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Nun says locals building illegally on monastery land

April 22, 2013 9:52 A.M. (Updated: April 24, 2013 8:11 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The head of a monastery in East Jerusalem on Monday accused residents of al-Eizariyya of building illegally on church land.

Al-Eizariyya residents are constructing buildings on the private lands of the Holy Monastery of Martha and Maria, "brushing aside all religious, social and national values," said Sister Efpraxia.

"This is a dangerous violation in broad daylight, and construction is ongoing despite our frequent appeals and calls. Such provocative acts are not acceptable by any rational human," the abbess added.

The nun appealed to President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah, custodian of holy sites in East Jerusalem, "to relieve the feeble people as soon as possible bringing these overt violations against the monastery's property."

She added: "Our properties and lands are not deserted properties, but rather Orthodox endowments and always will be. Next Saturday we will celebrate Lazarus Saturday. Dozens of pilgrims will visit the monastery from all over the world, and we wonder what we will tell them when they see these violations against the monastery’s property."

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