"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Lessons of Hong Kong

Posted on Dec 10, 2019

“How was I supposed to think about a world where the life of a Palestinian is utterly disposable?” — Pamela J. Olson, Fast Times in Palestine

When millions of people are in an open struggle for freedom, the world takes notice. The Green Movement in Iran, the Arab Spring, the Maidan in Ukraine, are just some of the recent challenges to authoritarianism that have drawn global admiration—and headlines. Now it is Hong Kong’s turn.

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Church renovation lifts Christmas spirit in Bethlehem

Posted on Dec 9, 2019

This is our homeland. We are called to be witnesses for Jesus in his homeland. This is a great privilege, which most Christians in the world don’t have. Wadie Abunassar, a senior adviser to church leaders in the Holy Land

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — A historic renovation of the Church of the Nativity is lifting spirits in the biblical town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas, offering visitors a look at ancient mosaics and columns that have been restored to their original glory for the first time in 600 years.

City officials hope the renovation at the traditional birthplace of Jesus will boost tourism and a weak economy in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and perhaps slow a decades-long drain of the Christian population from the lands where the faith was born.

“Christians are leaving the Holy Land due to the lack of peace and economic hardships and we are struggling to keep them in their homeland,” said Bethlehem Mayor Anton Salman. “This is one of the ways.”

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Palestinians in Bethlehem look beyond religious tourism

Posted on Dec 9, 2019

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — For decades, the people of Bethlehem have watched tour buses drive up to the Church of the Nativity, disgorge their passengers for a few hours at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, and then return to Israel.

But in recent years a new form of tourism has taken root, focused on the West Bank town’s Palestinian residents, their culture and history and their struggles under Israeli occupation.

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Stunned and shocked, Marie Khoury writes from Taybeh

Posted on Dec 8, 2019

As much as I am in disbelief of so many things, I was stunned and shocked that while I was at church praying until 2 AM in an all night vigil for St Philoumenos last Thursday, Israeli settlers burned a truck belonging to a Taybeh resident in front of the Greek Orthodox School where he lives.

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Chanukah: It’s about the light

Posted on Dec 8, 2019

[Hanukkah begins Sunday, December 22, 2019, and ends Monday, December 30, 2019.]

When Jews recall the Chanukah story of the day’s worth of oil that lasted for eight, we often forget that the miracle was not the extra mileage the Maccabees got from a few ounces of fuel.

The miracle was that the leaders of the newly independent Israel were willing to light the oil to rededicate the Temple—even though there was no guarantee they would realize that goal.

The story of Chanukah is not about the oil; it’s about the light. Had the Maccabees not taken those first uncertain steps, the light of their faith would not still be visible, more than 2000 years later.

Today, in the first era of Jewish independence since the time of the Maccabees, Shalom Achshav, Israel’s indefatigable peace movement, has not stopped, for one moment, advocating for the steps that will lead to an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians—a goal of two states at peace, and a secure, Jewish and democratic Israel.

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Egyptian President Sisi lauds Vatican’s role in promoting values of tolerance, mercy

Posted on Dec 7, 2019

Dec. 7, 2019 – President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday affirmed Egypt’s appreciation for the role of the Vatican in promoting the values of tolerance, mercy and justice as well as enhancing ties with Cairo.

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Palestinian president awards certificate of merit to Monsignor Akasheh

Posted on Dec 7, 2019

By Munir Bayouk-en.abouna.org

On Friday, December 6, 2019, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas awarded a certificate of merit to Monsignor Khaled Akasheh, bureau chief for Islam at the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, in recognition of his leading role in building bridges of communication among followers of Abrahamic religions.

President Abbas lauded the efforts exerted by Monsignor Khaled Akasheh which are designed to deepen the constructive dialogue among believers, especially through his work for more than 25 years at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the Holy See, as well as in the defence of justice and peace in the Holy Land namely, Palestine.

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Vatican: Celebration marking completion of the restoration of Nativity Church

Posted on Dec 6, 2019

Fr. Ibrahim Faltas, advisor at the Custody of the Holy Land, spoke about the events that took place in Bethlehem since 2002 and quoted His Holiness Pope Francis on the need to build bridges rather than walls. He also underlined the importance of the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the need to maintain Christian presence in the Holy Land.

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Lior and Manar, a tale of friendship

Posted on Dec 6, 2019

Christian Media Center

December 04, 2019

MANAR BADER
“Our story is not just our story… we are not just two friends…it is the story about the city of Jerusalem.”

MANAR BADER
“Only if we meet, only if we get to know each other, everything is possible. We decided to make this happen… we decided to make it possible.”

Manar is an Arab Muslim girl from East Jerusalem. Lior is a young Jewish girl from Tel Aviv. First and foremost, they are friends… to tell the truth, they are best friends.

The complicated socio-political situation of this Earth remains, but to shorten the distances there has always been the desire to help each other to learn the language of the other, ever since they went to university.

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Social TV magazine with Luce Orya Meitleman

Posted on Dec 5, 2019

Social TV magazine with Luce Orya Meitleman brings you a peek of our work:

  • A Day with the Shepherds in the Jordan Valley Reveals a Slap in the Distress and Humiliation they Experience from the Settlers Backed by IDF Soldiers
  • The Story of Hamada Roma, Palestinian athlete from Jericho, whose career was interrupted by false arrest
  • Vered Eyal- Saldinger, a graduate of the Peace Journal program, presents the article she did in the program – “Partnership for Hope – N.A.I.M.A.” – about a group of Arab and Jewish women from the Galilee.
  • In our split “Behind activism” dedicated to activists – meeting with Yael Sherer, an activist, director and filmmaker, who has been active for years for the rights of victims of sexual assault.
  • We seal the magazine with Unboxing the concept “administrative detention”.
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Chaldean archbishop: Iraq unrest signals rejection of post-2003 settlement

Posted on Dec 5, 2019

New York City, N.Y., Dec 4, 2019 / 04:01 pm (CNA).- The largest protests in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein signal the rejection by most Iraqis of the country’s post-2003 structure and government, the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil told the UN Security Council Wednesday.

Since the beginning of October, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis has been protesting government corruption. They have also objected to Iran’s influence over their country’s internal affairs. More than 420 have been killed by security forces.

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Was John the Baptist a member of the Essenes?

Posted on Dec 5, 2019

The mystical sect shared similar values with the Forerunner of Jesus, but their ministries differed in many ways.

Biblical scholarship has taken a keen interest over the years in a Jewish sect called the “Essenes.” Members of this group led rigorous lives of asceticism and are often associated with the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Essenes were known for being a closed community, living in the desert as they dedicated themselves entirely to God. They committed themselves to lives of celibacy, working and praying all hours of the day.

A central part of their beliefs revolved around ceremonial purity, including a “baptism of repentance.” This was a ritual washing that was performed after an individual had renounced sin.

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It is time for hate speeches to come to an end

Posted on Dec 4, 2019

By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader

There are terms that we reject even if we are not aware of their true meanings. But, their mere mentioning causes self-revulsion and gives the readers a strong feeling of repugnance, and distaste for mere mentioning them. These terms produce “hate speeches” that bring two opposites together: the goodness speech–which is discourse that serves as a sign of communication between the speaker and the listener – and the hatred speech eliminates love that God entrusted human beings with.

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In Jerusalem hotel, eviction fears dampen Christmas cheer

Posted on Dec 4, 2019

Jerusalem (AFP) – The Christmas tree is up at the entrance to the Imperial Hotel in Jerusalem, but for its Palestinian hosts there is little festive cheer amid fears they could be evicted in favour of Israeli settlers.

Image: The Imperial Hotel, next to the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, is at the centre of a years-long dispute between its Palestinian tenants and an Israeli settler organisation which allegedly secretly bought it in 2004 from the Greek Orthodox Church (AFP Photo/GALI TIBBON)

The Imperial Hotel, next to the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, is at the centre of a years-long dispute between its Palestinian tenants and an Israeli settler organisation which allegedly secretly bought it in 2004 from the Greek Orthodox Church

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UAE: Silver Jubilee celebrations of Jesus Youth Movement held in Ras al-Khaimah

Posted on Dec 4, 2019

Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia

November 30, 2019
Theme: “Do whatever he tells you” John 2:5

“Recollect, Reconnect, Rejoice” are the keywords marking the three day Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Jesus Youth Movement in the United Arab Emirates which is being celebrated at St. Anthony’s Church, Ras Al Khaimah from Saturday 30 November to Monday 02 December 2019. Around 3500 young people and their families, all members of the movement have gathered at the premises to celebrate twenty five years of the presence and work of the movement in the United Arab Emirates.

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Iraq: Cardinal Sako cancels Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations

Posted on Dec 4, 2019

By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org

Tue, 12/03/2019 – Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq, on Tuesday, December 3, decided to cancel the Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations out of respect for the martyrs, for the wounded, and for members of the security forces as well as in solidarity with the suffering of their families in the wake of the demonstrations taking place in various parts of Iraq.

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Pope Francis voices commitment to full communion with Orthodox

Posted on Dec 1, 2019

Image: Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I in Greece, April 16, 2016. Credit: Vatican Media.

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I in Greece, April 16, 2016. Credit: Vatican Media.

 

.- Marking the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, Pope Francis sent a message to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople on Saturday, voicing his desire for full communion between the Catholic and Orthodox.

“It is with great spiritual joy and in profound communion of faith and charity that I join the prayer of the Church of Constantinople in celebrating the feast of its holy patron, the Apostle Andrew, the first-called and brother of the Apostle Peter,” the pope said in his letter.

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Advent Reflection: Meet CPT Reservist Weldon Nisly

Posted on Nov 30, 2019

Christian Peacemaker Teams wish to celebrate this Advent season by sharing the reflections and experiences of CPTers who carry out the work of transforming oppression.

Week to week, we will introduce you to a CPT Reservist who will share their story through the symbols of each Advent candle in honor of the season and invite you to take action to support transforming oppression.

In preparation for the first Sunday of Advent, we begin with the theme of Hope.

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Israeli settlers target Christian Palestinians in West Bank town

Posted on Nov 30, 2019

Settlers’ attacks on Palestinian properties have been on the rise, with 36 in October alone. 

Image: 'Today they burned the vehicle, but my fear is that tomorrow they might burn my house,' Rollin Basir told MEE (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

‘Today they burned the vehicle, but my fear is that tomorrow they might burn my house,’ Rollin Basir told MEE (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

(MEE/Shatha Hammad)By Shatha Hammad in Ramallah, Occupied West Bank
Published date: 29 November 2019 17:36 UTC

The Basir family woke up in the early hours of Friday morning to the sound of their neighbours shouting – there had been an attack on their home in the Palestinian village of Taybeh.

A group of Israeli settlers had left hostile writing on the walls and had burned the family’s car. But the attackers were nowhere to be be seen when Rollin Basir opened his front door at 2am and saw that his car was on fire. It burned until 6am.

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Samia Khoury and Gideon Levy on Israel’s Right to Defend Itself

Posted on Nov 30, 2019

Samia Khoury writes from East Jerusalem:

I just hope the following article by Gideon Levy is a wake up call to the Israeli army to start with, and to all those who support and feel very strongly that Israel has the right to defend itself. This is not new to “the most moral army” in “the only democratic state” in the region. Indeed, every country that has set borders and is not occupying other people’s land and dispossessing them daily has the right to defend itself. Will Israel pass the test?

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Webinar on Middle East racism: “Never lose hope”

Posted on Nov 29, 2019


A World Council of Churches webinar held on 25 November with the theme “Racism, Xenophobia and discrimination in the Middle-East Context” drew enthusiastic participants from the broader region inhabited by 411 million people.

Joyce Michel Geha, an attorney registered with the Beirut bar association since 2000, spoke on protecting the migrant worker in Lebanon. “In the past, Arab women used to be sent from rural areas to work in families as domestic workers. Their father or brother would come every year to visit them, to ensure their protection. The employer had the honour to receive them inside their house. This is not the case any more,”  she said.

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Catholic Ordinaries condemn recent vandalism in Palestinian village of Taybeh

Posted on Nov 29, 2019

Jerusalem, November 29, 2019

Recent racist acts of vandalism

We have just learned of a new act of racist vandalism that was committed at the Palestinian village of Taybeh, east of Ramallah, where Hebrew-graffiti was sprayed on a wall and a car was torched.

Yesterday, tens of cars were damaged and anti-Arab graffiti, written in Hebrew, were found at the Arab town of Jaljulia (central Israel).

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Wandering Assembly

Posted on Nov 28, 2019

Wandering assembly – Israelis and Palestinians negotiate around the country – Today (Fri.) Church of Saint John the Baptist, Ein Karem, Jerusalem / היום שישי – אסיפה עממית נודדת – ישראלים ופלסטינים מנהלים מו”מ ברחבי הארץ כנסיית יוחנן בהרים, עין כרם, ירושלים

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U.S. support for Israeli settlements could doom a Palestinian state

Posted on Nov 27, 2019

by Drew Christiansen, S.J.

November 27, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Nov. 10 that the United States no longer regards Israeli settlements on the West Bank as illegal is but one in a string of decisions where the administration has abandoned commitments to vulnerable populations. Under Pope John Paul II, the church took a preferential option for the poor and the oppressed. Under President Trump, the U.S. government appears to follow a preferential option for the powerful and those doing the oppressing.

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Christian Peacemaker Teams: Occupied Palestine Gathers Its Olives

Posted on Nov 26, 2019

It’s autumn in Palestine. The olive trees – some of them centuries old – stand ready to provide their Palestinian farmers and families another season’s worth of their precious crop. Precious in at least three ways:

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Maryknoll: Urge Your Representative to Promote Palestinian Children’s Rights

Posted on Nov 25, 2019

Image: Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

In recent years, international organizations have spoken out against the treatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli military, and particularly their use of military detention for children. U.S. Representative Betty McCollum has introduced legislation, H.R. 2407, that would promote Palestinian children’s rights and prohibit U.S. taxpayer funding for military aid to Israel that contributes to their ill-treatment.

Take Action: Urge your representative to support this legislation today.

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Book: Introduction to Judaism for Christian Arabs by Fr. David Neuhaus

Posted on Nov 25, 2019

JERUSALEM – In July 2019, Fr. David Neuhaus released a new book, in Arabic, entitled Judaism evolved among us: an introduction to Judaism for Christian Arabs, in which, as the title describes, he gives an overview of Judaism and the Jewish people to help deepen the knowledge of Arabs in general, especially Christian Arabs, about this religion.

The book, which was published by Dar al-Machreq in Beirut, is divided into four parts. While the first and second parts give an overview of the size and distribution of the Jewish people around the world, their identity, and history from Biblical until modern times, the third part gives a description of Jewish belief and practice that include sacred and religious writings, religious life, duties and responsibilities and the waiting for the Messiah.

The last part of the book deals with Judaism in the modern period. This part includes a discussion of the denominational and cultural diversity of the Jewish people, the development of Zionism and life in both the State of Israel and the Diaspora.

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Kairos: A Christian Palestinian movement

Posted on Nov 22, 2019

Kairos Palestine

We are a Christian Palestinian movement, born out of the Kairos Document, which advocates for ending the Israeli occupation and achieving a just solution to the conflict.

The Kairos Document is the word of Christian Palestinians to the world about what is happening in Palestine.

“Our word is a cry of hope, with love, prayer and faith in God. We address it first of all to ourselves and then to all the churches and Christians in the world, asking them to stand against injustice and apartheid, urging them to work for a just peace.”

We proclaim our word based on our Christian faith and our sense of Palestinian belonging – a word of faith, hope and love.

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Crowd of pilgrims in Bethlehem, the Basilica of the Nativity opens until 8 pm

Posted on Nov 22, 2019

Sofia
Pilgrim, USA

“It’s great to be here, in the place where Jesus was born… it’s really something incredible. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to live this experience.”

The first lights and the beautiful decorations along the streets of Bethlehem announce that Christmas is just around the corner.

In these days many pilgrims from all over the world are crowding the place where the Saviour of the world was born. This has prompted the religious authorities of the Church of the Nativity – after a meeting with the Presidential Committee for Ecclesiastical Affairs in Palestine and the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism – to extend the opening hours of the Basilica by three hours, to allow all pilgrims to visit the Grotto of the Nativity until 8 pm.

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The École Biblique in Jerusalem, French archaeological school for one hundred years.

Posted on Nov 22, 2019

November 20, 2019
Very few buildings around, and a lot of nature where today there are crowded neighbourhoods. These are the first images of the École biblique of Jerusalem, surrounded by a landscape that has now disappeared, north of the old city. Here, at the end of the 19th century, the French Dominican Fathers created one of the most important centres dedicated to the study of the Bible and archaeology of the Holy Land, officially recognised as a French archaeological school a hundred years ago. The memory of over a century of activity is enclosed in a special photo library.
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