Israeli President Isaac Herzog hosted the traditional New Year’s reception for Christian church leaders in the Holy Land on Wednesday, alongside Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.
“We are all children of Almighty God, the same God, and we all dream of a better world by filling it with peace, kindness, charity and mercy. We can do it together, united by our common values rather than dividing the world with differences,” Herzog said.
“As President of the State of Israel, I am wholeheartedly committed to preserving absolute freedom of religion and worship for members of all faiths in the Holy Land,” he continued.
“I know that Home Secretary Ayelet Shaked joins me in assuring you that we will stand firmly against any form of racism, discrimination or extremism, and that we will reject any aggression or threat against communities, their leaders or places of worship,” Herzog added.
Theophilus III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, said church leaders are “particularly grateful” for the president’s “unwavering commitment” to “the integrity of the multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of the region and for its defense of the rights of all”. those who regard the Holy Land as our homeland.”
He also stressed that the leaders are “grateful for the Israeli government’s stated commitment to maintaining a safe and secure home for Christians in the Holy Land.”