Christians laud freedom of worship in Israel

The annual reception hosted by President Reuven Rivlin for spiritual and lay leaders of Christian communities in Israel has not only been an opportunity for the exchange of holiday greetings, but also for Christians to air their complaints via Greek Patriarch Theophilos III.

Though couched in the most diplomatic language to soften the barb, the Patriarch’s speech invariably contained elements of the dissatisfaction of the Christian community with the status quo.

This year, with the exception of a reference to “all peoples to have their own legitimate rights to self-determination and freedom,” there was not even a hint of criticism of Israel, and even this remark could easily have related to Syria and other countries in the region, as it did not specifically mention the Palestinians.


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