Archbishop of Canterbury condemns ‘blasphemous’ desecration of Jerusalem graves

Posted Jan 4, 2023

[Lambeth Palace] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has condemned the desecration of Christian graves in Jerusalem on Jan. 1 as “a blasphemous act.”

More than 30 graves were vandalized at the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion, including crosses being broken and headstones and icons smashed.

Welby said in a statement released Jan. 4:

“The desecration of Christian graves in Jerusalem is a blasphemous act. I join the Chief Rabbi and religious leaders in Jerusalem in condemning it and hope those responsible will be brought swiftly to justice. As we continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land, I stand with Archbishop Hosam Naoum and other Jerusalem church leaders in calling for respect, protection, equality and justice for its Christian community – who are the Living Stones of the church.”

Welby has frequently highlighted the plight of Palestinian Christian communities in the Holy Land, who he has visited twice since taking office in 2013. Writing jointly with the Anglican archbishop in Jerusalem in the Sunday Times last Christmas, Welby warned that the concerted attempt by fringe, radical groups to drive ancient Christian communities away from the Holy Land – combined with the pressures they face living under Israeli occupation – was “a historic tragedy unfolding in real time.”