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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
New Orthodox leader for Jerusalem
Newly elected Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Holy Land, Metropolitan Theofilos
Theofilos has vowed to return the lands to the Church
The Greek Orthodox Church has elected a new patriarch for Jerusalem to replace its former leader who was demoted after a controversial land deal.

The church's Holy Synod elected Metropolitan Theofilos following the ousting of his predecessor in May.

Theofilos becomes the religious head of 100,000 Christians in the Holy Land, most of them Palestinian.

Former Patriarch Irineos had refused to resign, despite being isolated by the world's Orthodox leaders.

He was accused of selling Church land in East Jerusalem, traditionally lived in by Palestinians and considered occupied territory by the international community, to Jewish investors.

Irineos denied any wrongdoing but was demoted to the rank of simple monk.

Patriarch Theofilos has pledged to return all the properties leased to Israel to the Church.




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