I want to explain my last post about ‘Gaza, Palestinian Christians in danger’ because it seems like I pointed out religious extremism for the main cause for the emigration and elimination of Palestinian Christians.
8% of Palestinian Christians attributed emigration to religious extremism (both Islamic and Jewish extremism). -Sabeel survey with Bethlehem University
Yet, the main cause that is forcing Palestinian Christians to leave is Israeli activity.
Most of the land taken by Israeli settlement expansion belonged to Palestinian Christians, including the seizure of lands belonging to the Convent of Cremisan. The apartheid wall, which was built under the guise of security, physically split Christian families and closed Christian businesses.
Against an exhortation for Israel to reconsider by the USCCB and brother bishops all over the world, the Wall devoured land privately owned by indigenous Christian people, split a Salesian religious community offering services and ministering there in two, and illegally confiscated and destroyed Christian vineyards and olive groves held and cultivated by Christians for generations.
In addition to the Wall, the Israeli occupation and its security checkpoint and permit system greatly restricts Christian movement, especially to Jerusalem and other Christian holy sites.
Israel’s separation Wall, illegal confiscation of Palestinian land, policies that violate freedom, and its brutal crackdowns on nonviolent protests have decimated the economic stability of the entire area and pushed not only Christians to emigrate, but also many other Palestinians.
The most heartbreaking bit I learned about the situation and suffering of our Catholic Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East was this statement from a Palestinian Christian leader: “We are no longer expecting support from Church leaders around the world. Our Hope, Faith and Love come from elsewhere. Palestinian Christians need advocates for the truth. It is the truth, and only the truth, that will lead to peace and justice in our home.”
- Sonja Corbitt, Catholic author
western Christians support Israel blindly and unconditionally.
Palestinian Catholics believes it is time for foreign Christian organisations and institutions in the Holy Land to start allowing local Christians to participate in the decision making that affects their future. Christians in the Holy Land are treated like subjects of colonial powers and are not given the due respect by foreign Christian missionaries and organisations. We are in the 21th Century but our people are treated as if they are in the 10th century. Enough is enough!!!