Report: Preserve Christian presence in Holy Land, Franciscan leader pleads
From Catholic World News:
Christians all around the world must support their fellow believers in the Holy Land, a Franciscan leader told the “Meeting for Friendship among Peoples” in Rimini, Italy, on August 21.
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, pleaded for support as he spoke to the tens of thousands of people assembled in Rimini for the annual conference organized by the Communion and Liberation movement.
The Franciscan leader sounded the alarm about a diminishing Christian presence in many parts of the Holy Land. Today, he reported, there are only about 7,000 Christians remaining in Jerusalem, and a similar number in Bethlehem.
Father Pizzaballa argued that all Christians should recognize the need to maintain the continuity of the faith in the land where Jesus lived. Although many people in the Western world tend to think of the Palestinian people as Muslims, he pointed out, the Christian tradition is an older one in that region and Christian Arabs remain determined to preserve their heritage.
Report: Vatican plea for support for Christians in Holy Land