While the Coptic Orthodox Church prohibits visits to Jerusalem, considering it as support of the
Israeli occupation, the Catholic Church permits the visit as a means of supporting the Palestinians who live in the
neighborhood of the Holy Places, whose income greatly depends on the Christian tourism to the Holy Lands.
reports on some questions from Catholic Christians regarding the reason why they are not allowed to visit
The denomination response, as stated by the author, was based on two points:
First, visiting the
Holy Lands is more of a personal desire than a religious duty.
Second, there are not any religious, spiritual, or
theological obstacles that prevent Christians from visiting Jerusalem. The reason is purely political.
Church, reports the author, does not prevent Catholic Christians from visiting the Holy lands where Jesus Christ and
Christianity were born. This is because of the Catholic Church’s conviction that sharing ‘Our Palestinian brothers’
pain does not mean stopping visiting the Holy Lands in Palestine.’
Moreover, the church’s response as cited by
the author asserts that the income of the Christians’ visit goes to the Palestinians and supports the poor families
there who depend on the income of Christian tourism to those places.
It is noteworthy that the Coptic Orthodox
Church, headed by Pope Shenouda III, prohibits visits to Jerusalem. The Coptic Orthodox Church excommunicates any Coptic
Orthodox who visits Israel, as it is considered to be a sign of support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.