On Tuesday, the 5th/18th of November 2014, the Church of St George in the Community of Nisf Ijbil, lying at some distance from Nablus, Samaria, was consecrated.

The town used to be inhabited by Greek Orthodox Arab-speaking Community members who, however, over the last thirty years have gradually abandoned their town in search of better living conditions – with the exception of one family.

The Church of the Community suffered the consequences of abandonment, that is why it was recently restored, repaired and renovated at the subvention of Mr Basem Labib Hismech, Greek Orthodox pious donator. The church will be attended by the aforementioned family on every occasion a priest of the Patriarchate may be available to officiate.

Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem performed the divine Liturgy in celebration of the renovation, accompanied by Archimandrite Justinus, Abbot at Jacob’s Well; Protosyncellus Leontios, head of the Raffidia Community; f. Ignatius, head of the Beit-Sahur Community; and members of the Church Board of the Community of Raffidia.

The Head Cantor of the Church of Sts Constantine and Helena, Archimandrite Eusebius, sang in Greek and Arabic, in the presence of several Orthodox Christians from the Samaria region. Those were addressed by His Beatitude through f. Issa Mousleh, the Patriarchate’s liaison with Arab-speaking Media. See link::

After mass, the Abbot at Jacob’s Well and renovator of the Church of St Photini, Archimandrite Justinus, hosted His Beatitude, His retinue, and the congregation, to lunch.

Over lunch, His Beatitude bestowed the medal of Crusader of the Holy Sepulcher to Mr Basem Labib Hishmeh.

From the Secretariat-General