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Holy Land Coordination visits Gaza, Bethlehem and Jordan

Holy Land Coordination visits Gaza, Bethlehem and Jordan

The Holy Land – The annual pilgrimage of the Holy Land Coordination will take place on January 7 – 14, 2016. 

Gaza, Cremisan and Jordan are the places that the Holy Land Coordination will visit this year.  This annual pilgrimage is an initiative encouraged by the Holy See. The delegation is comprised of representatives from the Bishops Conferences of Europe, North America and South Africa.

The Coordination’s annual meeting takes place in Bethlehem and Jordan from 9-14th January 2016 with a pre-Coordination visit to Gaza from 7-8th January.   The delegation is comprised of representatives from various Bishops’ Conferences: the United States of America and Canada, England and Wales, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Nordic Countries, South Africa and Switzerland, including CCEE and COMECE from Europe and this year Scotland was welcomed. Catholic aid organisations and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem are usually represented.  Journalists are present from the Vatican Radio, SIR, BBC and other media organisations, including press officers of the various Bishops’ Conferences..

This year’s meeting will focus on the situation of vulnerable Christians especially those who have been forced to flee their homeland and seek shelter elsewhere.   The Coordination’s visits will express the Church’s solicitude toward Christian communities in the Holy Land.

First stop is a visit to Gaza and meetings with the Christian community and parishioners of the Holy Family Parish.  This will be followed by visits to Bethlehem, Beit Jala and the Cremisan Valley.  The legal dispute in Cremisan continues between the Israeli authorities and the Christian families whose lands are confiscated and olive trees uprooted in preparation for the  construction of the Separation Wall.  Some families will have the opportunity to speak with members of the delegation about their experience and suffering.

In Jordan, the Coordination will meet with Syrian and Iraqi refugees, Catholic organizations, among them Caritas Jordan. These organizations continue to support the refugees despite the difficult economic circumstances.

A final statement is expected at the end of this pastoral visit of solidarity.

Manuella Affejee

Photo : Andrea Krogmann

Attached below is the program for the Holy Land Coordination visit.

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