Church leaders said Israeli police have imposed severe restrictions on Orthodox believers who are going to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem for Easter.

According to them, last year about 10 thousand people attended the ceremony of the Holy Fire in the temple, this year their number is limited to 1800.

Police in charge of security in East Jerusalem, which, by imposing restrictions, thereby ensuring the safety of believers.

Some church officials urged pilgrims to simply ignore these restrictions.

"We will hold a ceremony and invite everyone who wishes to bow with us to it. Having clearly expressed our intentions, we allow the authorities to act at their discretion. We will conduct services as always, and do it in peace," said the archimandrite of the Greek Orthodox Church Mateos Siopsis.

Last year, videos appeared on social networks showing scuffles with parishioners who were not allowed into the temple by officers.

Earlier, the police said they were taking measures to prevent another disaster, similar to the one that occurred in 2021 on Mount Meron, where 45 people died as a result of a stampede.