Bush and Blair banned from Church of the Nativity
George Bush and Tony Blair have been barred from Bethlehemís the Church of the Nativity reports the Palestine Chronicle.
A spokesman of the Orthodox Church in the Holy Land, archimandrite Attallah Hanna declared that U.S. President George Bush, his Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw have all been banned from visiting the traditional birth place of Christ in Bethlehem.
Both Tony Blair and Jack Straw profess a Christian faith and are members of the Christian Socialist Movement.
This decision was apparently taken to express the opposition of the Palestinian Christians to the U.S. and UK invasion on Iraq.
In an interview with IslamOnline.net, Hanna described both Bush and Blair as "excommunicates", having failed to listen to calls by churches before war erupted.
Tony Blair however, did meet with both the Pope and a delegation of US church leaders before the war began.
The Church of Nativity apparently took the decision on Sunday. It was declared by Father Banar Teyous, representative of the Orthodox Nativity Church during a march, organized by Orthodox institutions in front of the Church, against the U.S. British invasion of Iraq.
The attacks undertaken by the alliance in Iraq is contrary to the instructions and message of Christianity, Father Attalah said.
He expressed the sympathy of the Christian church for the Iraqi people, underlining that he believed there was no moral or religious justification for the military action.
Hanna said that the excommunication decision was now their only means to express disapproval and strong condemnation of what was going on in Iraq.