Restrictions Imposed on Holy Fire Ceremony at Greek Orthodox Church in Israel

The Greek Orthodox Church has accused the Israeli police of violating the freedom of worshipers by imposing severe restrictions on the number of visitors to the Holy Fire ceremony.

In press statements, church officials in Jerusalem said talks with police over “hard” restrictions were unsuccessful.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem explained: “After several attempts made in good faith, we have been unable to coordinate with the Israeli authorities as they impose unreasonable restrictions on access to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The restrictions will restrict Christian access to the temple. Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Holy Fire.

Jerusalem District Police Chief Yoram Sehgal said the police’s top priority is security on a day when Muslims, Christians and Jews celebrate their special holidays in the square kilometer Old City.

“We are organizing the movement of the crowd,” he said, noting that the sacred fire ceremony will be available throughout the city on video screens and that meetings with churches are ongoing.

Source: Associated Press

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