Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land

Initiative of the Holy Land Custody and the Terra Santa Journal

The Antonianum Auditorium in Rome

21-22 October 2011

The first session focused on: "The Holy Land and archeology". This session was moderated by Mr. Giuseppi Caffulli, Director of the Terra Santa Review. The second session of the first day was on: "Information about the Holy Places: Diplomacy and Communication in the Israeli Palestinian context". In this panel the participants were: S. Em. Card. Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, Dr. David Maria Jaeger ofm, and Prof. Paolo Pieraccini. This session was moderated by the journalist Marco Politi.

The first session of the second day was the 4th meeting for the Holy Land Associations. The theme was on the role of the Associations in strengthening Religious freedom. Discussion revolved around Pope Benedict XI message: "RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, THE PATH TO PEACE".

Dr. Geries S. Khoury was invited to the Conference by the Director of Terra Santa Review, Mr. Giuseppe Caffulli, and his colleague Carlo Giorgi. He was asked to talk about Al-Liqa Center's experience in Christian – Muslim dialogue. Khoury started his speech by speaking about the history and programs of al-Liqa and then he talked about al-Liqa' experience in interfaith dialogue. He pointed out that in the Holy Land and contrary of what some Palestinian Christians and western journalists who are trying to focus on Christian oppression, we practice fully our religious freedom and there is no religious persecution. He added that those who are talking about religious persecutions are ignorant or they have personal and strange agenda.

Dr. Khoury impressions about the meeting were positive. At the same time he felt that many good people still need more information in order to hear the real story of the Palestinian people and their interest in achieving just peace with the Israelis.