Christian leaders protest Israeli taxes on church property, ouster of Anglican bishop
April 08, 2011
Christian leaders in Israel have joined in a protest against the Israeli government’s refusal to grant a residency permit to an Anglican bishop, and new taxes imposed on church institutions.
The Israeli government has denied a residency permit to Anglican Bishop Suheil Dawani, a native of the West Bank. As a result, the Palestinian prelate is unable to use the Anglican cathedral and diocesan offices in East Jerusalem. The leaders of Christian churches in Israel are protesting that decision, saying that it sets an unfortunate precedent.
The Christian leaders are also protesting new taxes imposed on church properties, calling the government move “an aggressive action.” They pointed out that such taxation violates the historical pattern set by the Ottoman Empire and the British mandate, as well as the terms of UN Resolution 247 establishing the Israeli state.