Statement on Pope’s Visit to Holy Land

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2014 | USCIRF 

Pope Francis will be traveling to the Holy Land this weekend amidst a spike in so-called "price tag" attacks on holy places.  In recent years, such attacks – property crimes and violent acts in retaliation for activity deemed to be anti-settlement – have targeted Christian and Muslim religious sites and properties.  In recent weeks, politically-motivated vandals have been responsible for a number of attacks on churches and have used anti-Christian and anti-Arab slurs in their assaults.  We encourage efforts to hold perpetrators accountable for attacks and vandalism on holy places and religious sites.  We also encourage, to the extent possible while guaranteeing the pontiff’s safety and security, access to Pope Francis for Christians of all nationalities and all who wish to pray with him.

To interview a USCIRF Commissioner, contact USCIRF at media@uscirf.gov or 202-786-0613.