Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land
Christian Arabs: Current Challenges and the Future
A Lecture by
Dr. Geries S. Khoury
The Melkite Catholic Hall
11 March 2008
The lecture was attended and led by Rev. Fr. Emile Rouhana, the Parish Priest, the deacan ‘Aref Yamin and members of the parish and others. Young people’s attendance of the lecture was outstanding.
Dr. Geries S. Khoury focused on Christian Arab’s role prior to Islam and their role with the Muslims including their leading role in building the foundations of Arab civilization in the Middle Ages and Arab renaissance in the present.
Dr. Khoury pointed out the role of Christian Arabs in the Middle Ages in the areas of education, translation, comments of Greek philosophy, ecumenical dialogue and interfaith work with Muslims and Jews. He stressed their leading role in the last century in journalism, literature and politics. Present challenges to the Christian Arabs include:
1. Christian Arab ignorance of their role throughout history.
2. The negative reactions of some Islamic groups in response to the Western policies toward Islam and Muslims which will lead inevitably to the immigration of Christians from the Arab countries.
3. The unjust local politics in Israel and the conditions of the Arabs in general and Christians in particular.
As for the future, Dr. Khoury stressed that the Local Church must steadfast, and the Arab citizens must participate fully with their brothers and sisters in the quest for full rights. Also he stressed the importance of qualitative presence of the Arab Christians and at the same time to be open to the others and participate fully with them in all what is important for their life and future.
And in order to stop the bleeding of emigration Dr. Khoury urged for the need of establishing institutions and creating jobs and to help the young generation. He mentioned the importance to establish a university, a hospital and helping university students in annual scholarships, etc…
Following Dr. Geries’ lecture, questions and comments were put forth. Attendees wished that similar panels and lectures be organized in Sakhneen and remaining cities and villages.