Holy Land Coordination Bishops release final statement after visit to local Christians
STATEMENT — From January 11 to 16, 2020, the bishops of the Holy Land Coordination an carried out its annual visit to local Christians in Gaza, East Jerusalem and Ramallah. At the end of the visit, the bishops drafted a statement in which they express concerns and hopes, urge governments to take responsibility for enforcing international law and protect human dignity and invite Christian faithful from all over the world to pray for this reality.
Holy Land Coordination 2020
We must not ignore the voice of people in the Holy Land
Every year we come to encounter and hear the people of the Holy Land. We are inspired by their enduring resilience and faith in a worsening situation.
In their recent powerful message, the local Catholic Bishops lamented the international community’s failure to help realise justice and peace here in the place of Christ’s birth. Our governments must do more to meet their responsibilities for upholding international law and protecting human dignity. In some cases they have become actively complicit in the evils of conflict and occupation.
The local Bishops also warned that people are facing further “evaporation of hope for a durable solution”. We have witnessed this reality first-hand, particularly how construction of settlements and the separation wall is destroying any prospect of two states existing in peace.
We encourage Christians in our own countries to pray for and support this mission. The increase in people making pilgrimages to the Holy Land is encouraging and we call for those who come to ensure they encounter the local communities.
At the same time we implore our governments to help build a new political solution rooted in human dignity for all. While this must ultimately be shaped by the peoples of the Holy Land in dialogue, there is an urgent need for our countries to play their part by:
In taking these steps the international community can meaningfully stand in solidarity with those Israelis and Palestinians who are refusing to give up their non-violent struggle for justice, peace and human rights.
- Insisting upon the application of international law.
- Following the Holy See’s lead in recognising the State of Palestine.
- Addressing the security concerns of Israel and the right of all to live in safety.
- Rejecting political or economic support for settlements.
- And resolutely opposing acts of violence or abuses of human rights by any side.