Three months ago, it was dark in Bethlehem at Christmas, and the city was in darkness and fear. The angels’ song, “Peace on earth, goodwill to all people,” was hard to fathom amid the violence.

This is Holy Week, and our attention shifts from Bethlehem and its surrounding hills to Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, and the place called Golgotha. And the violence continues.

For centuries, pilgrims have come to Jerusalem to mark the events of Holy Week, wave palm branches, pray at Gethsemane, lament on the Mount of Olives, and trace Jesus’s steps along the stations of the cross.

This year, Palestinian Christians from the West Bank were prevented by Israeli authorities from entering the occupied city of Jerusalem to participate in Palm Sunday devotions. Christian Palestinians are required to obtain special permits to pass through military checkpoints surrounding Jerusalem and go to places of worship, especially the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

In the Kairos Palestine Easter Message, His Beatitude, the (Latin) Patriarch of Jerusalem Emeritus, Michel Sabbah, writes, “Pray with us and work and be agents of peace, justice and reconciliation in this holy land.”

Patriarch Michel Sabbah and Rifat Kassis, Secretary General of Kairos Palestine, offer this prayer:

O God, in this time of darkness and despair, we lift our hearts to You in prayer.
We pray for an end to the war and bloodshed in Gaza, and we ask for Your mercy to spare the lives of innocent civilians caught in this genocide war.

Grant wisdom to world leaders and decision-makers to seek peaceful resolutions and to prioritize the safety, well-being, and dignity of all people. Comfort those who mourn the loss of loved ones and strengthen those who are working tirelessly for justice and those who work for providing humanitarian assistance to the people in need.

We entrust the lives of the people of Gaza into Your loving hands, trusting in Your grace and mercy to bring an end to their suffering in a new era of peace, justice, equality, free of occupation, oppression and dispossession.

Visit to read the Kairos Palestine Easter Appeal 2024. The Appeal includes updates on the situation in Gaza and a meditation by Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah.

Prayer and Advocacy

Read more on our Just and Lasting Peace: Palestine-Israel page.