JERUSALEM - The PASSIA Foundation (Palestinian Academic Society for International Relations in Jerusalem) held on March 29th, 2022, at the LEGACY Hotel, a meeting dedicated to the Christian presence and heritage in Jerusalem.
Dr. Mahdi, President of the Society, stressed the importance of the Christian presence in Jerusalem, which contributes to the Palestinian identity and supports the entire Palestinian population in the Holy Land. "The important thing is not the number of Christians or their percentage in Jerusalem, but their heritage and ancient history in this land. Those who live here should be proud of it and should, in the streets of Jerusalem, proudly wear their cross on their chest."
Taking his turn to speak, Mr. Joseph Hazboun, Director of the Pontifical Mission for Israel and Palestine, emphasized the daily challenges faced by the Palestinian Christians today. Pointing out the causes of each difficulty, he described a tangible reality regarding their situation.
Afterward, Bishop William Shomali, Vicar General of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, thanked all those present for their participation in this event and stressed the importance of the Christian heritage in the Holy Land, as well as the need to preserve it. "For this reason", he said, "it is important not to close in on ourselves and not to form a Christian group isolated from reality."
"It is necessary to provide the Christians of the Holy Land with the means to live decently today. However, we can clearly see, with the departure of the richest, who leave the poor behind, that the reasons for this are not economic. It is the political context that affects the presence of Christians in the Holy Land. We must see it as a call to unite as Palestinians, to live together with each other, Christians and Muslims. Christian unity has become important to improve and strengthen the image of Christians in the Holy Land, but also the support for them here in Jerusalem."
Photo credits: CMC