Pope Francis has called for an end to violence and discrimination against people of different faiths in the Holy Land at a meeting with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, in Rome yesterday.
“The status quo of Jerusalem must be defended and preserved. We shall increase efforts to achieve peace based on justice and recognition of the rights of all people,” Pope Francis said.
“Every form of violence, discrimination and expression of intolerance against Jewish, Christian and Muslim believers or against places of worship must be firmly rejected,” he said.
The Pope said that the ambiguity of the situation and the lack of understanding between the parties causes insecurity and restricting fundamental freedoms is forcing a large number of people to flee their country.
He thanked the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem for his contribution to the restoration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
During a trip to Jerusalem in 2014 the Pope appealed for all Jewish, Christian and Muslim believers to be given equal access to Jerusalem and for there to be an end to all violence and intolerance.