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

European Cardinals and Bishops in Galilee

A lecture

“Christian Arabs in Israel: Worries and Challenges”
By
Dr. Geries S. Khoury

13 September 2015
Mi’ilya

Photo album

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 heritage.

    

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 conflict.

Christian Arabs, he added, played a big role in the history of Arab civilization in various fields and in interfaith dialogue and in ecumenical theology.

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.

 

The photos taken from Ahlan website