On the occasion of the march of the Feast of the Cross in the
village of Mi’ilya where thousands of Christians from throughout the
Holy Land participated in this annual march.
This year’s event was distinguished with the presence of more than
forty European Cardinals and Bishops from 29 countries who were
accompanied by the Apostolic Delegate and the heads of the Catholic
Church in the Holy Land.
Before the annual march, Dr. Geries S. Khoury presented a lecture on
Christian Arabs and their worries and challenges.
This lecture was at the invitation of Parish Priest Nadeem Shaccour
and the Parish Council of Mi’ilya.
Dr. Khoury focused on the number of Christians and the shared living
in cities and towns of Galilee. Christians in Israel face many
challenges including tens of racist laws which discriminate against
those who are not Jewish.
The law that is being discussed “the Jewishness of the state” is
rejected totally by the Palestinians and the world communities.
He added that many attacks had been carried out against Christian
and Muslim holy places by group of Jewish terrorists.
Dr. Khoury focused on the problem of identity which is being faced
by Christian Arab youth who do not know about their history and
their presence in Arab world throughout the ages. The curriculum
totally ignores their presence in history and literary books. The
majority of youth do not know their own dogma and spiritual
Dr. Khoury, in addition, focused on the Christian dogma and faith
and the meaning of our Christian presence. There should be further
stress on prayer and mercy.
Many challenges face Christian Catholic private schools in the 1948
areas. Israeli Education Ministry decided to participate only with
34% of teachers’ salaries even though it was and is opened to serve
Muslims as well as Christians and Druzes long before the Declaration
of Israeli Independence in 1948.
Concerning Christians in Israel, they are Palestinian Arabs before
becoming citizens in Israel. They want a peaceful resolution of the
Christian Arabs, he added, played a big role in the history of Arab
civilization in various fields and in interfaith dialogue and in
He concluded by asking Cardinals and Bishops in the 50th
anniversary of Nostra Aetate to establish a Pontifical College of
Theology and for Interfaith Dialogue and to encourage researches on
Christian Arab heritage.
photos taken from