Skip to comments.Plight of Palestinian Christians should concern all Christians
Posted on 11/23/2009 4:11:40 PM PST by americanophile
Why arent priests in this country doing more to help Arab Christian Palestinians?
As we sat down for dinner at the 2009 awards banquet sponsored by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, the question caught me by surprise. I had been invited by chance, but in all honesty I knew very little about the organization.
Thanks to that question, however, I now know much more about why all Christians should be deeply concerned about todays Christian Palestinians.
There should always be a solidarity among Christians, regardless of where we live. As such, when one of us suffers, we all suffer.
Palestine is where Christ lived, worked and died. While there are Christian Palestinians today, they are suffering and becoming practically extinct in their own homeland.
In a study conducted in 2001 by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, it was determined that 53 percent of Christian residents of Beit Sahour (a predominately Christian town adjacent to Bethlehem) had taken steps within the previous year to acquire emigration visas.
In 1948, the Christian population of the Holy Land was more than 18 percent; today it is less than 2 percent.
Christians face violence daily. Their homes are often confiscated or demolished, and they are rarely issued permits to build new ones. Jobs are scarce, medical assistance is sparse and water is routinely cut off.
How can we respond to this crisis? Study is the first imperative because it moves us out of our provincialism, prompting us to enter into the lives of others.
One project sponsored by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation promotes the exchange of letters between children in the United States and Palestinian territories. This project is aimed at countering provincialism by educating and heightening awareness.
The organization also hosts local conferences and presentations by experts on the Holy Land. It also publishes a newsletter, Living Stones: The Voice of the Holy Land Christians (www.hcef.org).
As the Christmas season approaches, one way to enter into it more fully would be to study the Holy Land and the special role it fulfills in our Christian lives. Here is where the most wonderful promise ever made was fulfilled: Christ came among us.
When we are touched with sacredness, awe follows.
In todays world, barbarism is found in much of our daily existence, so much so that we tend to take it for granted.
But we dont have to. Opportunities exist for us to counter this acceptance, and learning more about what we can do to help Christian Palestinians is one of them.
Father Hemrick is director of the Washington-based National Institute for the Renewal of the Priesthood.
One thing about Christians is you can never count on them to have your back. We couldn’t even protect Rifqa Bary in a Christian nation.
I’m afraid you’re right. Christianity is always divided and there is little sense of community outside of one’s own denomination. Our failure to aid our fellow Christians wherever they are have plagued us from the beginning and our disunity has seen the loss of the Christian east from Jerusalem and Alexandria to Antioch and Constantinople and beyond...
My son’s friend’s dad is a Palestinian Christian. He’s a jerk. He hates, hates, hates Israel. He was happy about 9/11 and the attack in London.
It’s a total shame because my son’s friend is really a nice kid, his mother is one of my good friends. Don’t know why she married such a jerk (except that he is rich).
It doesn’t concern me. They have Stockholm syndrome and are more concerned with da Jooos than they are about the democide their Muslim neighbors have planned for them.
Unfortunately, the philo-Semitism of American-style Protestants is the exception rather than the rule in chr*stendom.
dad is a Palestinian Christian. Hes a jerk. He hates, hates, hates Israel.
that Pali Christians have for the most part been totally co-opted by the moslems....Now they pay the price of being enemies of God's people.
Maybe, just maybe, you should be paying attention to what they're saying. They might just have a better perspective, being or having been "on the ground" there, instead of over in America listening to John Hagee and his ilk.
Give Turtle Island ("North America") back to its rightful indigenous inhabitants, you genocidal maniac!
Quite right — we dismiss the views of Christians on the ground.
Just look at how Christians are doing in Muslim countries. The facts speak for themselves. Bottom line is Love God and serve Him, not your hate filled Islamafascist neighbors. A true Christian does not curse Israel. That is not wise. God is preparing a great work around Israel. Do not get caught on the wrong side of the line. I pray for everyone there to love God and serve Him.
In my experience, Christian Arabs are Arabs first, then Christians. Israeli Jews are evil outsiders to them, regardless of any historical enmity between them and their Muslim neighbors. Christians have abandoned Lebanon in droves over the last century due to intersectional warfare, yet there emigrants in Europe and North America still side with the Palestinians Muslims in the “cause”. Palestinian Christians are indistinguishable form Palestinian Muslims in their hatred of Israeli “colonialists”.
I'm actually quite inclined to agree with you here, and the Arab-first identification has only become more pronounced since the construction of the wall which has separated traditional communities and created a situation with Jews on one side and Muslims and the dwindling Christians on the other. Of course, it's also been quite effective in stopping suicide bombings. It's a complicated place, Israel, and once again, Christian unity eludes us.