Palestinian Authority Demands Armenian Patriarch’s Reply

JERUSALEM, June 18–The Palestinian Authority’s Higher Presidential Committee of Church Affairs has sent a letter to Patriarch Nourhan Manougian of Jerusalem demanding an explanation for the latter’s questionable real estate transactions (lease or sale) with Israeli interests. Below are the highlights of the letter and the Arabic original of the letter.
—The Cows’ Garden (Armenian-owned “Goveroun Bardez” which the Patriarch has apparently leased to Israeli interests) and its surroundings are sensitive to the Armenian and Christian presence in Jerusalem and their sale/lease to Israeli interests mark the implementation of the Israeli plan that failed to be approved at Camp David in 2000.
—Patriarch Nourhan’s real estate designs have been rejected by the Armenian community of the Holy Land and abroad in detail and in whole. These plans include the sale or lease of Armenian-owned real estate within the Old City of Jerusalem and outside the city walls.
—Patriarch Nourhan’s real estate transactions have been categorically rejected by the Sts. James Brotherhood Council and the Patriarchate’s Synod.
—Patriarch Nourhan’s real estate deals have been rejected by the Palestinian-Jordanian-Armenian tripartite committee. The committee has also demanded their cancellation.
—The Palestinian committee informed Patriarch Nourhan that its letter is the last opportunity for the Patriarch to fully clarify the patriarchate’s covert real estate transactions which have been dubbed dubious.
The Patriarch has ignored previous Palestinian committee letters. The letter doesn’t say what steps the Palestinian Authority will take if the Patriarch is once again unresponsive or his response is unsatisfactory.

تدين اللجنة الرئاسية العليا لمتابعة شؤون الكنائس في فلسطين ما وصلها من معلومات خطيرة حول نوايا من قبل البطريركية الأرمنية لصفقات تسريب وبيع لعقارات في الحي الأرمني في البلدة القديمة بالقدس المحتلة ضمن معلومات تفيد بانخراط البطريرك نورهان مانوغيان ومعاونه باريت يريتزيان بشكل مباشر وذلك لصالح شركة ومستثمرين إسرائيليين.
علماً بأن اللجنة الرئاسية قد حاولت مرارا وتكرارا مخاطبة البطريرك نورهان بعدة رسائل طالبت فيها البطريركية الأرمنية بتوضيح موقفها تجاه صفقة موقع البستان المعروفة بـ”حديقة البقر” ومحيطها وحذرت اللجنة الرئاسية البطريركية من عدم تجاوبها والتراجع عن هذه الصفقة والغائها، كما ويجري الان الحديث عن صفقات متتالية تشمل مواقع ذات حساسية للوجود الأرمني و المسيحي وبمساحات أوسع تظهر المسعى المبطن من ورائها، وهو تنفيذ المخطط الإسرائيلي الذي فشلت بتمريره في إتفاقية كامب ديفيد، والذي تمثل برفض الشهيد الرئيس الراحل ياسر عرفات التنازل فيها عن الحي الأرمني، والآن تحاول اسرائيل ومستوطنيها تنفيذ مخططها عبر هذه الصفقات التي يرفضها المجتمع الأرمني في داخل الأراضي المقدسة وفي المهجر، كما يرفضه المجتمع الفلسطيني بكافة أطيافه، جملة و تفصيلا.

ومن هنا، فإن اللجنة الرئاسية تطالب البطريرك نورهان ضمن الفرصة الأخيرة للخروج بتوضيح كامل لهذه المعلومات الخطيرة ونتوقع من البطريركية ان يتم ذلك بالسرعة الممكنة، وبخلاف ذلك فإننا نحمله المسؤولية الكاملة عن ضياع التاريخ الأرمني وهويته الذي يجسده هذا الحي والذي يعتبر جزءاً اصيلاً لا يتجزأ من تاريخ القدس العريق وارتباطه الوثيق بالهوية الوطنية الفلسطينية

وضمن المعلومات الواردة الينا من اكثر من مصدر موثوق وبحسب ما اعلن من مواقف فان الأغلبية العظمى من مجلس الأخوية والمجمع الخاص بالبطريركية يرفضون هذه الصفقات رفضا قاطعا لأي تسريب او بيع من الحي الأرمني أو أي مواقع تاريخية تحمل هويتهم وارثهم في البلاد المقدسة لأي جهة كانت، ولعل أوضح مثال على رفض رجال الدين الأرمني هذا التوجه من البطريركية ما جاء بالبيان الصادر عن 17 من مطارنة و رهبان من أخوية القديس يعقوب والمؤرخ بـ 12-11-2021، والذي رفض صفقة منطقة البستان او حديقة البقر جملةً وتفصيلاً معتبرا إياها صفقة غير قانونية (مرفق رابط البيان)

Public Statement – Saints James Brotherhood

علماً بان اللجنة الثلاثية الفلسطينية الاردنية الارمنية رفضت الصفقة السابقة وطالبت بالغائها كما وترفض اي تسريبات او صفقات اخرى، حيث تعتبر المناطق المسربة و المنوي تسريبها هي الأكثر حيوية وتحمل درجة عالية من الحساسية لمستقبل الحي الأرمني و الوجود المسيحي بالقدس وبالتحديد المنطقة الواقعة بين مبنى القشلة ومنطقة البستان، والتي تشكل جزءا كبيرا من الحي الأرمني داخل البلدة القديمة ، بالإضافة الى جملة من الصفقات خارج اسوار البلدة.

مرفق صورة توضيحية تمثل مساحة الحي الأرمني بالحدود الحمراء، فيما تمثل المساحة باللون الأزرق المناطق المهددة بالتسريب.


  1. If this Patriarch rules by Divine Right, and is therefore responsible only to God, then only God (this God) can make a judgment about his actions and decisions. We, the people, cannot have the right to interfere between him and God. God has elected (selected) him, hence only God may replace him.

    It is a simple matter of the existence of a Supreme Authority. We, the people, may only ask this Authority (by prayers and other rituals) to interfere with His subject. We, ourselves, do not have the right to interfere.

    Or, do we?

  2. There is nothing holy about Nourhan. He and his real estate dealing minion need to be ousted.

  3. It is said that “no one is above the law”.

    What law?
    Law of the jungle where the patriarch and his stooges prosper?
    Correction. This patriarch has become a stooge himself under the lawless and notorious clergyman baret.
    Lease, sale of precious Armenian national lands in what was once called the Holy Land, women who share his voracious greed, bullying with rent increase anyone opposing him, bullying clergy opposing his notorious actions.
    Good luck Palestinian Authorities !

  4. Generally Speaking, those placed in positions of theological authority aren’t infallible. The Apostle Peter denied his discipleship to Jesus Christ 3 times. The Apostle Judas was corrupted by 30 pieces of silver. It is our duty to be the watchful behind the watchtowers of our Guardians of Faith.

  5. If the majority of the Armenian nation would think as Mr. Avo Tchaparian does, this would lead the whole nation to a disaster. Obviously Mr. Tchaparian has not understood yet, that our nation has a serious problem with its own clergy. Unfortunately many compatriots do still respect the office (”աթոռ”) of a cleric, ignoring his countless faults and even his some scandals (amorous adventures). Mr. Tchaparian, open your eyes and ears, as well.

  6. I am not an apologist for anyone, not certainly for Avo Tchaparian. I interpret what he has written differently. I re-read it and looked at the totality of the piece. I think it’s a deliberate provocative statement to elicit reactions. The giveaway is in the closing question “Or, do we?”
    Hopefully, I an not wrong in my interpretation.

  7. The only way one can make sense of Avo Tchoparian’s over-the-top comment is to assume he has his tongue set firmly against his cheek. If Tchoparian means what he wrote, then it was surely God’s will that there was an Armenian Genocide, Armenia live in Soviet grip for seventy years, and the Lebanese suffer through fifteen year of Civil War. It then follows that Armenians who left Lebanon for California, New York, Cyprus, France,, and Canada acted against the will of Jehovah who had ordained that the Lebanese suffer in a civil war and not flee from His organized mayhem.

  8. The Armenian Church hierarchy has been an abysmal failure for decades. Droves and generations of Armenians have left the Church because the hierarchs have treated the church as their personal possession without the slightest acknowledgment of communicating Jesus Christ. We are left as a cheap dwindling ethnic club house on life support. Thank you hierarchs for filing your pockets and egos. Thank you for putting the nails in the coffin.

  9. Hang on a minute!
    Aren’t there two ‘Offices’ within the Armenian Apostolic Church (I am not even mentioning the Armenian Evangelical and the Armenian Catholic churches) who have something to say or even impose their WILL on this situation? Or, are the two main Armenian Apostolic offices i.e. the See of Gilicia in Antelias and the Mother See of Echmiadzin absolutely powerless to bring this situation (and Father Nourhan himself) to an end, obviously for our best interests and for our peaceful co-existence with the Palestinian authorities in Jerusalem? If Karekin II and Aram I have had the authority to de-robe clergy in the past and I am assuming they are the boss of this Nourhan clergyman, how difficult it is to put him under control and send delegates from Lebanon and/or Yerevan to derail this shameful plan?

  10. Vatche,
    The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem is autocephalous. It means the clergy, in this case the Sts. James Brotherhood members, elect their own head and are not subject to the authority of an external catholicos or patriarch. It also means that the Jerusalem Patriarch doesn’t report to a higher-ranking clergyman. In other words, neither Echmiadzin nor Antelias can remove the execrable “clergyman” known as Patriarch Nourhan.

  11. Thank you for clarifying the situation for me, Vahakn. I did not realise that. in other words, the situation ‘stinks’.

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