Web Site Ready for Pope's May Visit to Holy Land

Marks 50th Anniversary of Paul VI’s 1964 Trip

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The official Web site for Pope Francis’ trip to the Holy Land in May has been launched.

The May 24-26 trip will mark the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s trip to the Holy Land in 1964.

The site contains a wide selection of facts and data, both historical and present-day.

Under the section Popes in the Holy Land, for example, this explanation is provided: «Pope Francis will be the fourth pope to come to the Holy Land in modern times. Tradition names Saint Peter as the first Pope and he was from the Holy Land.

«Pope Paul VI visited the Holy Land from January 4 to 6, 1964. This was the first visit of a Pope outside Rome in modern times.»

A section titled Situation of Christians in Israel contains this information: 

There are three kinds of Christians in Israel:

– The majority of Christians who are citizens of Israel are Christian Palestinians. They live in the north of the country and in the mixed Jewish-Arab cities (like Haifa, Jaffa, Ramleh, Lydda, etc). They suffer from the same discrimination and marginalization as the rest of the Palestinian population in Israel. They make up between 75-80% of Christian citizens in Israel (120-130 000).

– A second group is made up of Christians integrated into the Hebrew speaking, Jewish Israeli sector. Mostly from countries that were once part of the Soviet Union or from East Europe, they often do not proclaim their Christian identity. They constitute between 20-25% of the Christian citizens in Israel (30-40 000).

– In addition to the Christians who are citizens of Israel, there is a third group of Christians made up of about 150 000 migrants, who have various kinds of temporary residence permits or reside in Israel without any permits at all. Migrant workers (primarily from Asia) and asylum seekers (primarily from Africa) make up this group, which lives in great social and economic precariousness, facing challenges of poverty, exploitation, discrimination and racism.

On the Net:

Official Web site: http://popefrancisholyland2014.lpj.org

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