First published by GR in December 2006
War criminals George W. Bush and Tony Blair were banned for life in April 2003 from the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, widely believed to be the birth-place of Jesus Christ. The ban was announced at the height of the illegal US-allied bombing and invasion of Iraq.
Below are the original 2003 press reports pertaining to that decision as well as a subsequent introductory note published by Global Research in December 2006.
“The Bethlehem sanctuary issued a ringing reprisal Sunday [April 2003] of the coalition attack, going as far as barring US President George W. Bush, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw from entering church grounds, due to their “aggressive war on Iraq.”
“The priest in the Church of the Nativity has every right to ban Bush and his supporters since they have marred the teachings of Christ. Their entry into the church will tarnish it as [Bush’s] hands are covered in the blood of the innocent,” Karmash told The Jordan Times.
The local priest went on to say that he felt the punishment was not enough. “We need a tougher one to eradicate evil at its very root,” he exclaimed.
The Nativity Church’s parishioner, Father Panaritius, said during a rally organised Sunday by the Greek Orthodox community in Bethlehem that Bush, Rumsfeld, Blair and Straw are “war criminals and children killers that will be banned from entering the church forever!”
The Church Parishioner Father Panaritius made the decision public at a massive protest demonstration organized by Orthodox institutions in front of the Church of Nativity.”They are war criminals and murderers of children. Therefore the Church of Nativity decided to ban them access into the holy shrine for ever,” the parishioner said.”
There is no indication from The Church of the Nativity that this ban on war criminals Bush, Blair et al. has been revoked.
This ban should be extended to a number of other Western leaders including presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump who in the course of their mandate have waged illegal and criminal wars on the people of Iraq,