We seek to keep you literally "updated" on movement in terms of truth and justice in the Middle East in general with a particular eye on Palestine. The links below will take you to various articles and websites that offer the perspective of leaders in the religious, NGO, and human rights communities. Additionally, Al-Bushra, ever vigilant, provides links to regular reporting as well as opinion pieces by journalists. The dates given here indicate when the link was posted; the most recent posting is at the top. Check the article itself for the date the information was released by the source.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pope appeals urgently for end to bloodshed in Syria

Pope Benedict XVI launched an urgent appeal for an end to bloodshed in Syria on Sunday, calling on the international community to do everything to help resolve the conflict.

"I continue to follow with alarm that tragic and growing episodes of violence in Syria with the sad succession of deaths and injuries," the pope said following his weekly angelus prayers at his summer residence near Rome.

"I renew an urgent appeal to bring an end to all violence and bloodshed," he said, calling for "no effort to be spared, particularly on the part of the international community, to reach a just political solution to the conflict."

The pontiff said his thoughts went in particular to the "huge number of internally displaced people and refugees in the neighbouring countries," and asked that they be guaranteed the "necessary humanitarian assistance and help."

A fierce battle between Syrian troops and rebel fighters raged in Syria's commercial capital Aleppo for the second day on Sunday, amid calls from peace envoy Kofi Annan for both sides to down weapons and find a political solution.

Human rights monitors say the conflict has killed more than 20,000 people since it erupted in March 2011.

In his speech from a balcony at the Castel Gandolfo near Rome, Benedict told hundreds of flag-waving pilgrims that he was also concerned about recent violence in Iraq, and prayed the situation in the country would stabilise.

"My thoughts also go to the dear nation of Iraq, which has been hit by numerous, serious attacks which have caused many deaths and injuries," he said.

"May this great country find the path of stability, of reconciliation and of peace," he added.
On Monday, 113 people were killed and over 250 wounded in the worst spate of violence to hit Iraq in more than two and a half years, which came after Al-Qaeda warned it would seek to retake territory.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Damascus Priest Recounts Experience of Warfare

Describes Celebrating Mass to Sound of Gunfire and Explosives

ROME, JULY 25, 2012 (Zenit.org).- "God alone knows how difficult it is for me to find words to encourage the people not to give up hope," wrote a priest from Damascus, referring to the state of the city as rebel fighters advance in their efforts to bring down the Syrian president.

The priest, who preferred not to be named for security reasons, spoke by phone from Damascus to Aid to the Church in Need.

He told how he celebrated Mass last Sunday to the sound of shooting and explosives.

"It was the first time in my life that I celebrated the Mass … against the sound of gunfire and explosions. It was very difficult.

"We prayed intensely for peace. Afterwards, the faithful embraced me with emotion. Although they were still afraid, they went home strengthened."

People are trying to get by without bread and other foodstuffs, gas and electricity, the priest explained, all in temperatures of more than 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit).

The pastor described the city as eerily quiet now.

Despite stressing the city’s huge problems, he stated: “I will not leave. I am a priest in good and bad times. This means I am a ‘father’ and must now remain with my people.”

In a letter to relatives and friends, he wrote: “God alone knows how difficult it is for me to find words to encourage the people not to give up hope.”

"Please pray for us. Pray for our present and for our future. Pray so that [the violence] stops and that somebody saves what can still be saved.”

Source:  http://www.zenit.org/article-35265?l=english

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christian Minority Fears Anarchy in Damascus

Bishop Reports People's Pleas for Help

ALEPPO, Syria, JULY 23, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Chaldean bishop of Aleppo says Christians of the region are terrified that the situation of anarchy in Damascus could result in calamity for their minority population.

Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo spoke with the charity Aid to the Church in Need today.

Recalling the forced exodus of basically the entire Christian community from Homs, with nearly 120,000 people fleeing, the bishop said that the worsening situation in Aleppo and Damascus has Christian refugees turning to him for help.

"What we are afraid of is that in this situation of anarchy, armed people will come into Christian areas as they did in Homs," he said. "If they come in around our churches and round our bishopric, just as they did in Homs, it will be disastrous for us."

The 66-year-old prelate, who has been bishop of Aleppo for 20 years, spoke of the half-empty church for Sunday Mass, due to the people's fears.

He said that if fighters were to go into Christian areas, "it would be very bad."

"We are a minority. Always we are threatened," he explained.

"Not only are Christians in this very dangerous situation but there are some Muslims too -- those who are seen as sympathizers with the government," Bishop Audo added.

"It is very difficult, especially for people from Homs, who have left everything behind. The poor people have nothing," he said, explaining that the Church's charity services need more food and medical care to offer the people.

"When I am asked which side do I support," he mentioned, "I always answer, I am on the side of my country. I am doing whatever I can to save Syria, this lovely country of ours.
"What we need is your prayers for all of us. This is a very dangerous time. People are very fearful."

Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-35242?l=english

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pray for Syria, Urge Charity Leaders

ROME, JULY 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- As the conflict in Syria turns bloodier, Catholic leaders are urging the faithful to bring the country to prayer.

The Associated Press reported that the death toll over the last two days of fighting neared 500, turning these days into some of the bloodiest of the 16-month war.

Johannes Freiherr Heereman, Aid to the Church in Need International Executive President, and the organization's UK Director, Neville Kyrke-Smith, called on the charity’s supporters to pray for people of all faiths in the conflict.

Thousands of Syrians are fleeing Damascus for Lebanon and Iraq as guerrillas battle to overturn the ruling regime and the capital city.

Heereman said, "We call on all benefactors of ACN throughout the world to pray for peace in Syria."

Kyrke-Smith noted that on a trip to Lebanon in June, local religious and priests already told him of their communities efforts to cope with the huge influx of refugees, a challenge that has now multiplied.

The AP cited the U.N. refugee agency in reporting that between 8,500 and 30,000 Syrians have entered Lebanon in the past two days.

Benedict XVI is set to visit Lebanon in September, where he will sign the postsynodal apostolic exhortation from the 2010 synod on the Middle East.

Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-35236?l=english

Thursday, July 19, 2012

War Is a Dead End, European Bishops Say on Syria

Damascus Prelate Reports Exhausted Christians Turn in Prayer to Martyrs

ST. GALLEN, Switzerland, JULY 19, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The presidency of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences is urging an end to the violence in Syria, affirming that war is always a dead end.
Their statement today follows what might be a significant shift in the fighting, as Wednesday, Syria's defense minister, the brother-in-law of President Bashar Assad, and a host of others were killed or wounded by a bomb smuggled into a meeting in Damascus.

The bishops' statement today was signed by Cardinal Péter Erdő, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and president of the CCEE; Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa and CCEE vice president; and Archbishop Józef Michalik of Przemyśl and CCEE vice president; and the bishops lamented that weapons have replaced dialogue in the besieged state.

On Wednesday, the Maronite archbishop of Damascus, Samir Nassar, spoke to Fides about "this period of mindless violence," saying, "our voices are drowned by the long ordeal of the country and by a complexity that is blocking any diplomatic solution. The country is sinking in sorrow and gratuitous violence and there is still no end in sight, we have been in a protracted conflict for more than 16 months."

The 62-year-old prelate described the minority Christian community as exhausted, saying they turn "in silence and prayer, to the martyrs, that on July 10 last year we solemnly remembered: the three brothers, Francesco, Abdel-Mooti and Raffaele Massabki, Maronite Catholic laity, blessed and martyred during the persecution unleashed by the Turks in 1860 against the Church. They remind us of what Jesus said: Do not fear."

Inevitable grief

The CCEE bishops expressed hope that Syrian authorities and people, and "all believers, of whatever religion, may look towards God and find the path which will bring an end to all hostilities, lay down arms and embark on the path of dialogue, reconciliation and peace."

The prelates affirmed that the conflict "can only bring inevitable grief, destruction and serious consequences for the noble Syrian people. War is a dead end. Happiness can only be achieved together, never through the misuse of power by one group against another."

The bishops suggested that the next few days can be "decisive for the outcome of this crisis" and they called for an increase in prayer for the region.

"Our faith leads us to hope that a solution to the crisis is possible, a solution which is fair and constructive, respectful of everyone’s interests," they wrote. "It is necessary to find once again the room for a dialogue of peace; it is never too late to understand each other, to negotiate and build together a common future.
"We are sure that, with God’s help, good sense may prevail and produce a peaceful living in harmony in truth, justice, love, freedom and respect for all minorities, especially the nation’s Christians."

Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-35227?l=english

Syrian Catholic leaders call for united efforts by world community

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As violence continued to shake Syria, the Vatican nuncio in Damascus called on the international community to unite in efforts to restore peace.

"In Damascus, the last three days have been very difficult" as the fighting moved to the city, Archbishop Mario Zenari, the nuncio, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview from the capital July 17.

"The situation compared to a month ago clearly is more tense," he said.

"The situation of the Christian community is the same as the situation for all Syrians. The Christians are not targeted, but they are under the same bombing and shelling the others face," the archbishop said.

An uprising against President Bashar Assad's government began in March 2011. Thousands of civilians have died in the fighting since then, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. The U.N. refugee agency said July 17 that the number of Syrians seeking refuge outside the country has risen sharply in the past three months, with some 112,000 Syrian refugees now registered in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

Archbishop Zenari said, "The international community must speak with one voice; otherwise the parties involved in the conflict won't listen." The nuncio said he was not lobbying for any specific international intervention, but "too much time has already passed. There are many ways to reach a consensus."

Some Christian leaders in Syria have questioned the pro-democracy efforts to oust Assad, pointing out how religious liberty and the Christian communities have been protected under his leadership.

"The future is difficult to foresee," the archbishop said. "Until now, there has been a good level of freedom of religion in Syria and good relations between Christians and Muslims. It could be difficult if that changed."

The nuncio said Christians, who make up about 8 percent of Syria's population, "are respected. They are not fanatics. They play a role of building bridges and live in peace with Muslims and Druze in the villages."

While life is difficult for all Syrians, he said, the political tension and the fighting actually has drawn many communities closer together.

For example, he said, the different Christian communities have struggled for years with the question of whether to celebrate Easter on the same day or follow their respective communities' calendars.

"But under the bombardments this year, they all agreed. Under the bombardments, they pray together. Christians and Muslims are helping one another," he said.

Also July 17, Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III Laham of Damascus issued a statement saying that, thanks to their experience of peaceful coexistence, Syrians should be able "to resolve this dangerous crisis, helping one another through love and forgiveness."

"The greatest dangers in Syria today are anarchy, the lack of security and the massive influx of weapons from many places," he said in the statement sent to Fides, the Vatican's missionary news agency.

The patriarch said there was "interference from foreign elements -- Arab and Western -- who bring weapons, money and one-sided information" into the country, inflaming passions on all sides and "weakening the voice of moderation."

The Melkite leader claimed a campaign was being waged against Christian church leaders in the country, painting them as siding with the government.

"The church always has refused sectarianism, avoided taking sides and highlighted ethical and Gospel values," he said.

"All the Catholic churches in Syria have raised their voices asking for reforms, freedom, democracy, an end to corruption, support for development and freedom of speech," he said. "Today we ask for an end to the cycle of killing and destruction, especially against civilians of all faiths who are in difficulty and are the real victims."

Syrian Jesuits Call for End to Violence

June 14th, 2011 | Author: Kaitlyn McCarthy Schnieders

The Jesuits in Syria have issued a statement on the difficult conditions there, calling for all parties to reject violence and imploring national unity, dialogue and freedom of expression. The Syrian Jesuits are concerned that the political struggle in Syria is on the verge of disintegrating into a conflict among ethnic and religious factions that is especially threatening to the nation’s Christian minority.

The full text follows below:

Meditation on the present events in Syria

We, Jesuits in Syria are distressed by the recent events that have taken place in this country, a country which is so dear to us. We have met together to pray for this country of ours, to intercede for it and to reflect on what is happening in it. The following text, the fruit of our prayer, we desire to share with you.

Syria, an agent of civilization

Syria, a country of multiple civilizations which arrived one after another on our land and have enriched its patrimony. A great part of this richness comes from the interrelation and the harmony between the peoples of a different culture, religion and spirituality. Together, these peoples have formed a unity which we are proud of and to which we hold fast. This lays on us a grave responsibility to preserve this grand heritage.
The history of our country is distinguished by its hospitality and its openness to others, whosoever they be. The spirit of hospitality, the search for unity in the difference, as also all the efforts leading to the formation of the national unity are, without doubt, at the basis of the Syrian society and form a beautiful and lively mosaic.

The recent events

In the past few months, there arose in our country, as happened in many other Arab ones, demands for the reform of the political and social structures. These reforms envisage that the laws of the land should conform to the feeling of the citizens in respecting individual liberties. Of these demands there is the legitimate right, recognized by everyone, which allows the citizen to be an actor in the transformation of this society.
Unfortunately, confusion has taken the upper hand, opening the way to violence. The rejection of the other person, as we all know, is the principal cause of violence which in its turn calls for more violence. At the moment we are observing efforts to foment trouble leading to a religious war which threatens to disintegrate our society.

In face of these bloody events which week after week increase in intensity, duration and violence, and which are making innocent victims, we cannot but emit a cry of anguish appealing to the conscience of our citizens, to whichever party they belong.

Such difficult circumstances have not been the first crisis that our people have lived through. In spite of that, as in every crisis, we have found in the Gospel the path to follow, indicating to us the right choice, the patience to trudge along, and the courage to be silent when necessary or to speak when we must.
As a matter of fact, the Gospel calls upon us to give witness amidst our people to strengthen the dialogue with everyone and to promote justice for everyone. This is why we feel we are called upon to assert our full support to our country and to its people and to give witness to the values which we derive from our faith. We think we can share these values with our fellow citizens of different religious and spiritual beliefs and of different philosophical trends. We can do this because we share with them all the heritage of the noble Arab civilization, as also the same concern for the national unity and the same respect for everyone.

The changes which are taking place in the Arab world and the current troubles which have erupted in the Syrian Society carry with them a new hope which has to be taken into consideration. This hope is characterized in the first place by the freedom of expression and the liberty of opinion as also by the common search for the truth. The social and political reforms have become a pressing necessity which no one has the right to ignore.

The priority of national unity

What characterizes a human community is the diversity of its components. There is no social life if there are no differences. A truly national peace cannot be built if one part of the population is excluded in favour of the other part; on the contrary it supposes a true life in common. This life is not possible in the negative perception of the presence of the other, in a simple existence “side by side”; it requires a true conviviality where each member has an effective role to play in society.

This is why we share our fears with our people in facing the present challenges; these fears arise with the changes in the structure. What then is the positive role we must take in the present circumstances, complex as they may be?

Without doubt, is it not true to say that we, Christians, consider national unity as a guarantor of our very existence, and that the loss of this unity is a threat for our disappearance, our growing ruthless and our disintegration? This is why we intend to take on the role which allows us to strengthen our national unity, reactivating those values which to us seem essential.

Dialogue and freedom of expression

It is not possible for us to mention all the causes of the present crisis, but we ask ourselves how to go beyond this dolorous situation and arrive at a sincere tentative dialogue between all the parties. This dialogue is not an easy matter for it presupposes trust on one side towards the other and listening to what the other has to say. We should also seriously consider the ideas of the other side even if these ideas differ from ours. There is no true dialogue without previously acknowledging that “no one has the full truth”. This means that the essential aim of a dialogue is the common search for what comes closest to the truth; the common search supposes that all parties, with no one excluded, are invited to participate.

Such a dialogue makes it necessary for everyone to be sufficiently self-conscient so as not to be driven astray by different channels of tendentious information. The Christian adult frees himself from his negative preconceived ideas; he tries by the dialogue, by the humility of dialoguing and listening, to acknowledge the objective data in order to build a bridge between the antagonistic currents existing within the society. The Christian adult is an efficient actor in the construction of modern public opinion, an essential condition for a successful reform.

Rejection of violence

We sincerely invite all parties to reject violence. The choice for non-violence does not derive from a sentiment of fear or of weakness; it is the expression of an essential evangelical principle and a constitutive element of our human life and of our faith.

The Church teaches us the necessary distinction between violence emanating from hatred and the legitimate use of force to contain an aggression against society. This legitimate use of force is allowed on condition that those who resort to it fully respect the dignity of all persons whatever their attitude to them may be.
We refuse to enter into the vicious circle which gives rise to fear the other person and stifle all the good intentions which seek to build up one’s country.

Every believer should purify his heart of contempt and of hate as also of the fear which would seem to him to justify the use of violence. Moreover, every believer should in all sections of social life, in the family, in the street or at work, be an efficient element for the national unity to be realized. He may not take refuge in a negative neutrality, but must be an instrument of peace.

In this context we hope that the sincere national sentiments which have much animated people during the past days would not be an excuse for the use of such discourse as to ignore or despise the other person, for that would annihilate all possibility of communication with him.

We convey our most profound condolences to all the families of the victims and we commit ourselves to help them, as much as we possibly can, whoever they are without distinction, so as to alleviate their suffering.
In conclusion, regarding the gravity of the situation, for the sake of all those who shed their blood, we implore the Syrians of all parties to activate themselves without delay to construct a sincere national dialogue with a view to ending this crisis.

We implore God the Almighty so that our first objective for everyone be the interest and the dignity of every Syrian citizen. In this way we renounce all narrow exclusivism, while seeking against all odds to safeguard the well-being of the nation.

Source: http://www.jesuit.org/blog/index.php/2011/06/syrian-jesuits-call-for-end-to-violence/

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Syria: the Church Makes an Appeal for Dialogue

Patriarch Gregory III Laham Speaks Out

ROME, JULY 18, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In recent days, several representatives of the Church have launched urgent appeals for dialogue in Syria, to put a stop to the bloody conflict between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposing forces.

The latest appeal was made by the Greek-Melkite patriarch of Damascus, Gregory III Laham. “Thanks to their long history, Syrians can resolve this dangerous crisis by helping one another through love and forgiveness,” he said in a statement sent to the Fides agency.

“We launch an urgent appeal for dialogue, reconciliation and peace: this is one of the rarest languages, which many do not want to hear. We Christians, to whom the Gospel of peace has been entrusted, feel called to promote it,” wrote the patriarch, who singled out in the anarchy, the lack of security and the massive influx of arms, the greatest dangers for Syria today.

“Violence generates violence, which reaches all citizens, without distinctions of race, religion or political hue,” warned the head of the Greek-Melkites, who noted concern particularly for the Christian community, which he described as “the weakest link.” Christians are “defenseless, they are the most vulnerable to exploitation, extortion, kidnapping of persons and abuses,” he observed.

The patriarch exhorted the Churches to raise their voices “asking for reforms, liberty, democracy, the fight against corruption, support for development, freedom of speech.” “Today we ask for an end to the cycle of killings and destruction, especially against civilians in difficulty, of all faiths, who in reality and the real victims,” continued Gregory III Laham.

While he rejected a “campaign led against the Pastors of the Churches in Syria” – often accused of collusion with Assad’s Alawita (a minority) regime, the patriarch supports the Mussalaha (“reconciliation”) movement.
“We pray for the success of the Mussalaha movement, in which delegates of all the Churches are active, to bring unity and love to the hearts of all. This is what lays the basis for effective solutions to the tragic conflict,” wrote the patriarch, expressing the hope that Benedict XVI’s visit to Lebanon “will be a particular help for Syria, so that the conflict can end and the country flourish again.”

The Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo, Bishop Giuseppe Nazzaro also expressed his support for the Mussalaha popular inter-religious initiative.


“I believe that the Mussalaha initiative must be encouraged and supported by all,” he told the Fides agency. “Reconciliation, even though at times it is hard to accept, is a way that must not be neglected or underestimated.”

“From my experience in the matter, especially that of my fellow Franciscans, called to intervene in delicate situations, I believe that the Mussalaha“ movement “should be supported,” said Bishop Nazzaro.
The movement, described as a “third way” in the conflict, and promoted by a platform made up of civilian and religious leaders, was born “from below” and is geared to ”internal dialogue” between the two factions in the fight, in order to put an end to the shedding of blood and to come to a way out of the crisis,” Fides explained.

An appeal for dialogue was also launched by the director of the Tabbaleh ecumenical center, Franciscan Father Romualdo Fernandez, rector of the shrine dedicated to the Conversion of Saint Paul in the Syrian capital, Damascus. “The master way to come out of the crisis is dialogue between the parties,” he said last Friday to Fides.

“We ask all to accept to sit around a table and to begin a meeting that can avoid violence, deaths, slaughters and massacres, which for too long have bloodied the country,” continued the Franciscan friar, who expressed his closeness to the population.

“We are side by side with the suffering population, with Christians and Muslims, and we will never leave this country. We will stay in Syria at the service of the Gospel. We were here yesterday, we are here today and we will be here tomorrow, in times of peace and in times of war, in dark times and in luminous times.”
Preoccupation over the deterioration of the conflict was expressed today by the Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, Archbishop Mario Zenari. “People are afraid to leave their homes in the afternoon and in some quarters also during the day,” said the Vatican diplomat to AsiaNews.

“The international community must help Syria not to fall into the abyss and to seek to speak with one voice. Alone the country is unable to liberate itself from this tragedy,” said Archbishopr Zenari to AsiaNews.

Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-35222?l=english

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Christians, Secularists in Egypt Cautious

From CNS, staff and others | JULY 16, 2012

Many Christians in Egypt looked on uneasily as Mohamed Morsi was declared the nation’s first democratically elected president on June 24. The election of Morsi, chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, has fed fears that Islamists will use their political mandate to impose Islam-inspired restrictions on dress and behavior. But the new president, in negotiations with the nation’s ruling military council over what powers he will be allowed to wield, quickly pledged “to be a president for all Egyptians.”

“We have to accept Morsi, and now we will see what he will do,” said Michel Agram, a 45-year-old worshipper at the Melkite Catholic Church in Cairo’s Heliopolis district on June 25. “Not all Egypt wants Morsi. You can see that from the results,” Agram said. “I would hope [Morsi] knows this and will act accordingly.” Morsi won a narrow victory over Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under the ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Shafiq had been viewed as the candidate most likely to protect the interests of Egyptian secularists and Christians. He left Egypt soon after Morsi’s victory was confirmed.

A statement to Morsi from the Coptic Catholic Church on June 25 praised his apparent “willingness...to work with skilled people of all groups and sectors of society to achieve the common good.” It continued: “We pray that the Lord gives you success...in developing the institutions necessary for the realization of a modern democratic civil state—a state that respects the rights and freedoms of everyone and guarantees security, peace and social justice.”

The declaration of Morsi as the winner of the run-off vote on June 16 and 17 followed a week of uncertainty, during which Egypt’s military ruling council introduced constitutional amendments that stripped the presidency of most of its powers and disbanded Parliament, giving the generals legislative authority and oversight in the drafting of the constitution.
As a candidate Morsi promised a “civil, democratic, constitutional and modern state.” He has said his administration will include women, secularists and members of Egypt’s Coptic minority in key positions, pledges met with skepticism by many Christians.

“It’s our tough luck to have Morsi for four years to come,” said Amgad Wahby, 35, standing outside the Catholic basilica in Cairo. “[The Muslim Brotherhood] have to change their priorities in order to survive. They need to try to be lenient at the beginning, but in the future they will probably try to return to their old, autocratic style,” he said.

The Rev. Rafic Grieche, spokesperson for the Egyptian Catholic bishops’ conference, noted that Egypt’s Christians had lived under Islamic regimes for 1,400 years. “We hope Morsi will be a just ruler,” said Father Grieche. “Mubarak’s time was not fair, and I do not think Morsi could be worse.”

“At the same time,” Father Grieche said, “the people of Islamic tendencies will be working to Islamicize the society. You don’t need laws to do this. It can happen in day-to-day life,” when for example, an employer might opt to hire a woman wearing a veil rather than one who does not.

“I’m disappointed, but I am not afraid,” Farah, 17, another worshiper at the Melkite Catholic Mass, said. “God is there to protect us; life will go on. If the worst happens and they try to make changes, then we will object. We will start another revolution. We won’t just give up.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem: Fourth series of Holy Land Report

JERUSALEM, Jun 29, 2012 – Since Advent 2011, the Patriarchate website makes available to readers some radio recordings in English, presenting the daily life of the Church and of the inhabitants of the Holy Land. Now they are made in the last line.

This initiative, named the Holy Land Report (Report from the Holy Land), comes from the United States. More precisely, it is the Immaculate Heart Radio, which has made these recordings. This Catholic radio station was born in 1997. At that time, the history of the station states, it was only the seventh Catholic radio in the United States, compared to the 1600 Protestant stations and 15000 others.

In December 2011 the first recordings on the Holy Land on www.lpj.org was broadcast. Presented by Jacqueline Shoen, these brief services mainly look back on Bethlehem and the Christmas Feast. Also they report the relations between Christians and Muslims and some religious communities there.

The second series remains closer to the heart of everyday life of Christians. Broadcast in Lent 2012, the reports concern the Palestinian traditional dance and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

At the end of Lent, the radio transmissions of the third cycle treat especially the great feast of Easter, relating with care those days so special for the world and in particular Jerusalem. One finds so many testimonies of diverse Christians in the Holy Land.

Thursday, June 28 was posted the fourth series. Prepared for the feast of Pentecost, this series also features a day with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and a meeting with an artisan of Bethlehem where one can visit the campus of the University of Bethlehem.

Another twenty recordings await completion. They will be placed online around the feast of All Saints 2012.

Louis-Marie de Linage

Source: http://en.lpj.org/2012/06/29/fourth-series-of-holy-land-report/