Jerusalem Patriarch Reminding Christians of Ties to Holy Land

In U.S., He Hopes to Mobilize Emigrants

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ROME, OCT. 14, 2002 ( The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem is traveling abroad reminding Christians of their responsibility toward their brothers in the faith in the Holy Land.

Following a visit to Italy which included a personal visit with the Pope last Wednesday, Patriarch Michel Sabbah will travel to the United States and participate in the fourth International Conference on the Christians of the Holy Land.

The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is convening the Oct. 18-19 conference in Washington, D.C. Its theme is «The Divine Light Still Burns: The Holy Land Christians Endure» (see

The patriarch said he hopes «to attract the attention of emigrated Christians, to remind them that they have a responsibility in regard to the Holy Land. They must also raise their voice to invoke peace and justice.»

In an interview with the Italian Catholic agency SIR, Patriarch Sabbah recalled that «the Palestinian question is not resolved with weapons and by denying dignity, rights and justice to these peoples.»

He stressed that most Christians in the Holy Land live among the Palestinians. Many emigrate «because of the difficult conditions of life; others stay, manifesting their conscience and will to witness their faith here, in the Holy Land,» he said.

Christian solidarity is needed to stem the exodus of the faithful from the region, the patriarch added.

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