The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate has issued a statement expressing concern over the Israeli police's restrictions on the Holy Saturday rituals at the Holy Church of the Resurrection. Every year the churches work to coordinate with Israeli authorities but this year have been unable to do so. Christian worshippers and the Palestinian Christian community, who consider this holiday to be of utmost importance, are facing severe barriers that threaten their religious freedom.
Israel’s attack on Palestinian religious freedom is all encompassing. Israel states that this is for security reasons and to prevent a stampede but the statement from the Patriarchate says this event has been held for two millennia without incident. This is not the first time Israel has used security as an excuse to infringe on Christian religious customs. This is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and freedom of religion should not be ignored by the international community.