Vatican appeal for Holy Land collection
March 20, 2017
The Congregation for the Eastern Churches has issued an appeal for the annual Holy Land collection, which takes place in churches around the world on Good Friday.
“Today, as we know, living the Christian faith in the Middle East is not at all easy,” the Congregation stated in a letter to bishops dated March 1 and released March 18. “Especially in Iraq, Syria and Egypt, where Christian communities have experienced an ‘ecumenism of blood,’ individuals are daily pressured to abandon their land, or even their faith.”
The letter continued:
Nor does freedom reign in the other countries of the region, where Christians are often subjected to forms of oppression and discrimination that undermine their living conditions … Constant prayer is the first and greatest assistance they seek. Also required, however, is concrete economic aid.
The Congregation reported that $7,249,693 (US$5,275,601.56 + €1,833,339.20) was distributed from last year’s collection. Just over half of the funds were used for the education of seminarians and priests; the remaining funds were disbursed to schools, dioceses, and “extraordinary and emergency subsidies” in the wake of ISIS terrorism.
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