"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Jewish Voice for Peace: “U.S. Jews are tired of this”

Posted on Jul 1, 2019

by Rebecca Vilkomerson
Executive Director

Last week, Trump and Kushner made clear, yet again, that the real goal of their economic plan for the Middle East is not political solutions and peace, but land acquisition for Israel and control of Palestinian lives and futures.

And right before the Bahrain workshop, David Friedman, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, effectively gave a thumbs up to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to annex the West Bank.

This is just the latest effort in a decades-long strategy to exert control over Palestinians and their land. We see it with Israeli soldiers and bulldozers razing Palestinian homes, the expansion of the Apartheid Wall, and the growth of still more Israeli settlements.

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Shibly: the testimony of a Holy Sepulcher Kawas

Posted on Jun 29, 2019

Shibley established a family and began his career, recalling the main role played by the Custody of the Holy Land in preserving the remaining “Living Stones” in this land…. “Believe me, If the Franciscans were not here in the Holy Land, there will be no Christians here.”

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THE FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST IN EIN KAREM

Posted on Jun 28, 2019

Prophet for some Jews, the forerunner of Christ for the Christians: the birth of St. John the Baptist is both an appointment of prayer and an opportunity for dialogue between two communities. The village of Ein Karem, nestled in the green hills at the edge of the city of Jerusalem, is the most suitable place for both.

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Come un respiro

Posted on Jun 28, 2019

Christian Media CenterThe book “Like a Breath”, which describes the spiritual journey of Luisa Jaques, known as Sister Mary of the Trinity, Poor Clare of Jerusalem, was presented at the Monastery of the Poor Clares in Jerusalem. A biography, but also a meditation arranged according to themes of the vast patrimony of faith and spirituality that Sister Mary of the Trinity left behind, above all through the “Inner Colloquium”: that is, the transcription, already published in the middle of the last century and translated into 10 languages, of the words that Sister Mary of the Trinity heard during the years spent in Jerusalem spoken directly by Jesus, particularly after having received communion. Selim Sayegh, Patriarchal Vicar Emeritus for Jordan, is the author of “Come un respiro”, and Father Pier Giorgio Gianazza translated the book, published by Edizioni Terra Santa, into Italian.

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Can Zionism Be Redeemed?

Posted on Jun 28, 2019

As an interfaith educator and activist involved in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking for close to 40 years, I remain pessimistic for the short term; but I remain hopeful for the longer term, as I continue my work with allies of different faiths for a healing of the holy land.

by Yekhezkel Landau*

I am a dual Israeli-American citizen who is anguished and alarmed over the odious political situation in both of my beloved countries. Chauvinist and racist governments led by corrupt, authoritarian, self-serving leaders have assumed power in both Israel and the United States by exacerbating fear, resentment, and hatred against demonized Others.

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Iraqi Christians face uncertain future, U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom says

Posted on Jun 28, 2019

By Matt Hadro

Washington D.C., Jun 27, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA) – The security of Christians in Northern Iraq remains “tenuous” and will require close attention in the future, the State Department’s religious freedom ambassador told members of Congress on Thursday.

While the situation is “far better in Northern Iraq right now” for Yazidis and Christians, who in 2016 were recognized by the State Department as genocide victims of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, there is still a lack of “true security in the area,” Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said.

Ambassador Brownback testified on June 27 at the hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), on “Violations of the International Right to Freedom of Religion” of Christians.

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WCC, IJCIC agree to restore formal relations, strengthen communication

Posted on Jun 28, 2019

“Among the issues that informed this gathering were: the rise of xenophobic nationalist movements in much of the world; suspicion of the agendas of religious communities and institutions, especially in Europe; the resurgence of overt antisemitism; the prevalence of Islamophobia; newly emerging anti-Christian attitudes; the continuing non-resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; worldwide hostility to vulnerable minorities; and the shocking erosion of civil society in many places and ways.”

28 June 2019
The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC ) have met formally on 25-27 June in Paris.

This meeting, under the theme “The normalization of hatred: challenges for Jews and Christians today,” took place at a time of challenges both to religious life in general and to each of our communities in their various contexts,” reads a communique released by the two groups.

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Catholic leaders caution against war with Iran as tensions escalate

Posted on Jun 25, 2019

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

May 20, 2019This report was significantly updated on June 20 with new content from Catholic News Service.

As tensions rose further in the Gulf of Oman after U.S. officials accused Iran of playing a role in two more attacks on merchant shipping transiting through the Strait of Hormuz, the chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for International Justice and Peace urged dialogue and restraint. In a letter to the Trump administration released to the public on June 19, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services called on the Trump administration to avoid a military confrontation and to seek “sustained dialogue…to de-escalate the current situation that is a danger to both the region and the world.”

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Syriac Catholic bishops optimistic amid dispersion of their faithful

Posted on Jun 25, 2019

Image: Syriac Catholic bishops from around the world met for their annual synod in Lebanon, June 17-22, led by Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan. (CNS photo/courtesy Syriac Catholic patriarchate) See SYRIAC-CATHOLIC-SYNOD-OPTIMISM June 24, 2019. Editors: best quality available.

Syriac Catholic bishops from around the world met for their annual synod in Lebanon, June 17-22, led by Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan. (CNS photo/courtesy Syriac Catholic patriarchate) See SYRIAC-CATHOLIC-SYNOD-OPTIMISM June 24, 2019. Editors: best quality available.

By Doreen Abi Raad Catholic News Service

BEIRUT (CNS) — Faced with the migration of Christians from Syria and Iraq, Syriac Catholic bishops meeting in Lebanon for their annual synod called upon church members “scattered everywhere in the East and West” to cling to their faith with hope so they “can be witnesses to the joy of the Gospel wherever they are.”

In a statement at the conclusion of the June 17-22 gathering led by Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, the bishops acknowledged the suffering of the faithful in the face of “endless wars, persecutions, acts of violence, terrorism, displacement, murder and destruction, and the uprooting of a large number of nationals from the land of fathers and grandparents — Syria and Iraq — and their dispersion throughout the world.”

Yet the bishops stressed that they also are optimistic, “thanking God for the return of many displaced people to their villages” in Iraq and Syria.

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How two Iraqi peacemakers are rebuilding community after ISIS

Posted on Jun 25, 2019

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

The Christian families of Qaraqosh in northern Iraq were driven from their homes when ISIS extremists overran the city in August 2014. Those who have returned confront a difficult task—rebuilding homes, businesses and churches that had been damaged or destroyed during the ISIS occupation or the coalition air-and-ground offensive to drive the militants out of the city in 2017. Surveying the the reconstruction efforts, Joe Cassar, S.J., who leads the efforts of Jesuit Refugee Service in the region, told America rebuilding houses is good and necessary, but just as important is rebuilding trust.

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Palestinian Christians Welcome Pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to the Holy Land

Posted on Jun 25, 2019

During May, a group of 22 American Catholic pilgrims from three parishes in Los Angeles made a memorable HCEF-organized Living Stones Pilgrimage to Palestine and Jordan. Led by Father Bill McLean, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the group visited Galilee, Nablus, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, and the Ramallah area in Palestine. A portion of the group then continued to Jordan for an additional three days, visiting the Jordan River, Amman, Petra, Madaba, and Mount Nebo, before returning to the U.S.

During their pilgrimage, the group did not miss a single stop typically visited on other tours, and in addition, visited significant Palestinian Christian sites normally unreachable through Jerusalem-based pilgrimage programs. When pilgrims journey with HCEF Living Stones Pilgrimages, they not only experience the awe-inspiring majesty of the region’s holy places, but also the richness of local hospitality and culture – the living, breathing legacy of Christ. Wherever they visited, the group’s Palestinian hosts expressed warm wishes that they would come back soon!

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Byzantine baptism font was discovered at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem

Posted on Jun 24, 2019

Curia - Latin Patriarchate of JerusalemLatin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Bethlehem — On Saturday, June 22, 2019, officials at the site of renovation at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem announced the discovery of a Byzantine baptism font.

Mr. Ziad al-Bandak, head of a Palestinian presidential committee who is leading the church renovation said that international experts are examining the receptacle and studying its origin.
This renovation comes after the declaration of the UNESCO in 2013, that declared the church of the Nativity as a World Heritage site.

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Selling Israel Biblically…Christian Zionism’s Political Power

Posted on Jun 23, 2019

Aware of tourism’s potential for indoctrination, the Israeli government, along with its American evangelical allies, promotes religious tourism. The industry, message, and agenda of its solidarity tours and pilgrimages is strictly controlled. While readily exploiting Palestinian historical sites, Israel makes sure that Western tour groups are kept distant from Palestinians or their Christian community.

Image: Jerusalem, crosses visible in foreground and background. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Jerusalem, crosses visible in foreground and background. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

By M. Reza Behnam | June 20, 2019

Geopolitical, economic, energy, and military determinants have shaped U.S. Middle East policy since the Second World War. No less significant, however, is the powerful influence of Christian Zionism on the formation of America’s Israel-first policy. With over 40 million adherents, it has become a powerful force in shaping that policy, especially today.

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Waving the Bible to Block Justice

Posted on Jun 21, 2019

Image: Israeli Ambassador Danny DanoN Photo: Florida International University | Flickr

Israeli Ambassador Danny DanoN Photo: Florida International University | Flickr

christianzionism.org, May 30, 2019 – It is deplorable and somewhat surprising to watch Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, wave a Bible at a session of the Security Council to defend his country’s theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank. He is certainly inspired by his boss, Benjamin Netanyahu, who, although secular, quotes the Bible frequently to sell his expansionist agenda.

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Concept Note: World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel (WWPPI)

Posted on Jun 21, 2019

World Council of Churches, 06 June 2019

Background: Each year during the week that includes the International Day of Peace (21 September), churches, related organizations, congregations, and people of faith are encouraged to participate in worship services, educational events, and acts of support for a just and sustainable peace for both Palestinians and Israelis.

 

Date: 15-22 September 2019

 

Theme: “Humanity and equality in God’s creation”

 
The ongoing conflict and injustice in Palestine and Israel has created victims from all communities. This situation affects the future for everyone in the region, denies the equal human dignity of all people, and in all aspects of God’s creation. Though we are all created equally in God’s image, the military occupation and its discriminatory practices and impacts on entire Palestinian communities is an obstacle to the fullness of life for all in God’s creation.

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FOSNA: Counter CUFI, Washington, DC, July 7 and 8, 2019

Posted on Jun 20, 2019

 

For too long, Palestinians have been calling for freedom, justice, and equality. As organizations that share these values, we urge you to join us in confronting Christians United for Israel (CUFI). CUFI has quietly become the largest organization in the United States driving support for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. With over five million members, CUFI uses its political leverage to ensure ongoing U.S. support for Israel’s colonization and military occupation of Palestine, including imprisoning Palestinian children; bombing homes, schools, and hospitals in Gaza; massacring peaceful protestors; and confiscating Palestinian land.

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Eritrean Catholic Church denounces government seizure of health clinics

Posted on Jun 19, 2019

image: The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Asmara. Credit: Hailu Wudineh TSEGAYE/Shutterstock.

The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Asmara. Credit: Hailu Wudineh TSEGAYE/Shutterstock.

Asmara, Eritrea, Jun 18, 2019 / 02:26 pm (CNA).- The Eritrean Catholic Church has criticized the government of the one-party state for seizing and closing its 22 health clinics throughout the country last week.

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Israel is not as Christian-friendly as you think

Posted on Jun 19, 2019

According to a Pew Research study, 86% of Israeli Christians strongly believe that the US is too supportive of Israel. Only a small percentage of American Christians—18%–believe that the US is too supportive of Israel.

by Kathryn Shihadah, If Americans Knew

July 12, 2017 – The New Testament records that Jesus Christ took two loaves of bread and five fish, and fed five thousand people. Ancient believers identified the place where they believe this miracle happened and built a church on the site. Today the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes stands in Israel, its 5th century mosaic floors still intact. Outside is a large rock where, legend has it, Jesus placed the bread before he distributed it to the crowd.

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Teaching and transmitting love of the Bible

Posted on Jun 18, 2019

Curia - Latin Patriarchate of JerusalemA conversation with Father Jean-Jacques Pérennès, director of the Ecole Biblique of Jerusalem

Interview by François Vayne, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Father Pérennès, could you summarize in few words the great history of the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française (French Bible and Archaeological School) of Jerusalem (EBAF), beginning with its foundation by Father Lagrange in 1890?

The Ecole Biblique was founded by Father Marie-Joseph Lagrange at a time when the progress of modern sciences (history, archaeology, linguistics) seemed to threaten the credibility of the Bible. Eminent scholars such as Ernest Renan and Alfred Loisy left the Catholic Church in a brutal manner, suggesting that it was not able to accept the challenge of a critical reading of the Bible.

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Israeli court upholds shady sale of Jerusalem church property to settlers

Posted on Jun 18, 2019

Church property in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City may end up in the hands of a radical settler group that could bar Christian access to their holy sites.

by Nir Hasson, reposted from Ha’aretz

The leaders of a number of Christian denominations in Jerusalem issued an unusual joint statement in which they criticized the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to uphold the sale of three properties by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to an organization that seeks to increase Jewish presence in Jerusalem’s Old City.

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Christian Peacemaking Team Palestine: “To the coming generations”

Posted on Jun 16, 2019

Christian Peacemaking Team, Hebron – On May 10, 2019, CPT Palestine was called out to a major incident in Tel Rumeida. On arrival, we found that around 50 Israeli soldiers, together with a number of armed settlers, had just arrested two young Palestinian men. Talk about using a sledgehammer to crack a nut!

At first, Israeli soldiers photographed our passports, and we were not allowed to enter the immediate area, as it had been declared a “closed military zone.” Finally, when we were allowed in, the first person we saw was the mother of one of the men, sitting on a step. She looked distraught.

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The International Council for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Jerusalem

Posted on Jun 14, 2019

Christian Media Center

The meeting of the International Council for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation took place in Jerusalem, at the Custody of the Holy Land, from June 2 to 9.

The JPIC Office of the Order of Friars Minor is composed of 13 conferences, which group the provinces by language and geographical area, with the addition of a fourteenth province, that of the Holy Land. Each conference has a delegate who then forms the International Council.

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“Time Adventure”: First Christian Youth Camp for the Working Class

Posted on Jun 14, 2019

Christian Media Center

Between the 3rd and 6th of June, the General Secretariat for the Christian Youth in the Holy Land held its first camp for the working class of “Christ the Redeemer Church” in the village of Taybeh, with the participation of sixty young men and women from various parishes.

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‘Building Bridges’ for Muslim and Christian scholars is a process

Posted on Jun 13, 2019

A Christian and a Muslim scholar have told a seminar at the World Council of Churches (WCC) about their work in an annual “Building Bridges” seminar with “freedom” as the theme, as participants described what they do as a process, not an event.

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The Most Islamic Country Is … New Zealand?

Posted on Jun 13, 2019

“We are one,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in the wake of the March mass shooting that left 60 worshippers in two Christchurch mosques dead and turned the small Pacific island nation into the center of the Islamic world’s attention.

New Zealanders came together, regardless of color or creed, to mourn and to help the grieving Muslim community recover. Social integration and empathy are sacred in Islam. New Zealand’s population is only 1 percent Muslim, but …

According to a new analysis, New Zealand is the country that most closely follows Quranic principles.

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Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns: Four Featured Articles

Posted on Jun 13, 2019

The four featured articles in this issue of the Middle East focus on the new election for prime minister in Israel,  the discrimination by Israel of Palestinian journalists by limiting their movement, new videos showing violence by Israeli settlers that has been blamed on Palestinians, and the announcement by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that no Palestinians will participate in a U.S.-led conference in Bahrain that the Trump administration has cast as an overture to its own plan for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Also, the link is provided for the latest news bulletin from Churches for Middle East Peace.
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Former Jerusalem patriarch to Israel and U.S.: Time to move away from war

Posted on Jun 12, 2019

by Judith Sudilovsky – Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS), May 21, 2019 — Appealing to Israel and the United States, Archbishop Michel Sabbah, retired Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, said it was time to move away from war.

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In Israel, Philippine workers facing deportation find solace in faith

Posted on Jun 12, 2019

by Judith Sudilovsky – Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) — A group of Philippine mothers and children facing imminent deportation from Israel are finding some solace in their faith, with weekly prayer meetings and counseling from their parish priest and nuns.

Most of the mothers arrived legally in Israel to work as caretakers for the elderly, but remained in the country even after their work visas had expired and have lived in Israel for up to 20 or more years. They have created a life for themselves in Israel, which they believe is better than they could have in the Philippines.

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Eileen Fleming: USS Liberty Love Story

Posted on Jun 11, 2019

Before the events of 11 Sept. 2001, Eileen Fleming was “a comfortably numb Christian.” In response to the post  “June 8th is the 52nd anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty”, she writes:

Since 2007 when I first learned about the USS Liberty I have been challenging [and been attacked by] by antisemites who ‘support’ the Liberty – Their support focuses on Israel and all things Jewish instead of vets with PTS and the USA Govt. COVER-UP.

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The origin of the Bible

Posted on Jun 11, 2019

God has communicated with his people throughout history and His words have been written in what we call the Holy Bible. But what is its origin?

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