Eilat is Israel’s southernmost city, a busy port and popular resort at the northern tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Aqaba. Eilat is part of the Southern Negev Desert, at the southern end of the Arava, adjacent to the Egyptian village of Taba to the south, the Jordanian port city of Aqaba to the east, and within sight of Saudi Arabia to the south- east, across the gulf.
Infrastructures of the Latin Patriarchate
The small Christian community of Eilat was born almost 16 years ago, with a view to the pastoral care of local Christians, mostly Israeli Arabs from Galilee, Jews, Christians, tourists and immigrants from Romania, Nigeria, Ghana and Poland, who were later forced to leave the country. Subsequently, Filipinos, Sri Lankans and Indians arrived in Eilat. Since 2006 till the present, many Sudanese refugees arrived in Israel and were sent mainly to the south. Today, Ethiopians and Eritreans have added their numbers. Language is a major issue in the community, and represents both a challenge and an opportunity for unity. Palestinians and Sudanese speak Arabic, and for others, it is English. But gradually, especially for children, Hebrew is the primary language, hence the increasing need for collaboration with the Hebrew- speaking Catholic community. In recent years, the Patriarchate has attempted to obtain land (rent or purchase) to build a suitable center. But the municipality of Eilat so far has not been open to the religious needs of its tourists, immigrants and refugees.
Latin Christians: 300