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Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation
The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Twal: The Truce is not Needed if Gaza Remains a Desperate Prison PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2014 07:47
Jerusalem - "The truce which has begun is a good thing, but it will not help if the conditions in Gaza remain those of a desperate land under siege, where only fear and frustration that feed hatred can grow. 
 
It almost seems that it points at making Gaza a factory of desperate people, designed to easily turn into extremists ready for anything". The Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins, Fouad Twal in a conversation with Fides Agency, invites us to reflect on the insufficient long-term temporary suspension of military actions over which Israel and Hamas have reached an agreement.
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Christians Under Fire in the Middle East PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2014 06:21
Christians Under Fire in the Middle East, By Dr. Saliba Sarsar
Dr. Saliba Sarsar is Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation,Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University.
 
If there is hell on earth, it is found these days in the Middle East where aggression and violence are rampant. Political and religious extremism are leading to fear, disempowerment, dispossession, trauma, injury, and death, in addition to the destruction of property and infrastructure.  Major areas of the Gaza Strip, Iraq, and Syria are up in flames and in ruins.
In Gaza, Palestinian civilians—both Muslim and Christian—are caught in the bloody fight between Hamas and Israel.  More than 1,229 have been killed and 7,000 have been injured, as of July 29.  In the midst of this tragedy, over 180,000 have sought "refuge" away from the explosions, but nowhere is really safe.
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The Palestinian Christian Community in Gaza Strip PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 July 2014 09:12

altThe Young Men’s Christian Association in Gaza has prepared a major study on the Christian community in Gaza, the “Survey of the Christian Community of Gaza Strip,” co-financed by the Pontifical Mission - Jerusalem and Embrace the Middle East, UK. This survey gives an insight into the demographics, socio-economic status, and general situation of Christians in the Gaza Strip.

According to Chair of YMCA Gaza, Suheil Tarazi, "The wider objective of this report is to provide factual information on Palestinian Christians in Gaza. Hopefully, it would form a better understanding to enlist help to meet the actual needs of the Christian community to enhance their presence and steadfastness in their homeland. This community has been surviving under a difficult and critical political, economic, and social situation."

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Gaza's Christians and Muslims Grow Closer in Defiance of Israeli Attacks PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 July 2014 08:31
Solidarity between the Christian minority and Muslim majority is growing in Gaza as both suffer under the Israeli offensive, with churches sheltering all religions and prayers being offered up on all sides 
 
GAZA CITY - Without prior warning, an Israeli missile hit the house of the Ayyad family last Saturday. The Ayyads, who are Christian, were the first family among the tiny minority in Gaza to be targeted since the offensive began three weeks ago.
 
The Ayyad’s home was severely damaged. Furniture was ruined and family belongings such as children’s toys were strewn everywhere as a result of the missile’s impact. But naturally the human cost was much greater.
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Iraq, Syria, Palestine: The Middle East Council of Churches Calls Upon The International Community PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 July 2014 07:19

BEIRUT – The Middle East Council of Churches issued a statement condemning the wars and the violence in Irak, Siria and Palestine, with a special mention to the Christians of Irak. 

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Bishop Munib Younan Responds to Bishop Eaton’s Letter to ELCJHL on Gaza Ceasefire PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 July 2014 07:14
Dear Bishop Eaton,
Salaam and grace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 
I want to thank you for your letter of support and comfort. It comes at a time when we find ourselves in a terrible situation. I have always written that we in the Holy Land are in a continuous state of emergency and this violence proves that we cannot go two years without something that devastates our daily lives. However, despite all of the frustration, depression, bloodshed, and the growth of extremism – which this war will only increase – we in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) continue to be committed to a non-violent witness for justice, peace, and reconciliation.
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Cardinal Sandri: No Religion Can Kill in The Name of God PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 July 2014 07:07
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri on Sunday said “no religion can accept to kill God’s children in the Name of the same God.”  He was speaking during a homily at the Chaldean Cathedral of St. Peter in San Diego, California.
 
Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, is this month visiting Eastern-Rite Catholic communities in California.
 
Most of the members of the Chaldean Church come from Iraq, and Cardinal Sandri spoke about the current persecution of Christians in the country, especially at the hands of the Islamist ISIS group which has driven the once-large Catholic community out of the city of Mosul.
 
“I recall with you the psalm: by the rivers of Babylon we sat in tears (137,1) …without songs of joy.. And today, two thousands years later, we wonder in pain: will there be no more joyful songs of the Christian liturgy in Mosul?” asked Cardinal Sandri.  “Should our harps, hung on the trees of that beautiful land, wait too long before they resound again?”
 
The Cardinal insisted Christians have a vital role to play in the Middle East.
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