PHOTO: A religious Jewish family is escorted by police to ensure they don’t make any outward expressions of faith while visiting the Temple Mount.
There won’t be genuine peace in Holy Land until religious freedom is enjoyed by all. Ironically, the only group suffering from institutionalized religious discrimination in the Jewish state are Jews (and by extension Christians).
That fact was “jarring” to a visiting US congressman who ascended Jerusalem’s Temple Mount last week.
US Representative Mike Johnson (R-IL) visited Judaism’s holiest site together with former Member of Knesset Yehudah Glick, who was afterwards arrested and subsequently harassed by police for his “provocative” behavior atop the Temple Mount.
While Rep. Johnson was not witness to Glick’s ordeal, he did take note of the lack of religious freedom for both Jews and Christians at the site where God chose to put His name (Deuteronomy 12).
“An important issue that came up for me is the issue of freedom of religion, the first part of the First Amendment. It specifically is first because religious belief is grounded in morality,” Johnson was cited as saying by Israeli media.
“I saw the contrast on the Temple Mount and walked and saw that anyone who is an observant Jew has to continue to move and is forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount. It’s a jarring thing to see,” the congressman added.
“As a constitutional lawyer,” he continued, “I defended religious expression in federal courts for 20 years and to see that you don’t have freedom of expression if you are a Jew or a Christian on the Temple Mount, which is arguably the holiest site in the whole world – it is a remarkable thing to observe and a sad thing to observe. I hope that can change.”