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Holy Land bishops’ commission writes Obama on plight of Palestinian Christians

Catholic World News - March 21, 2013

The justice and peace commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land has urged President Barack Obama to remember the plight of Palestinian Christians during his trip to Israel.

The letter, dated March 14, was released by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem on March 19, the eve of the president’s visit.

“In this year, the Palestinian people are living for 46 years under Israeli military occupation,” wrote Yusef Daher, the commission’s secretary. “The plight of the Palestinian Christians is the same as that of the Palestinian People as a whole, and as a consequence everything that affects the Palestinian people also affects the Christians.”

“The majority of the local Christian population being part of the Arab population in Israel, they are as such subjected to an ongoing, hidden policy of discrimination and are treated as second class citizens in the fields of education, job opportunities, property ownership, local municipal services,” he continued.

“Every effort should be made to preserve the Christian presence in the Holy Land, and to have it flourish in the future so that hope is not lost,” hes added. “The oppressive and discriminatory policies by the Israeli government constitute a violation of the protection of a religious minority which is specifically underlined by international law.”

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