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Palm Sunday marked in Jerusalem in shadow of escalating attacks on Christians

Catholics attend processions at Old City’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with churches reeling from mounting violence and acts of desecration

  • Christian pilgrims walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
    Christian pilgrims walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
  • Roman Catholic clergymen walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholic Christians. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
    Roman Catholic clergymen walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholic Christians. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
  • A woman takes part in Palm Sunday Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead, in the Old City of Jerusalem, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
    A woman takes part in Palm Sunday Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead, in the Old City of Jerusalem, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
  • Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, holds a palm frond during a procession by the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholic Christians. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
    Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, holds a palm frond during a procession by the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholic Christians. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
  • Christian pilgrims walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
    Christian pilgrims walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
  • A woman holds palm fronds during Palm Sunday Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead, in the Old City of Jerusalem, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
    A woman holds palm fronds during Palm Sunday Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead, in the Old City of Jerusalem, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
  • Roman Catholic deacons walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholic Christians. (MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
    Roman Catholic deacons walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholic Christians. (MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
  • Christian pilgrims sit by a mosaic depicting the withdrawal of the body of Jesus Christ from the cross by the Unction Stone (not pictured) at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
    Christian pilgrims sit by a mosaic depicting the withdrawal of the body of Jesus Christ from the cross by the Unction Stone (not pictured) at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

Jerusalem’s Catholic Christian community marked Palm Sunday with masses attending religious processions in the Old City.

Worshipers, led by Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, packed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is recognized as the place where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected, and is one of the holiest Christian sites in the world.

Palm Sunday commemorates the day Jesus traditionally rode into Jerusalem, where he was greeted by cheering crowds bearing palm fronds, according to the New Testament. The day marks the start of Holy Week, which ends on April 9 with Easter.

Orthodox Christians mark Palm Sunday next Sunday, and Easter a week later.

Christian places of worship in Jerusalem have seen a wave of attacks in recent months, some of them blamed on Jewish extremists.

Churches in Jerusalem appealed to the government Friday to ensure Christians are able to worship freely during Easter and its run-up, expressing concern at mounting violence and acts of desecration over the past year.

Roman Catholic clergymen walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholic Christians. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
A woman takes part in Palm Sunday Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead, in the Old City of Jerusalem, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Roman Catholic deacons walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholic Christians. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
Christian pilgrims sit by a mosaic depicting the withdrawal of the body of Jesus Christ from the cross by the Unction Stone (not pictured) at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
Christian pilgrims walk with palm fronds as they circle in a procession around the Edicule, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday according to Catholics. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

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