Jerusalem 4.11.2022

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem congratulates its congregations and all the people of the Holy Land on both sides of the Jordan River for the occasion of Easter and Saturday of the Holy Light, and at the same time we affirm our strong and renewed commitment to our natural right to celebrate our holidays along with our communities, families and to participate together in prayers at our churches in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the basic right of all our communities to access the Church of Holy Sepulchre and its vicinity during Easter festivities including Holy Light Saturday. Our communities have been exercising this divine right freely throughout the ages and different rulers, regardless of the circumstances that the Holy City went through in history.

For many years, participating in prayers and even having access to churches in the Old City, especially during Easter holidays, has become very difficult for our congregations and our people in general, due to police unilaterally enforced restrictions and its violence against believers who insist on exercising their natural divine right to worship. Previously, we had cooperated with different Christian bodies and leaders to bring our case to the international, domestic and judicial levels, and we also coordinated with the police themselves, with the aim of preventing the police from continuing their unacceptable practices, but unfortunately the promises were great and what actually took place on the ground was not even remotely close to those promises.

Instead of reversing its habitual unacceptable practices on Easter and Holy Fire Saturday, the police have recently informed the Patriarchate of additional new unilateral measures that increase restrictions on Holy Fire Saturday, to the effect that the police will only allow one thousand people to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on this great day, although it is customary to many thousands of worshippers to enter the church in celebration on that day. Furthermore, the police said that they will allow only five hundred people to enter the Old City and reach the Patriarchate yards and the overlooking roof of the Holy Sepulchre Church. The Patriarchate believes that there is no justification for these additional unjust restrictions, and affirms its explicit, clear and complete rejection of all restrictions. The Patriarchate is fed up with police restrictions on freedom to worship and with its unacceptable methods of dealing with the God given rights of Christians to practice rituals and have to access their holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Accordingly, the orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem has decided, by the power of the Lord, that it will not compromise its right to provide spiritual services in all churches and squares. It also announces that prayers will be held as usual by the Patriarchate and its priests, hoping that believers are able to participate. This position of the Patriarchate stems from the basis of divine right, heritage and history. The police must stop imposing restrictions and violence that, unfortunately, have become part of our sacred ceremonies. We also urge our congregations to uphold our historical heritage through participating in the rituals and celebrations of Easter and Holy Fire Saturday this year in the Church of Holy Sepulchre and its vicinity.




Appeal for prayer




PDF file: Statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem on the Illegal Seizure of the Little Petra Hotel




PDF file: Statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem on the Recent Wave of Violence



The seizure of the Little Petra Hotel by the radical extremist group Ateret Cohanim is a threat to the continued existence of a Christian Quarter in Jerusalem, and ultimately to peaceful coexistence of the communities of this city. The Heads of Churches have repeatedly warned of the illegitimate actions of extremists, who have followed a pattern of intimidation, violence, and lawless action to drive Christians and Muslims from the city that we share.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem engaged in good faith negotiations with the Israeli government to settle the status of these Christian heritage properties that sit on the Christian pilgrim route, and through the committee headed by Minister Elazer Stern. We were assured that there would be no changes to the facts on the ground in the Christian Quarter while these negotiations are ongoing. The actions of Ateret Cohanim this week violate that assurance.

In occupying the Greek Orthodox Church’s property, the Little Petra Hotel, Ateret Cohanim has committed criminal acts of break-in and trespass. They act as if they are above the law, with no fear of consequences.

This issue is not about the individual properties, but about the whole character of Jerusalem, including the Christian Quarter. The Little Petra Hotel stands on the pilgrim route for the millions of Christians who visit Jerusalem each year. It is our heritage, and speaks of our very existence in this place.

Israeli radical extremist groups like Ateret Cohanim are already targeting and hijacking our beloved old city of Jerusalem and imposing their illegitimate and dangerous agenda on all sides. We refuse this and we say: this will lead to instability and tension at the time when all are trying to de-escalate and build trust, to build towards justice and peace. Acts of coercion and violence cannot lead to peace.

We demand that this criminal group immediately cease their trespass and get out of our heritage property. We demand that they halt their criminal activities on the Christian pilgrim route and in our beloved Old City.







On Thursday evening, 11/24 March 2022, the feast of the anniversary of March 25,1821.

The school event was organized by the care of the Managing Director Archimandrite Mattheos and the cooperation of the teachers and the novice students and was honoured by the presence of H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr Evangelos Vlioras, the Chairman of the School Board His Eminence Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis, Hagiotaphite Archimandrites and Priests, Nuns, members of the Greek community and others.

The well-organized ceremony included an introductory speech by the Managing Director, the Sermon of the day by the Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod Hierodeacon Simeon, performances by the students on stage and videos and songs by the guidance of Mr Vasilios Gotsopoulos.

The reciting of the poems by the students gave information on the lives and the revolutionary actions of the fighters of 1821, Constantine Kanaris, Markos Botsaris, Andreas Miaoulis, George Karaiskakis, Theodore Kolokotronis. There was also a skilled performance by students of the nursery school which moved the audience.

With all the above the struggles of our ancestors over 400 years of bitter slavery were remembered, as well as the bravery and sacrifices of the whole Greeks, with special reference to the role of the Church and of the “secret school”.

Despite the loss of life and the victims and the confiscation of property, these sacrificial actions brought the desired result of the overthrow of the Turkish yoke and the formation of the Greek state, under the rule of the Greek government, governed by the principles of grace, justice and freedom.

A special mention was made of the destruction of Smyrna on the completion of one hundred years since 1922 and the martyrdom of the Metropolitan of Smyrna Chrysostom. The contribution of the Hagiotafite Brotherhood during the period of 1821 was especially emphasized through the writings of Neophytos the Hagiotaphite Hieromonk of Cyprus.

The successful performance of teachers and students, which created a feeling of modesty of national pride and emotion, was exerted at the end of the ceremony by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, emphasizing that the role of the freedom of the Greeks is the freedom in Christ, while Mr Vlioras also praised the performance of the teachers and students.

From Secretariat-General



The inauguration of the restoration work beneath the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre took place on Monday morning, 1/14 March 2022.

The project is a continuation of the restoration of the Sacred Edicule which was completed four years ago. The current work shares the agreement of the Three Major Communities, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Custody of the Holy Land of the Franciscans and the Patriarchate of the Armenians in Jerusalem, who have the responsibility of the Status Quo, and has been undertaken by the University Sapienza of Rome.

The project includes restoration or replacement works of the damaged floor tiles on the north part of the rotunda and excavations of its underground area, beneath the Seven Arches and in front of the Sacred Edicule. It is scheduled for completion within twenty six months and will be funded by sponsors and donors.

For the beginning of this project, present at the Holy Sepulchre were the Heads of the Three Communities: H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, along with their Eminences, Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias, the Archbishops, Aristarchos of Constantina and Isidoros of Hierapolis, the Elder Dragoman Archimandrite Mattheos, the Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios, the Master of Ceremonies Archimandrite Bartholomew and other Hagiotaphite Fathers, as well as the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr Evangelos Vlioras and the architect of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Mr Theodosios Mitropoulos. On the part of the Franciscans in the Holy Land there were the Custos Fr Francesco Patton, Fr Dobromiro, Fr Athanasios Makora and others, and from the Patriarchate of the Armenians, His Eminence Sevan, the Hegoumen of the Armenians Fr Samuel, Fr Gourion and others.

On the occasion of the inauguration of this project, H.H.B. addressed those present as follows:


“Come bless the Lord all you servants of the Lord

who stand…in the house of the Lord.

Lift up your hands to the holy place,

and bless the Lord.

(Psalm 133[134]:1-2).

Your Beatitudes,

Your Eminences,

Your Graces,

Beloved Members of our Respective Brotherhoods,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are gathered in the holiest of places in this historic moment to continue the work that has been so well begun in the restoration of the Sacred Edicule. On this occasion we remember the words of the Psalms:

How very good and pleasant it is when brethren live together in unity!

(Psalm 132 [133]:1).

Five years ago this month, we gathered here to celebrate the completion of the restoration of the Sacred Edicule. That restoration was the fruit not only of the labour of experts but of our common purpose and unity in placing the restoration of the Sacred Edicule above all other concerns and distractions. As those to whom the Divine Providence has entrusted the Diakonia of the Holy Places, we must always deepen our commitment to this common purpose.

The restoration of the Sacred Edicule, the first in two centuries, stands as a true achievement of our Communities acting together and is a sign of hope for the world.

And now we stand at the beginning of a new phase of this work, to restore the area beneath the floor of the rotunda as well as the pavement, to ensure that the foundations of this holy place are secure for generations to come. We are deeply grateful to all those sponsors whose generosity and expertise are making this project possible, and we fully expect that his work will bring the present renovation of the sacred Edicule and the rotunda to successful completion.

We are meeting here at a difficult time for humanity. The pandemic is not yet over, there is grave conflict in Ukraine and in the world generally, there is a great deal of political, economic and social instability.

But here, in this holiest of places, that is, the Holy Tomb, there is hope. In the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the new and eternal life of God has shone forth like a light in our dark and confused world. As we care for and restore this holy place, we participate in the message of hope that emanates from the Holy Tomb not just for the Christians, but also for people of goodwill around the world.

As we gather here, we recall the words of Saint John Chrysostom which are recited here every day:

O Lord, save your people and bless your inheritance;

protect the fullness of your Church;

and sanctify those who love the beauty of your house…

For every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above,

coming down from you, the Father of lights.

May the Almighty God, the Father of lights, whose uncreated Light shines from the Holy Tomb, bless our new work that begins today in His name.

His Beatitude Theophilos III

Patriarch of Jerusalem


27th February, 2022


With heartfelt regard, we follow the distressing crisis in Ukraine in the last days and we stand deeply concerned for the human suffering of all our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The strongest power of the Christian is prayer. With other Christian leaders around the world, we therefore call upon all Christian people to join in prayer for our world and for the people of Ukraine. 

Here in Jerusalem, we raise our prayers in the place of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ that God would grant wisdom and courage to all Leaders and parties concerned. May He enlighten their minds so that dialogue and unity would be sought, and lasting peace would prevail.



Jerusalem 2022.01.18
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received yesterday, Monday January 17, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III.
During the afternoon meeting, His Excellency President Abbas valued the recent statements issued by the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and affirmed that the State of Palestine will continue to support the people of Jerusalem, and will protect Islamic and Christian holy sites in light of the attacks they are being subjected to by Israeli radical groups. 
His Excellency the President noted “We share with you the importance of carrying out more vital projects that contribute to the consolidation of the Christian presence in Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land, and we highly value your undertaking such projects, and your international campaign aimed at exposing violations of the rights of believers in the Holy Land.”
His Excellency stressed the importance of continuing coordination between all relevant authorities through the Higher Presidential Committee on Church Affairs.
In return, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos greeted the Palestinian President by saying: “We come to you from the city of Jerusalem, bearing hope coupled with a dazzling spirituality derived from our Christian and Islamic holy sites, which have withstood throughout history despite all the difficult circumstances that our region has gone through.”
His Beatitude affirmed that the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem have decided to carry out an international campaign that puts the Christian world in the form of violations committed against the Holy City, especially with regards to Orthodox real estate threatened to be seized by radical groups in Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Square in Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, which is the main route of pilgrims to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the various monasteries, in addition to the process of distorting the cultural and historical identity of New Gate area.
In addition, His Beatitude stressed that he raises his voice loudly at this special time of the year, Christmas, to confirm that the Holy Land is not only the land of the birth of Christ, but the land of the birth of Christianity, and added that the entire world is responsible for the survival of Christians in the Holy Land and the Middle East in general.

The meeting was attended by the Head of the Higher Presidential Committee on Church Affairs, Mr. Ramzi Khoury; the Palestinian Supreme Sharia Judge, Mahmoud Al-Habash; and the diplomatic advisor to the President, Mr. Majdi Al-Khalidi.



On Saturday morning, 2/15 January 2022, the Hagiotaphite Archimandrite Eusevios Dagalas slept in the Lord. Our blessed brother was found dead in his cell by the Elder Dragoman Archimandrite Mattheos.

Prior to this morning, the departed had gone to the monastic Church of Saints Constantine and Helen and led the Byzantine chanting for the feast of the Apodosis of Christmas, and on Thursday night he was seen at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the Liturgy of the Lord’s Circumcision and of Saint Basil the Great.

His funeral service was held at 15:30 on Saturday afternoon at the chapel dedicated to Saint Thecla, by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and the co-celebration of all the Archbishops of the Patriarchate and many Hagiotaphite Fathers. The service was attended by the Nuns of the Patriarchate and laity from the Russian and Arab-speaking flocks and the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr Evangelos Vlioras.

The obituary was delivered by Geronda Secretary-General, His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina as follows:

“Your Beatitude, Father and Master,

Your Eminences Holy Archbishops,

Your Excellency Mr Consul General of Greece,

Dear Fathers and Brethren in Christ,

Having recently celebrated the Metropolis of the feasts, the feast of Christmas, in Bethlehem and in our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, and yesterday we celebrated the feast of the Lord’s circumcision and the commemoration of Saint Basil the Great, along with the beginning of the new civil year, it is with great sadness and sorrow of heart that today, Saturday, as we commemorate Saint Silvestros Pope of Rome and Saint Seraphim of Sarov, we found our brother, Archimandrite Eusevios to have suffered a sudden death in his cell. The last time we saw him, he was chanting at the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen on the feast of the Apodosis of Christmas.

Our sadness on this sudden departure and separation can be comforted by our Lord Jesus Christ though, Who died as a man on the Cross and was risen from the dead. It is only in Him and His teaching that we find the healing of our broken hearts.

Thus encouraged, we offer our departed brother the established by the Church funeral service and the honour our Brotherhood attributes to him. Archimandrite Eusevios was born in Achladochori of Siniki in Serres by a pious family and came to the Patriarchal School at a very young age. After his graduation, he joined the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood as a Monk and diligently studied and excelled in the Greek language and the Byzantine Tradition of Music. After his ordination to Deacon and later to Priest, and having received the title of the Archimandrite, he was sent to study Theology at the Theological School of Leningrad in Russia, where he excelled in the Russian language.

When he returned to Jerusalem, he served with zeal and devotion in various ministries of the Brotherhood, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, at the Secretariat Office, the Holy Monastery of Capernaum, the Holy Monastery of Saint Charalambos, the Holy Monastery of the Holy Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna and at the Archives office.

He served as the left Byzantine singer at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and for many years as the leading Byzantine singer at the Monastic Church of Saints Constantine and Helen. Through his sweet voice and the precision of Byzantine music, he delivered the hymns in a manner that brought joy, contrition to our souls, and communion with God.

“But death came, and made all these disappear”. We will not hear him again rejoicing our hearing and softening our hearts in this time, but in the future to come, at the Resurrection of the dead.

In this faith and hope, we pray to the One Who has the power over life and death and of the remission of sins, to pardon him for any sins he committed as a man, voluntarily and involuntarily and receive him to praise Him in His heavenly dwellings, along with the righteous, where the Light of the One God in Three Persons shines abundantly and His perfect Love and unmeasurable and infinite compassion comforts and reigns.

Everlasting his remembrance!”

The funeral procession was led by His Eminence Archbishop Aristovoulos of Madaba, to conclude the service with the departed’s burial at the cemetery of the Patriarchate in Holy Zion.

Everlasting his remembrance!

From Secretariat-General