Pax Christi Prayer Action Holy Land

Ref.: ME.40.E.00
Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Peoples
Pax Christi Prayer Action for Peace
A Christmas Call for Peace and Justice in the Holy Land

Brussels, 6 December 2000
Dear friends,
Advent has started. Christmas is coming soon. We are appealing to all our
Pax Christi members and friends all over the world to pray and act for peace
and justice in the Middle East.

Pax Christi International had already a longstanding involvement in the
struggle for peace in the Middle East when in 1999 the International Pax
Christi Council took place in Amman and Jerusalem. At that Council, Msgr.
Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, was elected as the new
President of Pax Christi International. In September 2000, the Arab
Educational Institute in Bethlehem has been accepted by the Executive
Committee as an Affiliated Organisation with our movement.

On 28 September, the Al-Aqsa Intifada started. The International Secretariat
continues to work closely with the Patriarchate in Jerusalem and with the
Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem. Individual members, sections and
partners of our Pax Christi network have sent letters of concern and
solidarity. Others have issued statements and have done advocacy work
towards national political and religious authorities and to the
international community. This is highly appreciated by our partners in the
Holy Land.

Pax Christi International is calling now on all its members, sections,
associated groups, affiliated organisations and all those interested in
peace in the Middle East to send, on the occasion of Christmas, prayers,
wishes, appeals, biblical or spiritual reflections to Bethlehem. This would
be a good way of showing international concern and expressing our
solidarity. By sending our reflections and prayers, we wish to support all
those individuals and groups in Israel and in Palestine in finding a
peaceful and non-violent solution for the conflict.

The Arab Educational Institute is planning a meeting and an inter-faith
service in Bethlehem around Christmas in which the prayers and reflections
of Pax Christi members will be read by Christian and Moslem school students.
Patriarch Michel Sabbah, our International President, will be invited to
attend and to preside over the service. The prayers could be printed and
distributed among the students. Students could then also have the
opportunity to answer to some of the individuals who have sent messages.

Please send your messages to the following E-mail address:

With kind regards,

Etienne De Jonghe
International Secretary

Short Version / Suggested Text Homepage
While people prepare for Christmas, the violence in the Middle East
continues. Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born, lies in the middle of
a war zone. It might be difficult for many people to imagine what they can
do to help peace to prevail. However, there is one way in which you can show
your concern and express solidarity with all victims of this conflict. The
Arab Educational Institute is planning a special meeting and inter-faith
service in Bethlehem around Christmas in which your prayers and reflections
will be read or pronounced by Moslem and Christian Palestinian school
children from the region. Patriarch Michel Sabbah will be invited to preside
over the service. This religious service will be a ray of hope for the
younger generation who presently suffer so much, physically and
psychologically. You can send your message of peace and hope to

Pax Christi International
Prayer for Peace

O God, you are the source of life and peace.
Praised be your name forever.
We know it is you who turn our minds to thoughts of peace.
Hear our prayer in this time of crisis.
Your power changes hearts.
Muslims, Christians and Jews remember, and profoundly affirm,
that they are followers of the one God,
children of Abraham, brothers and sisters; enemies begin to speak to one
those who were estranged join hands in friendship; nations seek the way of
peace together.
Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these truths by the way we live.
Give to us:
Understanding that puts an end to strife;
Mercy that quenches hatred, and
Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance.
Empower all people to live in your law of love

Psalm 85B

I will hear what you have to say,
A voice that speaks of peace,
A peace for your chosen ones,
Those who open their hearts.
Help is near for all who believe in you.
Glory will dwell in our land.

Mercy and faithfulness meet;
Justice and Peace embrace.
Faithfulness springs from the earth,
And justice looks down from heaven.

God, you make us prosper
And our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall walk before you
And peace shall follow your steps.

Paul Lansu
Pax Christi International
Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 21
1000  Brussels
phone:            +32 (-2) 502.55.50
fax:              +32 (-2) 502.46.26
mobile:           +32 (0475) -382170