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Church of Holy Sepulchre closed to protest taxes

JERUSALEM (CNS): “This systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land severely violates the most basic … and sovereign rights, trampling on the delicate fabric of relations between the Christian community and the authorities for decades,” the heads of Christian Churches in the Holy Land said in a statement on February 25 as they closed the of the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for an undisclosed period of time.
 

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Heavy security in Rome as president of Turkey visits pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was welcomed to the Vatican by Pope Francis for a private meeting on February 5. It was the first visit by a Turkish head of state in 59 years.
 
Erdogan had arrived in Rome amid heavy security measures for a two-day visit that was to include meetings with Italian authorities and business leaders. More than 3,000 police officers had been deployed for the visit, according to Agence France-Presse, and demonstrations had been banned in Rome’s centre for 24 hours.

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Mideast leaders fight Trump on Jerusalem

AMMAN (CNS): “The two-state solution is accepted by all the world, including the Vatican. It corresponds to the legitimate resolutions passed by the United Nations,” Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem, patriarchal vicar for Jordan, said as Church and political leaders in the Middle East intensified efforts to combat the unilateral decision by the president of the United States (US), Donald Trump, to recogonise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital along with plans to move the US embassy there.
 

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Church weighs in on Trump’s Jerusalem

HONG KONG (SE): Pope Francis was quick to weigh in on the debate over the announcement from the president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, expressing his intention to move his embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus giving recognition to the controversial claim that the biblical city can be declared as the capital and territory of Israel.
 

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Easter permits for Jerusalem given out freely in Gaza

GAZA (SE): For the first time, the Church made a mass application to the Israeli authorities for Catholics to cross from Gaza to take part in the Easter ceremonies in Jerusalem.

The Orthodox Churches have been doing it in the past, but report that not everyone who applies is successful.

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Frozen accounts and few pilgrims

JERUSALEM (AsiaNews): “Things have worsened, there is no real willingness to resume peace negotiations and there is always an excuse to put it off. Every day we expect more deaths, but nothing is done to resume dialogue,” Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, the patriarchal vicar of Jerusalem, said in describing the current situation in the Holy Land and the Middle East.

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Church of the Holy Sepulchre may close over water bill

 

Jerusalem (CathNews): The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has warned that it may shut its doors to pilgrims in protest over a dispute with Hagihon, an Israeli water company, according to a November 2 report from the BBC. At the company’s request, the church’s accounts have been frozen over an unpaid US$2.3 million ($17.8 million) bill.

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