25 September 2017

What is the current outlook for Christians in the Land of Jesus?

Diversity, within which one experiences coexistence and dialogue, characterizes the outlook for Christianity in the Holy Land.

Actuality and events

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The Holy Land is a place of plurality. The region is made up of Israel, Palestine and Jordan.

This is a meeting point between different cultures and religions: even though there are clashes between them, here, one truly manages to have an experience of tolerance, dialogue and coexistence with diversity.

In Jerusalem, for example, in sacred places such as the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount, Christians, Jews and Muslims meet constantly.

Even in Christianity the outlook is multifaceted.

Fr. RAFIQ KHOURY
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
"One of the characteristics of Christianity in the Holy Land is its diversity, as there are many Christian churches. I refer in particular to the Catholic churches: there are six Catholic churches in the Holy Land.”

The Latin and the Eastern Catholic Churches are in communion with Rome and they recognize the Pope as the highest authority.

There are also Orthodox Churches which include the Orthodox Greek and the Orthodox Syriac churches, besides the Lutheran and Anglican "reform" churches.

In the Land of the Way of Jesus, today Christians are a minority.

Fr. RAFIQ KHOURY
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
"There are nearly 50,000 Christians in the Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, 130,000 in Israel and 150,000 in Jordan. This is history, it is the result of history. At one point, we can say that Christians were the majority in the Holy Land in the first six centuries; later, with the advent of Islam, a fundamental change took place: we are [have become] a numerical minority, but we are integrated and bear our testimony to the society in which we live.”

Among the challenges Christians face in the Holy Land is the experience of faith in Christ, the journey of being a Church that coexists with all the other Churches, the presence in society and the political situation. A reality of great impact on the lives of Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians.

Fr. RAFIQ KHOURY
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
"In all these challenges there are signs of hope. I believe there is a growing awareness of the need for a life of personal faith, of the Church model we want to form. There is an ever-growing awareness of our presence in society, so our challenges are also our hopes, because within these challenges there are always signs of hope.”