Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian

Jordan, Palestinian Authority Cease Recognition of Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM (Combined Sources) — The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem expresses its deep concern about the decision of Jordan and Palestine to suspend their recognition of Patriarch Nourhan Manougian on May 11.

“The urgently convened Holy Synod meeting on May 12th, 2023 expresses its deep concern regarding the news circulated on May 11th through social media and the publication of various Jordanian and Palestinian news sources, in which both the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Palestinian government have decided to freeze the Patriarchal recognition of the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian,” it said in a statement posted on Facebook by Father Aghan Gogchian, chancellor of the Armenian Patriarchate on Friday, May 12.

“The most disconcerting aspect to this decision is its timing. Notably, becoming public just after the Holy Synod leveled the strictest punishment to the main person responsible for the ‘Cows Garden’ issue. That person being Khachig (formerly Archimandrite, Very Rev. Father Baret) Yeretsian in his previous position as the former Director of Real Estate Department. Per the directive of the Holy Synod, this individual has been defrocked of his priestly rites, banished, and is no longer living on the premises of the Patriarchate,” the statement concluded.

The statement indicated that the decision of Jordan and Palestine came after the “deal” related to the Al-Bustan site known as the “Cows’ Garden” and its surroundings, which extends to the “Al-Qishla” building in Bab Al-Khalil, which constitutes a large part of the Armenian neighborhood, as Patriarch Manougian was asked to stop any measures of this would affect the historical and legal status of these properties, which would change their demographic and geographical nature, but he did not respond to any of these demands.

The two sides affirmed that the Armenian Quarter is an integral part of the Old City as occupied territory, to which resolutions issued by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly apply.

According to the statement, the Executive Council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has issued several decisions considering the Old City and its walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and that Manougian’s dealings constituted a violation of relevant international covenants and decisions, which aim to preserve the status quo in Jerusalem and the protection of the authentic Jerusalemite Armenian heritage.

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