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Latin patriarch: Christians in Holy Land face ‘virtual extinction’

Catholic World News - July 22, 2011

The Church in the Holy Land faces the prospect of extinction, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem said at a conference in London.

“The Christian presence is threatened by virtual extinction, and the land of Jesus cannot become an equivalent of a spiritual Disneyland with beautiful buildings, historic sites and museums on display,” said Patriarch Fouad Twal.

“All people--Jews, Christians, and Muslims--suffer the consequences of the conflict,” he said. “Occupation is a terrible image for any democratic State, as it is horrible for the people of the occupied areas, where hatred and aversion are fostered and nurtured. We are aware of the persecution and suffering of our Christians in some Muslim countries in the region, but this is not an excuse to forget the dire reality of our situation in the Holy Land.”

Warning that “the possibilities for a just resolution are rapidly decreasing,” Patriarch Twal added that “the forces of extremism are growing and gaining followers and supporters.” He called upon Christians in the West to

support the Christian institutions in the Holy Land. After all, these are the institutions that provide decent employment opportunities for our Christian youth, and these are the institutions that provide quality services in education, health and social services to the whole population, mostly a non-Christian population. This solidifies the presence of the living stones.

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