On behalf of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine (AFRP), and its more than 40,000 members throughout the U.S., we stand in solidarity with Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah Hanna) of Sebastia, leader of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Recently, Archbishop Hanna was criticized for his nonviolent comments denouncing Israeli aggression and occupation of the Palestinian people particularly those living in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. In his quest to highlight the human rights abuses of the Palestinian people, Archbishop Hanna was condemned and labeled as someone who incites violence for speaking against the unwarranted Israeli security conditions at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

As great civil and human rights leaders before him from Martin Luther King to Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Hanna is a Christian man of peace, who simply spoke up for those who have no voice, who have no basic human rights, and who are oppressed by their occupiers.

The Israeli government – in their mission of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people – would like to silence his voice as they have others who have spoken against their illegal occupation.

Archbishop Hanna follows the teaching of Christ each day. He works and lives with the Bible as his guide. He believes that “the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.” As one of the Palestinian people’s spiritual leaders, he teaches us that injustice to one person is injustice to everyone. He has never proposed violence or hate.

Just like any other spiritual leader around the world who is compelled to speak out against the injustices of humanity, we applaud Archbishop Hanna and his courage to speak out regardless of numerous threats to his safety. We are proud of his actions and are honored to call him a friend and spiritual leader.

We call on the world community to stand with us in solidarity against the illegal Israeli occupation and support Archbishop Hanna in his endeavor to bring justice to the Palestinian people.

Hanna Hanania, DDS
President, American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine