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greetings in Christ

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  • goossir
    ... From: Newsletter-bounces@monastery.org [mailto:Newsletter- bounces@monastery.org] On Behalf Of Dr. Maria Khoury Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 7:33 AM
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2004
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Newsletter-bounces@... [mailto:Newsletter-
      bounces@...] On Behalf Of Dr. Maria Khoury
      Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 7:33 AM
      To: newsletter@...
      Subject: [Jerusalem Patriarchate] greetings in Christ

      Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ our

      On this blessed first day of the church year according
      to the new calendar, I send you best wishes from the
      Holy Land. May the ecclesiastical year be a blessed
      one for you filled with many fruits of the Holy

      As I have returned to Taybeh, the one and only
      all-Christian village left in Palestine, we have
      began, again, a renewed cycle of violence. The
      Christian voices are silenced one more time as
      fanatics on both sides of the Israeli Palestinian
      conflict define our future and our identity of total
      bloodshed and daily war. Every time bombs go off in
      Israel we are too scared to even leave our homes in
      the West Bank not knowing how the Israeli army will
      retaliate or how severe the collective punishment
      might be each and every time another young person
      wastes their life away killing innocent people. Today
      one million Palestinian children started school with a
      heavy heart, not only another year under brutal
      military occupation but many behind the 26 foot Wall
      that has made the Holy Land into a hell on earth.

      This bloodshed will not stop with the building of an
      Apartheid Wall because dividing and separating the
      people does not lead to a just peace in the region.
      The Wall has affected 75% of the children and teachers
      in areas where it is being built. Many communities
      have been literally sliced in half, leaving schools
      and hospitals on one side of the wall with people's
      houses trapped in no man's land. These Palestinians
      cannot have services in their regular communities and
      the Israeli army will not give them permits to have
      access to Israeli schools and hospitals as more
      Palestinian land has been confiscated and placed on
      the Israeli side.

      The Apartheid Wall is literally forcing a transfer of
      Palestinian people from their homeland. With the
      current awful daily conditions, I do not see that the
      Wall will stop the suicide bombers also known in this
      area as the freedom fighters. We have reached rock
      bottom where it is so much easier to recruit more
      young people to give their lives as "martyrs." The
      total hopelessness overcomes so many people where it
      fosters hate and rage. This is not something that
      needs to be taught in a book. It is a reflection of
      being violated each and every day by the Israeli army.

      Many might be asking what is the role of Christ's
      peace in this sacred land? This will be another
      academic year where the Christian community must
      struggle to teach our children the values and
      traditions of our Christian faith and peaceful
      resolutions to the brutal and cruel treatment we
      receive every day. Living in the Holy Land is the
      ultimate test of practicing turning the other cheek.
      It is the ultimate test of truly trying and making
      every effort to love your neighbor and your enemy.

      Please help us love and pray for our neighbors and our
      enemies so that Christ's peace can overshadow the evil
      that was sparked on September 28, 2000 but it was
      really the boiling pot since the creation of Israel in

      "Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness; thou
      hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy
      upon me, and hear my prayer." (Psalm 4

      With best wishes from the Holy Land,

      Maria C. Khoury, author of Witness in the Holy Land
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