Palm Sunday marked in Jerusalem in shadow of escalating attacks on Christians
The Catholic Christian community of Jerusalem marked Palm Sunday and attended mass in religious processions in the Old City.
Worshipers, led by the Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, set up the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, recognized as the place where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, and is one of the most holy Christian sites in the world.
Palm Sunday commemorates the day Jesus traditionally rode into Jerusalem, where he was cheered by crowds carrying palm fronds, according to the New Testament. The day marks the beginning 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 blamed on Jewish extremists.
Churches in Jerusalem appealed to the government on Friday to ensure that Christians are able to worship freely during and around Easter, expressing concern over the increasing violence and acts of desecration over the past year.