A significant part of Window to Mount Zion’s activities includes accompanying different Christian religious processions in an about the Old City.
Why do the different religious figures need this? Aren’t the police there to protect them?
Many of the religious rituals include processions through public spaces – from monestaries to the Room of the Last Supper (Cenacle) or to the Church of the Holy Supulchre. During these processions, the religious figures are subject to protests and objections (in the past, sometimes violence) on the part of the general public.
Of course, police are on hand. But in the six years that this project has operated, we’ve found that our volunteers have been quite effective in diffusing tensions, alongside the police. Because the volunteers are not police, they are not not seen as the ‘establishment.’ And because most, if not all, are also trained tour guides, they are able to describe to passersby what exactly is going on. We’ve found that, with education comes a higher degree of tolerance.
Since May of 2021 we have been accompanying Armenian monks every week on their weekly procession from the Armenian monestary to the Church of the Holy Sepulcre. This came on the heels of an attack of a monk in May, during a procession.
You can read about our accompaniment of Armenian monks here: