Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Holy Land

ROMA, September 7, 2005 – With harsh and unexpected words, the Custodian of the Holy Land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, has called everyone's attention back to the increasing violence and humiliation that the Christians of Cisjordan suffer at the hands of Muslims.

And farther down:

At the end of July, a firestorm broke out between the Vatican and the Israeli government.

Read the complete article The Custody Must Be Doubled in the Holy Land from www.chiesa.

In the first part of the article, Magister details the situation in the Holy Land as Christians continue to be persecuted by Muslims, aided and abetted by the Palestinian Authority. Land fraud, intimidation and violence are the methods of choice. Magister gives one example that happened just recently.

And on the very day this public protest appeared, another case of anti-Christian violence was reported in Taibeh, the ancient city of the Bible known as Ephraim, a village east of Ramallah.

In Taibeh on Sunday, September 4, thirteen homes inhabited by as many Christian families were attacked and burned, the streets devastated, a statue of Mary demolished.

The reason for the destruction: the love relationship between Hiyam Ajai, a young Muslim woman of the nearby village of Deir Jreer, and Mehdi Kouriyee, a Christian from a prominent family of Taibeh that owns a brewery that bears their name.

When her family learned that she was expecting a child, they shut her up inside the house and beat her. On Thursday, September 1, Hiyam was found dead. The parents explained: “That Christian raped her, and she tainted herself.” Vengeance was called for, and the assault prepared. The Christian families of Taibeh found safety by fleeing their homes. By the time the Palestinian police arrived, the damage had already been done.

Since the Second Intifada began five years ago, Christians have been increasingly targeted as the secular (and Christian) nationalist figures of the Palestinian movement have been displayed by radical jihadist figures. The article points out how the Christian population is falling rapidly as Christians emigrate to escape persecution, adding to their increasing marginalization.

The second part of the article explains the sequence of events that led first to the firestorm of criticism between the Vatican and Israel and the eventual reconciliation. I can't help but think that Magister tied the two points together to make a larger one...

Despite all the righteous protestations by the State of Israel, the Jews aren't necessarily the ones who are hurting the most over there right now.

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