"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Kairos Palestine Easter Alert 2020

Posted on Apr 6, 2020

Global MinistriesBY MIDDLE EAST & EUROPE – GLOBAL MINISTRIES ON APRIL 01, 2020

KP_easter-alert-2020.JPG

 

Introduction
written by Patriarch Michel Sabbah

Christ is risen, indeed He is risen. Let us rejoice and be glad.

We rejoice because Jesus Christ, who triumphed over death, enables us also to triumph over all forms of death in our life. In our life, indeed, the forms of death are many.

Some of the world’s great—along with many of those who have power—are still walking in the ways of death. They are imposing many wars on our Middle East and on our Holy Land, the land of the Resurrection. They see nothing but death as a way to life. The strong in our land continue to see the death imposed on the Palestinian people as their only way to life and security.

Read More

Interreligious Prayer in Jerusalem

Posted on Apr 5, 2020

March 27, 2020

This is how they greet each other on the terrace of Jerusalem City Hall. No handshake is formally allowed to religious leaders invited by the mayor of the Holy City to ask God’s help against the Coronavirus.

Read More

The collection for the Holy Land Has Been Moved to September

Posted on Apr 5, 2020

This collection is the one that allows us not only to take care of the Holy Places, but above all to take care of the local Christian communities.

The 2020 Holy Week will be a very atypical one. The rites of the Easter Triduum will be celebrated without the participation of the faithful. For this reason, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has deemed it appropriate to postpone the Holy Land Collection which is usually offered on Good Friday to Catholics all over the world.

Read More

Holyland Institute for the Deaf and Deafblind (HLID)

Posted on Apr 5, 2020

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. ​

Asma Masadeh from Jordan trains children who are both deaf and blind.

Read More

Lebanon’s Churches are adjusting to the restrictions imposed on Holy Week

Posted on Apr 5, 2020

“…no more ‘my country first,’ at the expense of others”
Superior General of the Good Shepherd sisters, Sister Ellen Kelly

By Fady Noun/ asianews.it

Lebanon’s Churches are adjusting to the restrictions imposed on Holy Week by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “picturesque and colourful” processions of Palm Sunday were cancelled. Liturgical services are being held behind closed doors, but the faithful have been able to follow them via the Internet. The health crisis is a “dark night” that we must face as “one”.

Read More

Israel to help Christians share ‘holy fire’ amid outbreak

Posted on Apr 4, 2020

Image: A worker disinfects the doors of the closed Church if the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, as general public movements are limited to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Monday, March 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

A worker disinfects the doors of the closed Church if the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City, as general public movements are limited to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Monday, March 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

by JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press, April 3, 2020

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is working with foreign governments and Orthodox Christian leaders in the Holy Land to make sure that one of their most ancient and mysterious rituals — the Holy Fire ceremony — is not extinguished by the coronavirus outbreak, officials said Friday.

Read More

Patriarch Sabbah: ‘The epidemic is not a punishment for any sin’

Posted on Apr 4, 2020

FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2020

THE EPIDEMIC IS NOT A PUNISHMENT FOR ANY SIN

by Patriarch Michel Sabbah

About the epidemic too… Is it a punishment?

Some may ask this question: Is this epidemic a punishment from God for humanity, for its many evils, wars, injustices, famines, misuse of religion, discrimination between poor and rich and so on?

First, the epidemic is a normal consequence of human attitudes, the result of human science or ignorance. It is the result of peoples’ relationship with each other. Humanity has to face it with all its scientific capacities. The believers who seee God, face it with prayer, as well as turn to God, good, almighty and loving all humankind. Distress becomes a way back to God, a means of purifying oneself, coming closer to God, Creator, and to all one’s brothers and sisters in humanity.

Read More

Is not the Corona pandemic enough?

Posted on Apr 4, 2020

by Samia Khoury of East Jerusalem

While the United Nations Secretary General is calling on all countries to silence the guns and focus on collectively saving humanity from this vicious pandemic that is ravaging societies around the globe, Israel finds it very timely to increase its oppression of the Palestinians under occupation.

Read More

Palm Sunday at the Latin Patriarchate Co-Cathedral | Jerusalem 2020

Posted on Apr 4, 2020

Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020

11.00 am (Jerusalem Time) – Palm Sunday Celebration presided over by HE Mgr. Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem, in the Latin Patriarchate Co-Cathedral, in Jerusalem. The Celebration will be in Arabic.

Read More

(Virtually) Spend Easter in Jerusalem with Sabeel!

Posted on Apr 2, 2020

This Easter, join our Sabeel elders from Jerusalem as they share lessons of liberation and spiritual survival in the midst of continued dispossession, health crises and international chaos. Let us gather together to remember that just as Jesus died on the cross to reveal the eternal, divinity is revealed in the midst of physical destruction.

Read More

HOLY LAND: Pastoral Guidelines for Holy Week following restrictions due to COVID-19

Posted on Mar 31, 2020

Livestreamed Triduum celebrations are certainly important and useful but can never replace the physical presence in the celebrations, which for us is constitutive. It is much more useful and fruitful for communities in pray in the family.

by Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin [Roman Catholic] Patriarchate of Jerusalem

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world and in the territories of our diocese has resulted in serious and drastic limitations in our ability to participate in divine worship. Pastoral activities and especially the celebration of the sacraments have been largely suspended for several weeks, including participation in the Eucharistic celebration. As we have already said several times, it is a novelty that we have never experienced before and has challenged us to find new ways and forms for our celebrations. Holy Week will begin in a few days. It is the heart of the liturgical year, and even on this occasion, our chances of celebration will be very limited.

Read More

Israeli Communities Unite Over Virus Response — Except for One

Posted on Mar 31, 2020

Seventeen percent of Israelis doctors, a quarter of nurses and almost half of all pharmacists are Arabs. These men and women have been on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 from the very start, witnesses to the epidemic.

Image: In Bnei Brak, the number of confirmed cases nearly doubled in the last three days, from 267 on Friday to 508 on Monday.

In Bnei Brak, the number of confirmed cases nearly doubled in the last three days, from 267 on Friday to 508 on Monday.Credit…Dan Balilty for The New York Times

by Zev Chafets*

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Day after day, Israel toughens its measures to fight coronavirus. The measures are an escalating version of the same quarantine message. In a televised message on Wednesday night, a frustrated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it in blunt terms. “You must stay at home. Stay at home — stay alive.”

The religious and ethnic communities of Israel, divided in so much, now find themselves on the same side against a common enemy. Not all communities, however, are equally ready to shoulder the burden of compliance.

Read More

Not since the Black Plague have Jerusalem’s holy alleys fallen so still

Posted on Mar 30, 2020

Image: Adeeb Joudeh, standing in front of the now-locked Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City (Photo Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post)

Adeeb Joudeh, standing in front of the now-locked Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City (Photo Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post)

By Steve Hendrix, Jerusalem bureau chief, The Washington Post

March 27, 2020 at 1:58 p.m. PDT

JERUSALEM — Adeeb Joudeh, standing in front of the now-locked Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City, had a pretty specific answer when asked when the church last closed to the public like this:

“It was the year 1349, at the time of the Black Plague,” he said, holding the key that had shut things down a day earlier and back in the 14th century as well.

They measure time differently here in the oldest section of one of the world’s oldest cities, the ancient, dispute-riddled and spiritually dense center of three major religions. Yet it takes an eternity to recall the last time Christians, Jews and Muslims, each claiming various overlapping quarters of the Old City, were kept from their eternal rounds.

Read More

Celebrations at the Holy Sepulchre

Posted on Mar 30, 2020

 

“Following the evolution of the situation in the Holy Land, we, the leaders of the three communities to whom Divine Providence has entrusted the grace and honour of making the praise of God resound in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre and of the Resurrection, wish to communicate that the celebrations of the three Greek-Orthodox, Latin and Armenian communities will continue regularly”.

The official note is signed by Brother Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, His Beatitude Theophilus III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and His Excellency Nourhan Manugian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Read More

Still at the beginning of a long journey

Posted on Mar 30, 2020

Regarding the pandemic, Rima Tarazi writes from Palestine

Needless to say that our thoughts are with all during these very difficult times in the history of the human race. I hope you are doing well and coping with the challenges as best as you can.

Living in the comfort zone of a century soaring with scientific and technological achievements, never, in our wildest dreams, did we foresee that a minute invisible virus could shake the very roots of our existence and our grand schemes for a better world.

Well, here we are, now, as helpless as crawling infants trying to uncover the mysteries of their world.

Read More

BREAKING: First cases of Coronavirus reported in Gaza

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

It’s difficult enough to be in the U.S. during the COVID-19 outbreak. And when I think about the conditions in Gaza, I’m absolutely terrified for the Palestinians trapped there.

As of today, Israeli officials have only allowed 200 testing kits into Gaza. [1]

Read More

Br. Patton: “Now we need the pilgrimage of prayer”

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

March 18, 2020

“There’s a time for everything under the sky,” says the Qoelet. A few weeks ago we reported a large number of pilgrims present in the Holy Land: their growth was clearly visible in the streets and Shrines.

A few weeks later, the situation and the statistics are quite different due to the spread of the Coronavirus also in Israel and Palestine. A drastic drop, recorded by the Franciscan Pilgrims’ Office in Jerusalem: The Office has cancelled all the masses booked by groups of pilgrims in all the sanctuaries of the Holy Land from March 12. Thousands of celebrations were still held in January and February, and by March their number dropped to zero.

Read More

The Catholic schools in Gaza and the English language

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

February 18, 2020

It is from a school path as “open” as possible that the very small Christian community in Gaza tries to start again. The Catholic Institutes – the one run by the Sisters of the Rosary, and the two of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem – welcome about 2100 students, from kindergarten to high school. With one paradox: about 90% of them are Muslim. There are only 176 Christian students.

Read More

With all eyes on Covid-19, refugee suffering continues in Greece, Turkey and Syria

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

by Kevin Clarke, America’s chief correspondent and the author of Oscar Romero: Love Must Win Out (Liturgical Press), March 19, 2020

With most global media and political attention fixed on the coronavirus pandemic, other significant humanitarian challenges have fallen out of focus, no matter how grave. Among them is the ongoing refugee dilemma on the Aegean islands of Greece and at the borders of Turkey.

Read More

Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib will not seek re-election in order to join the Jesuits

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

Born to Iranian immigrants in Maryland, he is the first and only Iranian-American to hold statewide elected office.

by Zac Davis, associate editor for digital strategy at America and a host of the podcast “Jesuitical.”

Cyrus Habib, the lieutenant governor of Washington, will not seek re-election and is entering the Society of Jesus this fall, the lieutenant governor and the Society of Jesus confirmed to America on March 19.

“I’ve felt a calling to dedicate my life in a more direct and personal way to serving the marginalized, empowering the vulnerable, healing those suffering from spiritual wounds, and accompanying those discerning their own futures,” Mr. Habib wrote in an essay published in America, explaining his announcement.

Read More

Social initiatives to deal with the Coronavirus in Bethlehem

Posted on Mar 20, 2020

The Coronavirus has paralyzed the lives of everyone in Bethlehem: schools, universities, institutions. There are thirty-nine cases: thirty-seven in the Bethlehem area and two in Tulkarem. Little Mila, only two years old, was the youngest infected in Palestine. Now that she has defeated the virus, it has given hope and reassurance to the inhabitants of the city.

Read More

Palestinians Show the World How to Respond to COVID-19 Crisis

Posted on Mar 20, 2020

Palestinians have responded to COVID-19 with ingenuity and hospitality. They are using the resilience that has allowed them to thrive under the brutal Israeli Occupation, to survive the CoronaVirus.

Bethlehem, which has been the hardest hit by the virus, has taken numerous precautions that have stemmed the spread of the virus, while still showing great love and care for those in quarantine. People have carefully left food and drinks outside the Angel Hotel to show those in quarantine that they are not forgotten.

Read More

First International Young Adult Gathering canceled for this year

Posted on Mar 18, 2020

Regarding the First International Young Adult Gathering to be held June 17-25, 2020: “We at Sabeel have decided that it is best to cancel the trip for this year due to the world-wide health crisis.”

Read More

Six Feet of Separation During Coronavirus—How Arabs Will Cope with It

Posted on Mar 18, 2020

The Arab priest [in America] went on to say: “I want to assure you of my love and care for you. If you feel sick and you want me to come and pray for you or/and give you communion, I will be happy to do so.”

Image: Arabs in Church or Mosque–now because of the coronavirus parishioners have to be more careful in social distancing photo Arab church

Arabs in Church or Mosque–now because of the coronavirus parishioners have to be more careful in social distancing photo Arab church

By: John Mason/Arab America Contributing Writer

Arabs in their home countries have specific ways in which they use social space. These are quite different from traditional American patterns of body language. In the context of the growing coronavirus crisis in the U.S., health specialists are recommending the practice of social distancing.

Read More

Coronavirus: latest updates from Jerusalem

Posted on Mar 18, 2020

By: Layal Hazboun / LPJ – Published: March 18 Wed, 2020By: Layal Hazboun / LPJ – Published: March 18 Wed, 2020

JERUSALEM – The Holy City of Jerusalem has been witnessing unprecedented circumstances in the last days. It is not merely empty of its pilgrims and visitors, but also of a large portion of its inhabitants, especially after the closure of schools (including Christian schools), institutes and universities, and the cancellation of all hotel reservations for the months of March and April, those months which usually witness a tremendous increase in the number of pilgrims coming from all over the world to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus in the Holy Land, which will affect the tourism sector including souvenir stores, tourism offices, hotels and restaurants.

Read More

The sense of Place and Identity in Hebron, Palestine

Posted on Mar 16, 2020

In Hebron, a city of 200 000, there is the Old City of 30 000, where there are religious sites coveted by Zionist settlers, these under military cover are slowly but surely helping Israeli policies of settler-colonisation. OCHA has recently produced an excellent summary of the deteriorating situation in Hebron.

Read More

Christians in Gaza—A Little-Known, Embattled Minority

Posted on Mar 16, 2020

By: John Mason/Arab
America Contributing Writer

The number of Christians in Gaza has been reduced to just about 1,000, while the number of Muslims is reaching close to 2 million. Still, the remaining Christians stay resilient, though the tendency is for the young people to want to emigrate. The Israeli embargo on Gaza has negatively affected Christians and Muslims in terms of their freedom to travel.

Read More

Maria Khoury: “In one minute our whole life changed in Taybeh.”

Posted on Mar 15, 2020

by Maria Khoury of Taybeh, Palestine

May God protect you and keep you safe during these very challenging times on earth.

When my children keep saying wash your hands over and over, I want to remind them that during this Holy Great Lenten journey, we are supposed to ‘wash’ our hearts over and over. But, also it’s the first time I realize how many extra times I keep touching my face which they tell me not to with the coronavirus dictating our lives.

Read More

A scholarship to stay in the Holy Land

Posted on Mar 14, 2020

GEORGE HLEIS
“I finished studying psychology last year at the Hebrew University… right there on the Mount of Olives.  My name is George, I’m 23 years old, I live in the Christian quarter of the Old Town, I’m a Catholic Christian.”

The objective is clear: to allow local Christians to study in their own land, to prevent them from deciding to move abroad to study and then, possibly, to live.

Read More

Syriacs: Aramaic roots and Christian blooms

Posted on Mar 14, 2020

A mosaic of different traditions and religious communities is still flourishing in the Holy Land. The Syriac community is a part of this mosaic, and still preserves a culture rooted in the Aramaic language.

F BOUTROS NE’MEH
Syriac Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary

“The Syriacs are the Arams descended from Aram, son of Sem, who was the son of Noah, who lived in the area of Mesopotamia and the Levant for many years. They spoke Aramaic and lived there for many centuries, even before the birth of Christianity.

“When the Aramaeans became Christians, they took the name ‘Syriacs’ because they lived in Greater Syria.”

Read More