To all the Faithful, Priests and Religious in Palestine
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Lord give you peace!
Only yesterday I had to communicate to our communities in the pastoral region of Bethlehem and Jericho some instructions following the decree of the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Unfortunately, due to this situation, late in the evening President Abou Mazen was forced to declare a state of emergency throughout the country.
In compliance with the decree, I inform you that the instructions issued yesterday (March 5, 2020) for the pastoral region of Bethlehem, are extended to the entire territory of Palestine.
I invite the communities throughout the diocese, in Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Cyprus to unite in solidarity prayer. We pray first and foremost for the victims of this virus among us, and all over the world. Let us also pray for all who have been indirectly affected, those losing their jobs, for the many families who, in an already difficult and precarious situation, are now facing even greater economic and social difficulties. During this time, let us remain united and supportive in prayer above all, and in all possible forms and means of mutual help and support.
We must not panic, but be aware that even in this present situation, we will pass this test. We must not doubt, faith in Jesus helps us and always supports us. Christians are those who decide to live in love and not in fear. We remain calm and firm in hope.
"Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts…" (Rom. 5,5).
March 6, 2020