the recent elections, and committing to pray for all those “who will govern in this difficult period.”
“We express our respect and our support to the will of the people expressed in these elections. We congratulate all those who were elected,” they said.
The church leaders expressed their intention to cooperate with the new government “for the public good and the national Palestinian aspirations, together with the cause of justice and peace in a nonviolent way, whether in regard to foreign relations, the rule of law together with full religious freedom, especially in the social and educational fields.”
They addressed the fears and concerns that some may have about the future with the words of Jesus: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Peace I bequeath to you; my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give” (Jn 14:27).
“We call upon the Palestinian people to continue their contribution to the making of their history whatever may be the difficulties or obstacles, internal or external,” they said.
In their message to the new Hamas government, the church leaders wrote out the entire Beatitudes.
“We ask God to guide us towards what is good for all and for this Holy Land with all its inhabitants, Palestinians and Israelis, be they Muslims, Christians or Jews,” they concluded.