Friday, April 25, 2014

Christians in Israel

Jerusalem - The Holy Sepulchre

Two or three weeks before Easter, I received an e-mail from Aid to the Church in Need (CAN), an organization which was especially known by its support of Christians living under the communist regimes of Eastern Europe, the actions of which I generally appreciate.
The message included a call to sign a petition entitled “40 days of solidarity with the Holy Land” (40 jours de solidaritĂ© avec la Terre Sainte). The purpose of the petition was to facilitate the coming of Palestinian Christians to Jerusalem for the Easter celebrations. But it laid the full responsibility of their difficulties to make the pilgrimage from the Territories at Israel’s door. I sent the following answer to CAN: “I do not intend to sign the petition for the Christians of Palestine. Why? Because it gives the impression that all the difficulties of the Christians in the Holy Land must be ascribed to Israel. But you and I know that they suffer as much as or more rejection and marginalization from their Palestinians Muslim “brothers”. We can discuss Israel's security policy, but it must be put in context. And restrictions for access to the Holy Sepulchre, even if they are regrettable, are not to be put on the same level as the persecution that Christians suffer in the Muslim world, including Palestine.”

Nazareth - In front of the Church of the Annunciation, a mosque with a large poster
threatening non Muslims withf damnation...

A few days later, a friend of mine sent me an article published on the Italian website Informazione Corretta, which tries to counterbalance the misinformation that Israel suffers in the media. This article (here is the English version) describes the situation of Christian minorities in the Jewish state and in other countries in the Middle East, and presents the interview of two Christians living in Israel. We could summarize it in a few words: "Everywhere in the Middle-East, the Christians are discriminated against, persecuted and even killed, except... in Israel, where they live in peace and security and where their number continues to increase". The article is worth reading entirely.



  1. This is enlightening. I have friends in Syria...sigh.

    1. Yes, Iulia, sigh indeed.
      I have also friends - christians and muslims - in Syria, in Lebanon and in Egypt...
      Let us pray for all of them...