Christians and Muslims Deplore Nablus Church Attacks

September 24, 2006

Source: Ekklesia

On September 24, 2006 Ekklesia reported, "The Rev Munib A. Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), has visited Nablus, West Bank, from Jerusalem with the heads of three other Christian churches there. Their purpose was to offer comfort and support to churches under fire – and to convey the opposition to violence of both Christians and Muslims. Flames and bullets scarred four church buildings in Nablus from the 16 September attacks considered to be in reaction to remarks Pope Benedict XVI made Germany. In a personal account of the visit, Bishop Younan said he went to Nablus with His Beatitude Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Bishop Riah Abu el-Assal of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, and Bishop George Bakar, the Greek Catholic Exarch, 'to stand in solidarity with Christian sisters and brothers there.' Anglican, Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic church buildings were damaged in the Nablus attacks. 'I viewed the minimal damage mostly on the outside of the four churches,' Younan said. 'More serious, however, was the symbolic meaning of the acts.' 'Our aim was to encourage all of the people, Christians and Muslims, and to discuss events with congregations and officials in Nablus,' he said. 'We all - Christian and Muslim leaders and government officials of all factions - denounced the violence that has occurred.' 'At the same time, we asked if the relationship between Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Muslims was so shallow that a statement from thousands of miles away should spark such actions. We know the answer - for the majority of us - is no,' Younan said."