President Rivlin: Everyone has to know that there is one God of all of us, and that people who are declaring war in the name of religion are dangerous to all humanity.
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Reuven Rivlin today (Monday, 16 May 2016) welcomed the Ethiopian Patriarch Abune Mathias Asratetsion who was visiting Israel. He was accompanied by the Ethiopian Ambassador to Israel, and leaders of the Ethiopian Church in Jerusalem.
The President welcomed the Patriarch warmly and said, "It is a great honor to welcome you in the city of God, in the city of Jerusalem. This is the city that the Jews of Ethiopia prayed for nearly 3000 years to return to, and at the same time we are very proud to have your center and your community with us here in Jerusalem."
The President stressed, "All those who are worshipping God according to their beliefs – whether they are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish – everyone has to know that there is one God of all of us, and that people who are declaring war in the name of religion are dangerous to all humanity."
The Patriarch thanked the President for his warm welcome and noted, "The relationship between Ethiopia and Israel is one of the most ancient religious and diplomatic encounters in the history of the world, which dates back three centuries and remains to this day. Whenever we come to the Holy Land, we are always aware we are following in the footsteps of those who came with the Queen of Sheba, who came to Jerusalem to meet King Solomon."
He concluded, "Our monks in Jerusalem are not just representatives of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, but they also maintain the long lived social, cultural and historical bond between the two nations. We pray that God will help Israel’s efforts to preserve the peace of the Middle East – where several religious and minority ethnic groups are suffering violent persecution."