"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns: Take action for Gaza

Posted on Apr 19, 2019

Third Thursday Action Alert: Tell Congress to restore humanitarian aid for Palestinians, to work to end the blockade of Gaza, and to insist upon accountability of Israel for violence used against Palestinian civilians there

Organizations in the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy send out action alerts monthly, focusing on different issues so that members of Congress hear consistently that their constituents support a just and lasting resolution to the Palestinian and Israeli conflict.

For a year now, Palestinians in Gaza have been creatively and bravely protesting for their freedom by marching toward the border fence with Israel to demand an end to the blockade of Gaza and respect for their rights. In response, Israel has met unarmed civilians with live sniper-fire, killing over 200 and injuring tens of thousands, including paramedics, journalists, children, and people with disabilities. In total, 45 children have been killed.

When it convened in Geneva in March, the UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel’s “apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force” against protesters in Gaza. A commission of inquiry formed by the human rights council found that Israel’s use of lethal force against protesters warrants criminal investigation and prosecution and may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Read More

Consecration of Archbishop Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem

Posted on Apr 16, 2019

Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch

On April 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at Mor Aphrem Cathderal in Amman – Jordan.

During the Qurobo, His Holiness consecrated Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho as Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands.

Read More

What does the Bible really say about modern Israel?

Posted on Apr 16, 2019

by Kathryn Krause Shihadah*

Christ-followers are eager to serve and obey God to the best of our ability and knowledge. When there are gaps in our understanding, it behooves us to “grow in wisdom.” For example, what does the Bible say about the Promised Land and God’s chosen people?

Read More

Shoelaces on Seder plate or Easter dinner table–to remember the refugees & asylum seekers

Posted on Apr 15, 2019

We invite Jews doing a Passover Seder and Christians having a celebratory Easter dinner to consider adding shoelaces on our Seder Plate or Easter dinner table–to recall the fate of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers.

Read More

Maamoul: An Ancient Cookie That Ushers In Easter And Eid In The Middle East

Posted on Apr 13, 2019

Image: Maamoul, a shortbread cookie stuffed with date paste or chopped walnuts or pistachios and dusted with powdered sugar, is the perfect reward after a month of fasting during Ramadan and Lent. These cookies are waiting to be baked. Amy E. Robertson for NPR

Maamoul, a shortbread cookie stuffed with date paste or chopped walnuts or pistachios and dusted with powdered sugar, is the perfect reward after a month of fasting during Ramadan and Lent. These cookies are waiting to be baked. Amy E. Robertson for NPR

by Amy M. Robertson

Be it Easter or Eid, holidays in the Levantine region of the Middle East are incomplete without a shortbread cookie called maamoul. Stuffed with date paste or chopped walnuts or pistachios, and dusted with powdered sugar, these buttery cookies are the perfect reward after a month of fasting during Ramadan or Lent.

Read More

A Franciscan March during the Lenten Period

Posted on Apr 12, 2019

On April 7, more than 170 young people from different places in the Holy Land responded to a Franciscan initiative for a meeting of young people during the Lenten period. Departing from the monastery of St. George, they crossed the narrow alleys of Wadi el Qult to reach Jericho.

Read More

George Thaljiyeh: a history of success

Posted on Apr 12, 2019

GEORGE THALJIYEH Student, Holy Land School, Bethlehem “I am proud of my disability because it made me discover different talents, above all writing and poetry, as well as the desire to become a musician. I have a relatively good musical ear. The positive aspects of my disability outweigh the negative aspects of my whole life.”

George Thaljiyeh, despite losing his sight, sees with his heart. Thanks to his developed senses, he is able to write down what the eye cannot describe. Through his imagination, George is able to express what happens in his mind and the impressions he experiences in everyday life with his friends.

Read More

Things about Gaza that Israel does not want you to know

Posted on Apr 11, 2019

by Sahar Qumsiyeh from her blog containing some reflections from the life of a Palestinian Latter-day-Saint

I am writing this in response to some comments I saw on Facebook from friends of mine about Gaza.

I grew up thinking that Palestinian lives don’t matter. The reason for my belief was that while growing up I saw many people in my town and my country get killed by Israeli soldiers (and they still do). These were teenagers mostly.  Nothing was done to punish the killers and nothing was said about it in the Israeli media. If something was said, it was a story that did not resemble reality. 

Read More

WCC committee renews call for release of archbishops of Aleppo

Posted on Apr 11, 2019

pray for the safe return of the archbishops to their churches, their communities and their families, as a sign of hope for all the Christians of Syria and the region

10 April 2019 – The World Council of Churches (WCC) Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration issued a communique on 9 April calling for the release of two metropolitans of Aleppo, His Eminence Boulos (Yazigi), from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence Mor Youhanna Gregorios (Ibrahim) from the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.

Read More

Archbishop Pizzaballa in Rimini: “Pray for Gaza and for the Christians who live there”

Posted on Apr 10, 2019

Image: ©Giada Tanzillo

Photo: ©Giada Tanzillo

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem – On Saturday April 6, 2019, and on the occasion of the 42nd National Convocation of the renewal in the Holy Spirit (RnS) in Rimini, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, presided over the Eucharistic con-celebration.

“Pray for Gaza!”, this was the heartfelt appeal that Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa

Read More

Kairos Palestine 2019 Easter Alert

Posted on Apr 10, 2019

Kairos Palestine is pleased to announce the Easter Alert 2019. This year the Easter Alert aims to shed light and raise awareness about the deteriorating situation, not only during Easter time; to show the urgency of the situation in Palestine, especially Jerusalem; and to encourage parishes, lay-persons, and clergy all around the world to remember this season that marks the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us all together spread the message of Palestinian Christians around the world!

Read More

Program of the Holy Week 2019 in Jerusalem

Posted on Apr 9, 2019

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem – Please find below the program of the Holy Week 2019 in Jerusalem. 

APRIL 12, 2019 – FRIDAY, OUR LADY OF SORROWS
9:00 Jerusalem Holy Sepulcher – Calvary: Solemn Mass
17:00 Jerusalem Holy Sepulcher: Daily Procession

Read More

Syrian Patriarchate: Meeting with Delegation from World Communion of Reformed Churches

Posted on Apr 9, 2019

Syrian Patriarchate – On March 31, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

The delegation included Rev. Najla Kassab, President of WCRC, and Rev. Martina Wasserloos-Strunk, President of WCRC-Europe (Germany). They were accompanied by Rev. Boutros Zaour, Pastor of the Evangelical Church of Damascus.

Read More

Livestream: Vigil in the Holy Sepulcher

Posted on Apr 6, 2019

Read More

Bible Competition in Bethlehem

Posted on Apr 5, 2019

We are Palestinians and we are happy to live the Gospel in the land of the Gospel.

The fourth and final evening of the Bible Competition ended on March 29 at the University of Dar al-Kalima in Bethlehem. More than 200 students from different Palestinian cities took part in the competition to represent their schools and parishes.

The Contest, promoted by the “Association of the Children of the Earth” and its director, Father Ibrahim Al-Shomali, aims to encourage students to read the Bible more deeply and continue to be connected with the Word of God.

Read More

“Growing in faith like a cedar of Lebanon” – International Ecumenical Youth Meeting in Beirut

Posted on Apr 4, 2019

*By Katja Dorothea Buck

World Council of Churches – From 23-25 March, 1,600 young people from 43 countries came together in Beirut, Lebanon with the brothers of the ecumenical, monastic community of Taizé (France). Middle Eastern and Western Christians discovered how fruitful and stimulating an ecumenical exchange can be.

Read More

Pope Francis: Don’t be afraid that God has allowed different religions in the world

Posted on Apr 3, 2019

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — No one should be afraid that God has allowed there to be different religions in the world, Pope Francis said.

“But we should be frightened if we are not doing the work of fraternity, of walking together in life” as brothers and sisters of one human family, he said.

Read More

Islamic University of Gaza students on Solar system educational visit at Latin Patriarchate School

Posted on Apr 2, 2019

Image: Gaza students on Solar system educational visit at Latin Patriarchate School

Gaza students on Solar system educational visit at Latin Patriarchate School

by Saher Kawas, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

GAZA – On March 22, 2019, a group of 17 engineering students and their professor from the Islamic University of Gaza visited the Latin Patriarchate School at the Holy Family Parish to learn about the photovoltaic solar system installed on its premises.

The university delegation was received by Mr. Jacky Kattan, technical advisor engineer of the Latin Patriarchate in Gaza, and Eng. Mr. Abdallah Abu Zor from the Atalla Electrical Company that installed the solar system at the Patriarchate school.

Read More

Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II During the Lamp of Peace Award Ceremony in Assisi

Posted on Apr 2, 2019

King Abdullah II of Jordan arrived in the Italian city of Assisi, where he received the 2019 Lamp of Peace award at a ceremony that was also attended by Queen Rania of Jordan. King Abdullah II received the 2019 Lamp Of Peace award from the Custos of the Sacred Convent of Assisi, Father Mauro Gambetti. King Abdullah II was deemed worthy of the award because of his efforts to promote human rights, harmony, interfaith dialogue, and peace in the Middle East and the world.

The King gave a speech at the award ceremony, which was organised by the Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Convent of Assisi. The award ceremony was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and a number of international political, intellectual, and religious leaders.

Read More

Smear Campaigns

Posted on Apr 2, 2019

Christian Peacemaking Teams Palestine, March 30, 2019 – One has to wonder why some settlers put so much effort in smearing people from abroad who come to Hebron to monitor human rights if they are so convinced about the justness of their own cause. What is there to be afraid of if you have nothing to hide? Needless to say that this attitude has probably more to do with power than with reason. So what will be the tactic in such a case when the argument can’t be won? To smear the opponent of course.

Read More

Conversion is not your mission, pope tells Catholics in Morocco

Posted on Apr 1, 2019

Image: Pope Francis greets the faithful as he leaves after holding a mass at Prince Moulay Abdellah sports complex in Rabat, Morocco, March 31, 2019. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Pope Francis greets the faithful as he leaves after holding a Mass at Prince Moulay Abdellah sports complex in Rabat, Morocco, March 31, 2019. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

By Philip Pullella and Ahmed Eljechtimi

RABAT (Reuters) – Pope Francis told the tiny Catholic community in predominantly Muslim Morocco on Sunday that their mission was not to covert their neighbors but to live in brotherhood with other faiths.

Read More

Christian Peacemaking Teams Quarterly Incident Report Oct – Dec 2018

Posted on Apr 1, 2019

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Palestine is a faith-based human rights organization that supports Palestinian-led, nonviolent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. By working with local Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and educating people in our home communities, we strive to help create a space for justice and peace.

Read More

Why the pope’s UAE visit matters to us

Posted on Mar 30, 2019

Bright Stars of Bethlehem – On February 5, Pope Francis held a historic mass in Abu Dhabi. This visit coincided with the pope’s signing, along with with Sheikh Al Azhar, Ahmed al Tayyeb, a document committed to building “Human Fraternity.” This gathering of the western and Arab world’s most prominent religious leaders was preceded by a 2-day “Conference on Human Fraternity” that brought together 600 religious leaders and influencers including Christians of all denominations, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains. Our president, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb was one of few religious leaders from Palestine invited to this important event.

Read More

Three ways to respond to attacks on Gaza

Posted on Mar 29, 2019

FOSNA – Israel is bombing Gaza this week. We bow our heads in sorrow at this violence, and we acknowledge that such an assault is not possible without our complicity. Israel cannot maintain its regime of apartheid and occupation without continued political and financial support from the United States. Here are three things you can do now

Read More

A “School of Joy” in Beit Sahour

Posted on Mar 29, 2019

Thanks to the support and encouragement of the academic staff at the School of Joy in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, seventy-two young students with special needs receive their primary education. A school that considers their mental and physical problems.

Read More

Good Friday Collection: Helping Holy Land Christians

Posted on Mar 29, 2019

Br IBRAHIM FALTAS, ofm Custody of the Holy Land “We do not want to see the holy places as museums without the local Christians of this holy city; we want the Christian presence to be the salt that gives all these holy places sense and taste. Without this presence, these churches would have been museums. Our mission in the Custody of the Holy Land is to help the people stay in this land.”

Read More

While waiting for the visit of Pope Francis, Cristóbal López Romero, Archbishop of Rabat, explains the priorities of a Church that wants to be a Samaritan one

Posted on Mar 29, 2019

Image: Cristóbal López Romero, Archbishop of Rabat

Cristóbal López Romero, Archbishop of Rabat

Interview by Claudio Fontana,  Oasis, Christians and Muslims in the Global World, March 29, 2019

Cristóbal López Romero was appointed Archbishop of Rabat on December 29, 2017, and entered the Diocese on March 10, 2018. After holding various positions in Paraguay, Bolivia and Spain, the new ministry forced him to start again, but did not find him unprepared. Seven years in Morocco, from 2003 to 2010, as director of a Salesian school, taught him how to engage in a dialogue with Muslims. While preparing to receive the Pope’s visit, he shared his experience with us in this interview.

Read More

Pope Francis heads to Muslim-majority Morocco ‘as a pilgrim of peace’

Posted on Mar 28, 2019

by Gerard O’Connell*, America, the Jesuit Review, March 28, 2019

On eve of visit, Pope Francis tells Moroccans: ‘I come as a pilgrim of peace and fraternity, in a world that greatly needs it.’

Continuing to write a new page in Christian-Muslim relations, Pope Francis will visit the Kingdom of Morocco this weekend, March 30 and 31. He goes to promote interreligious dialogue, to foster peace and fraternity between Christians and Muslims, and to provide encouragement to the tiny Christian community of this majority-Muslim country in North Africa.

Read More

‘Not a page in a book’ – accompaniers hear Palestinians’ testimonies from Ma’alul village

Posted on Mar 28, 2019

By Albin Hillert*, World Council of Churches

Ma’alul, a Palestinian village destroyed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, saw a visit by ecumenical accompaniers in mid-March.

“I would have liked to invite you to a real home, not just as a refugee,” said Jad Saba Yusef Salem as he received the group of accompaniers to the village.

Read More

Shabbat dinner ‘helps humanize two sides of the story’

Posted on Mar 28, 2019

By Albin Hillert*, World Council of Churches

On 15 March, a group of Ecumenical accompaniers from the World Council of Churches (WCC) were invited to share Shabbat dinner with the Kol HaNeshama congregation in Jerusalem.

Read More