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Joint Statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of the Holy Land


2 July 2024

With a positive atmosphere, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of the Holy Land met today with His Excellency the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Moshe Leon, to convey to him in person the contents of their letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu earlier in June and their concern from the recent legal actions of the municipality against the Churches for the collection of so called Municipal taxes debts.

The Heads of Churches reiterated their long-standing position that such unilateral actions by the Municipalities is not in accordance with the Status Quo and with the rights of the Churches, recognized and upheld for centuries and granted to the Churches for their immense contribution to the Holy Land and the Holy City of Jerusalem.

The Heads of Churches insisted that any solution for the pending issues between the Churches and the municipalities must be solved through dialogue with the government that possesses a holistic understanding of the complex matters and relationships. The Heads of Churches restated their readiness to hold dialogue with the special committee created by the Government in 2018 for this purpose, and sincerely see that the Municipalities will be part of this holistic solution.

The Heads of Churches await the response of His Excellency the Prime Minister to their letter in this regard, and in the meantime look to His Excellency the Mayor and his positive reception of today to help push forward the dialogue mechanisms so that a favourable outcome can be reach for the benefit of all sides.

Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem