Local clergy from Bethlehem released a joint statement on the 7th of July about the planned annexation of the occupied West Bank. They represent the church communities of the Roman Catholics, the Melkite Catholics, the Greek Orthodox, and the Lutherans. They made it clear that such a move by the Israeli authorities would be the last straw for maintaining any viable Christian presence in the Holy Land, as many more Palestinians would be forced to emigrate.
- Lord Jesus, the town of Bethlehem where you were born is now hemmed in on many sides by the separation wall and illegal settlements. It is overcrowded and there is no room for it to grow. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Palestine as they try to raise their families and for their pastoral leaders as they try to care for their church communities under occupation. Lord, so many Palestinian families here and elsewhere live under constant pressure and threat of harassment and eviction in the Holy Land. We pray that the illegal plan of annexation will not be implemented. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.