Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Latin Patriarch: Christians under Occupation Face Dire Situation

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Latin Patriarch: Christians under Occupation Face Dire Situation

Article excerpt

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal updated guests about the grave challenges facing Christians in the Holy Land during the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)'s dinner in his honor at Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant in Washington, DC?on July 23. The previous day the Patriarch and HCEF?board members had met with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

In his welcoming remarks and introduction of the Patriarch, HCEF president Rateb Rabie pointed out, "The Christians of the Holy Land could be a bridge of peace in a troubled land. They can do this because they share the Old Testament in common with the Jewish people, and yet they are one people-culturally-with the people of Palestine. We should count on the moderates of all sides for their constructive input in a just resolution to this conflict."

Patriarch Twal said he represents not only the 160,000 Roman Catholics living in Jordan, Palestine and Israel, but also Christians of all denominations in those holy lands. The Patriarch's main concern during his July visit was the dire situation in Gaza. "Both Christians and Muslims alike are being traumatized by the excessive use of force," he told diners. "The result is that many civilians, including women and children, are suffering. …

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