Letter from the Holy Land to those who celebrate Christmas
Excerpts took from publication worked By Churches for the Middle East Peace
A Christmas prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem In this Christmas season, as we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace, we are called upon by our sister churches in Jerusalem and the West Bank, including Bethlehem, to hear the cries of the PEOPLE. This year there is more sufferings, fear and uncertainty...
1- because the Palestinian people in Bethlehem and the West Bank - Christians and Muslims alike - have been denied access to families, doctors, banks and markets in Jerusalem;
2- because land owned for centuries by Christian villagers in Bethlehem and Beit Sahour near the shepherd's field, is to be turned into Jewish settlement by the Israeli authorities;
3- because the Christian people of the West Bank and Bethlehem will not be permitted into Jerusalem to worship at their churches;
4- Because Christians in Galilee and Jerusalem will not be permitted to celebrate the birth of Christ in Bethlehem's Manger Square on Christmas eve;
During this Advent-Christmas-Epiphany season find a peaceful way to follow the path of Christ by taking a STAND against these INJUSTICES and expressing your commitment to peace, justice and security for all the people of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
Pray with us:
Almighty God, you have come to us as a small child and brought to us the gift of eternal love. We thank you for the prophets' hope, for the angelís song, for the wonderful birth of the Savior. We thank you for the star to guide us to Jesus. We thank you for the PEACE promised on earth and goodwill toward all people...
Our thoughts focus on the little town of Bethlehem, nestle in the hills near Jerusalem. Yet even as our hearts warmed with familiar songs of Christmas, we remember that the children of Abraham - Jews, Christians and Muslims - who still live in these sacred places are not yet at peace. We pray that you will guide those in positions of authority that they may strive sincerely, for JUSTICE and compassion in the Holy Land..."
Churches for the Middle East Peace are: American Baptist Churches, USA, American Friends Service Committee, Church of the Brethren, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Maryknoll Missionaries, Mennonite Central Committee, National Council of Churches, Presbyterian Church(USA), Roman Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church.
For information, please, contact Churches for the Middle East Peace, 110 Maryland Ave NE, #108. Washington, DC 20002-7332. Tel; 202-546-8425. Fax 202-543-7532. CORNINE_WHITLATCH.firstname.lastname@example.org
or LabibKobti@aol.com. Visit our website at http:/www.cin.org/al-bushra.html or http://188.8.131.52/www1/al-bushra