"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

FOSNA: Counter CUFI, Washington, DC, July 7 and 8, 2019

Posted on Jun 20, 2019

 

For too long, Palestinians have been calling for freedom, justice, and equality. As organizations that share these values, we urge you to join us in confronting Christians United for Israel (CUFI). CUFI has quietly become the largest organization in the United States driving support for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. With over five million members, CUFI uses its political leverage to ensure ongoing U.S. support for Israel’s colonization and military occupation of Palestine, including imprisoning Palestinian children; bombing homes, schools, and hospitals in Gaza; massacring peaceful protestors; and confiscating Palestinian land.

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Eritrean Catholic Church denounces government seizure of health clinics

Posted on Jun 19, 2019

image: The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Asmara. Credit: Hailu Wudineh TSEGAYE/Shutterstock.

The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Asmara. Credit: Hailu Wudineh TSEGAYE/Shutterstock.

Asmara, Eritrea, Jun 18, 2019 / 02:26 pm (CNA).- The Eritrean Catholic Church has criticized the government of the one-party state for seizing and closing its 22 health clinics throughout the country last week.

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Israel is not as Christian-friendly as you think

Posted on Jun 19, 2019

According to a Pew Research study, 86% of Israeli Christians strongly believe that the US is too supportive of Israel. Only a small percentage of American Christians—18%–believe that the US is too supportive of Israel.

by Kathryn Shihadah, If Americans Knew

July 12, 2017 – The New Testament records that Jesus Christ took two loaves of bread and five fish, and fed five thousand people. Ancient believers identified the place where they believe this miracle happened and built a church on the site. Today the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes stands in Israel, its 5th century mosaic floors still intact. Outside is a large rock where, legend has it, Jesus placed the bread before he distributed it to the crowd.

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Teaching and transmitting love of the Bible

Posted on Jun 18, 2019

Curia - Latin Patriarchate of JerusalemA conversation with Father Jean-Jacques Pérennès, director of the Ecole Biblique of Jerusalem

Interview by François Vayne, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Father Pérennès, could you summarize in few words the great history of the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française (French Bible and Archaeological School) of Jerusalem (EBAF), beginning with its foundation by Father Lagrange in 1890?

The Ecole Biblique was founded by Father Marie-Joseph Lagrange at a time when the progress of modern sciences (history, archaeology, linguistics) seemed to threaten the credibility of the Bible. Eminent scholars such as Ernest Renan and Alfred Loisy left the Catholic Church in a brutal manner, suggesting that it was not able to accept the challenge of a critical reading of the Bible.

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Israeli court upholds shady sale of Jerusalem church property to settlers

Posted on Jun 18, 2019

Church property in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City may end up in the hands of a radical settler group that could bar Christian access to their holy sites.

by Nir Hasson, reposted from Ha’aretz

The leaders of a number of Christian denominations in Jerusalem issued an unusual joint statement in which they criticized the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to uphold the sale of three properties by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to an organization that seeks to increase Jewish presence in Jerusalem’s Old City.

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Christian Peacemaking Team Palestine: “To the coming generations”

Posted on Jun 16, 2019

Christian Peacemaking Team, Hebron – On May 10, 2019, CPT Palestine was called out to a major incident in Tel Rumeida. On arrival, we found that around 50 Israeli soldiers, together with a number of armed settlers, had just arrested two young Palestinian men. Talk about using a sledgehammer to crack a nut!

At first, Israeli soldiers photographed our passports, and we were not allowed to enter the immediate area, as it had been declared a “closed military zone.” Finally, when we were allowed in, the first person we saw was the mother of one of the men, sitting on a step. She looked distraught.

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The International Council for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Jerusalem

Posted on Jun 14, 2019

Christian Media Center

The meeting of the International Council for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation took place in Jerusalem, at the Custody of the Holy Land, from June 2 to 9.

The JPIC Office of the Order of Friars Minor is composed of 13 conferences, which group the provinces by language and geographical area, with the addition of a fourteenth province, that of the Holy Land. Each conference has a delegate who then forms the International Council.

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“Time Adventure”: First Christian Youth Camp for the Working Class

Posted on Jun 14, 2019

Christian Media Center

Between the 3rd and 6th of June, the General Secretariat for the Christian Youth in the Holy Land held its first camp for the working class of “Christ the Redeemer Church” in the village of Taybeh, with the participation of sixty young men and women from various parishes.

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‘Building Bridges’ for Muslim and Christian scholars is a process

Posted on Jun 13, 2019

A Christian and a Muslim scholar have told a seminar at the World Council of Churches (WCC) about their work in an annual “Building Bridges” seminar with “freedom” as the theme, as participants described what they do as a process, not an event.

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The Most Islamic Country Is … New Zealand?

Posted on Jun 13, 2019

“We are one,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in the wake of the March mass shooting that left 60 worshippers in two Christchurch mosques dead and turned the small Pacific island nation into the center of the Islamic world’s attention.

New Zealanders came together, regardless of color or creed, to mourn and to help the grieving Muslim community recover. Social integration and empathy are sacred in Islam. New Zealand’s population is only 1 percent Muslim, but …

According to a new analysis, New Zealand is the country that most closely follows Quranic principles.

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Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns: Four Featured Articles

Posted on Jun 13, 2019

The four featured articles in this issue of the Middle East focus on the new election for prime minister in Israel,  the discrimination by Israel of Palestinian journalists by limiting their movement, new videos showing violence by Israeli settlers that has been blamed on Palestinians, and the announcement by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that no Palestinians will participate in a U.S.-led conference in Bahrain that the Trump administration has cast as an overture to its own plan for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Also, the link is provided for the latest news bulletin from Churches for Middle East Peace.
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Former Jerusalem patriarch to Israel and U.S.: Time to move away from war

Posted on Jun 12, 2019

by Judith Sudilovsky – Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS), May 21, 2019 — Appealing to Israel and the United States, Archbishop Michel Sabbah, retired Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, said it was time to move away from war.

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In Israel, Philippine workers facing deportation find solace in faith

Posted on Jun 12, 2019

by Judith Sudilovsky – Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) — A group of Philippine mothers and children facing imminent deportation from Israel are finding some solace in their faith, with weekly prayer meetings and counseling from their parish priest and nuns.

Most of the mothers arrived legally in Israel to work as caretakers for the elderly, but remained in the country even after their work visas had expired and have lived in Israel for up to 20 or more years. They have created a life for themselves in Israel, which they believe is better than they could have in the Philippines.

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Eileen Fleming: USS Liberty Love Story

Posted on Jun 11, 2019

Before the events of 11 Sept. 2001, Eileen Fleming was “a comfortably numb Christian.” In response to the post  “June 8th is the 52nd anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty”, she writes:

Since 2007 when I first learned about the USS Liberty I have been challenging [and been attacked by] by antisemites who ‘support’ the Liberty – Their support focuses on Israel and all things Jewish instead of vets with PTS and the USA Govt. COVER-UP.

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The origin of the Bible

Posted on Jun 11, 2019

God has communicated with his people throughout history and His words have been written in what we call the Holy Bible. But what is its origin?

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Reflection of Archbishop Pizzaballa for Pentecost Vigil 2019

Posted on Jun 11, 2019

Curia - Latin Patriarchate of JerusalemShort reflection on Pentecost Vigil

St. Stephen, 8.6.2019

Acts 2: 42-47; 10, 34-48; Gal 5: 16-26; Mk 16, 15-20

First of all, I greet all those present and thank the Dominican fathers for having once again hosted us in this beautiful church for this moment of prayer for the whole Church of Jerusalem.

Last year it was the Seminary that prepared this moment. This year it was the young people of Palestine. I therefore thank them, the shabibeh, who have prepared this prayer vigil.

Five years ago, the Holy Father visited the Holy Land and in the context of his visit he invited the then presidents of Palestine and Israel to meet and to pray together for peace. The meeting took place in the Vatican exactly five years ago, like today. It was an incredible moment of hope, but also an important indication of method. Then we all hoped that something could change. Instead we saw that immediately afterwards an incredible violence broke out. Still today the political situation remains the same as always. But we’re not here to talk about this.

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Churches of Beit Einun: Centuries of Christian Cultural Heritage

Posted on Jun 6, 2019

Beit Einun is a Palestinian village located in the south of the West Bank and north of Hebron. It encompasses three ancient archaeological churches, one of which dates back to the Byzantine period and is considered one of the most important and largest church that served the Christian population in the early fifth century in that region.

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A Catholic experience of Ramadan

Posted on Jun 4, 2019

by Michael Rossmann, S.J.*

Coming from a place where “religious diversity” meant there were both Catholics and Lutherans, for much of my life I often responded with little more than a shrug of the shoulders when hearing that it was a holiday for a non-Christian tradition. I knew so few people of other faiths and did not live in places where other religious holidays resulted in a day off of school or work.

Things can sure change. I now live in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where it would be impossible to not know, hear and see that Ramadan is currently taking place.

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Christianity in Iraq ‘will never die’ insists Archbishop of Mosul on visit to Lyon

Posted on Jun 3, 2019

Image result for euronews logo
The Archbishop of Mosul has insisted Christianity in Iraq “will not and will never die”, as he spoke to Euronews about the difficulties the religious minority in the country are facing.

After the defeat of so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Mosul dozens of Iraqi Christian families — who fled their country amid the violence a few years ago — are returning.

But not to their destroyed homes in Mosul.

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PALESTINE | A brave school principal; a brave woman

Posted on May 31, 2019

Christian Peacemaking Teams, Palestine – We* were monitoring the Salaymeh checkpoint on a cold morning. Two soldiers, fully armed and wearing masks, walked passed the checkpoint and went up on the roof of an adjoining building. As children started making their way to school, the two soldiers came down and started moving towards the school area. Ofer, a settler who shows up daily at the checkpoint to harass children and human rights monitors, made his daily appearance. Suddenly, soldiers threw three sound grenades close to a small group of boys who had gathered outside the school.

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Ramadan and Iftar, a moment of meeting

Posted on May 31, 2019

The Custos of the Holy Land also arrives in Bethany, to share Iftar with the Muslim community.

A grenade blast resonates in Jerusalem. This time it is not a sign of war but of the feast of Ramadan. Rajaie Sandoka fires twice a day from this Islamic cemetery overlooking the old city to indicate the beginning and end of fasting.

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A new playing field and playground for the school of the Latin Patriarchate of Naour in Jordan

Posted on May 30, 2019

Curia - Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

by Irénée Julien-Laferrière, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

JORDAN – Since the beginning of the year, the school of the Latin Patriarchate of Naour has been delighted by the new sports facilities put in place thanks to donations from the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher. This initiative was created to allow students to flourish in the school and make teaching more lively and friendly.

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Christian communities sign agreement to start second phase of renovation in Holy Sepulchre

Posted on May 30, 2019

Jerusalem, May 27th, 2019

More than two years after the end of the first step of the renovation of the Holy Sepulchre  Edicule, which ended with an Ecumenical Ceremony held on March 22nd, 2017, the Christian Communities in charge of the Status Quo in the Holy Sepulchre signed an agreement to start the second step of the renovation and rehabilitation of the Holiest place.

The first step of the renovation of the Edicule of Our Lord Jesus Christ started after the agreement of March 22nd, 2016. The ten months of work were managed by a staff from Greece directed by professor Antonia Moropoulou from the National Technical University of Athens, who guided both the previous studies and the restoration of the Edicule.

The work was financed by the three main Christian denominations of the Holy Sepulcher: the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land, and the Armenian Patriarchate. 

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June 8th is the 52nd anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty

Posted on May 30, 2019

Image: Alison Weir

Alison Weir

Allison Weir writes in her “If Americans Knew” newsletter:

On June 8, 1967 Israeli jets and torpedo boats tried to sink the USS Liberty, a U.S. Navy technical surveillance ship, with all men aboard. Israel did not succeed in sinking the ship, but did succeed in killing 34 Americans and injuring 175.

Surviving crew members and the families of those killed have called for a complete, honest investigation into the attack, but Israel and its partisans have called them “antisemitic” and worked to suppress their voices.

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Palestine: The Camera as a Lifeline

Posted on May 30, 2019

Christian Peacemaking Teams, Hebron – The neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida is located in the H-2 zone of Hebron, an area exclusively under Israeli military control. An Israeli military base lies nearby currently operated by the Israeli Givati brigade. The unit largely serves to provide backup for Israeli settlers who have taken over many Palestinian homes and buildings in the area and consolidated the occupied property into two major settlements. Despite these incursions, 240 Palestinian families remain in the area trying to survive.

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WCC statement reiterates call for just peace in Palestine and Israel

Posted on May 29, 2019

27 May 2019 – The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee, in a statement, reiterated its call for a just peace in Israel and Palestine. “That commitment is part of the fabric of our faith, and of the heritage of the ecumenical movement,” reads the statement. “We seek to express it by accompanying the churches, interfaith partners and communities of these lands in their witness and work for justice and for peace.”

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“Now I Can No Longer Call Myself a Zionist . . .”

Posted on May 28, 2019

A new book explores the nuances behind the opposition to Zionism and effectively dispels the myth that Jewish people who criticize Israel are “self-hating Jews.”

Laurie Zimmerman photo.2.jpgby Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, Congregation Shaarei Shamayim in Madison

Progressive Magazine, May 10, 2019 – As the Israeli government under Netanyahu continues its path towards the far right and escalates violence against Palestinians, increasing numbers of Jews are voicing their opposition to ongoing human rights violations, the denial of basic freedoms for Palestinians, and the shunning of international law. Some are rejecting not only particular governmental policies but the basic ideology of Zionism, defined as support for a Jewish state in the land of Israel.

Carolyn L. Karcher, professor emerita of English, American Studies, and Women’s Studies at Temple University, is the editor of a new collection of forty personal narratives written mostly by American Jewish activists, scholars, and rabbis. It makes an important contribution to the growing body of literature that examines Jewish critiques of Israel and Zionism. This book will be particularly useful for Jews who are beginning to question their own beliefs about Zionism. Many of the essays trace the personal journeys of Jews who have parted ways with Zionism, describing the difficult emotional and intellectual issues with which they grapple.

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Irony: “Great democracy in the world” takes cue from “the only democracy in the Middle East”

Posted on May 27, 2019

by Samia Khoury

The US administration has never been supportive of our cause as Palestinians. And I specifically say the administration because we have a lot of support from the public, the main stream churches, the civil society, as well as many Jewish Americans. The United Nations records show clearly that it was the Veto of the US at the United Nations that has hindered the implementation of the UN resolutions that would have guaranteed our rights as Palestinians, basically the right to return to our homes from which we were evicted by force or had to flee for our lives in 1948. We were never even offered compensation, and Israel continues till this day to deny its responsibility for our plight.

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Natural history, conservation, and politics meet

Posted on May 25, 2019

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 124:24

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh writes on May 25 in the Palestinian Christians newsletter:

Today we concluded a week of public activities related to biodiversity (we even got live coverage on Palestine TV). We had lectures and workshops on faunal and human diversity and how to protect those. We had hands-on work in preparation of specimens for biodiversity studies. Coincidentally it was also the last week in the semester for my classes; I teach Biodiversity at Birzeit and Research methodology at Bethlehem University (both master level).

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The “Children’s Charter” of the Latin Patriarchate Schools

Posted on May 24, 2019

Believing in Christian values and in the universal commitment of the Catholic Church to the protection of children, the General Administration of the Latin Patriarchate Schools represented by its Director General, Br. Iyad Twal, in collaboration with the World Vision Foundation, published the “Children’s Charter” on Wednesday 22nd May at the Al-Ahliyah School in Ramallah.

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