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Christians in occupied Jerusalem continue to dwindle, says Orthodox Church

Roman Catholic clergy hold candles as they circle the edicule during the Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) Easter procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on 18 April 2019 [GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images]
Roman Catholic clergy hold candles as they circle the edicule during the Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) Easter procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on 18 April 2019 [GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images]

The father of the Greek Orthodox community, George Awad, yesterday said that there was a “significant decline” in the number of Christian communities in Palestine, especially in the east of the occupied Jerusalem, as well as the northern parts of the West Bank.

“There are around 53,000 Christians in east Jerusalem and north of West Bank,” Awad told Al-Watan Voice, noting that the decline was resulting from what he described as “the Israeli occupation measures, which includes the inability to practice religious rites freely.”

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“The Israeli occupation has been systematically blackmailing not only Christians but also Muslims, where sometimes a Christian is granted a permit to enter Jerusalem, however often is refused,” he added.

Awad hailed the Palestinian Authority (PA) for “not discriminating between Muslims and Christians.”

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