19/01/2017 9:30 am
Fifty years of occupation demands action is the call of the Holy Land Coordination bishops at the end of this year's meeting.
Describing the occupation as a scandal that violates the human dignity of both Palestinians and Israelis, the bishops called for an end to the suffering on both sides. While many people in the Holy Land strive for reconciliation, most have now lived their entire lives under occupation, with its polarising social segregation. The bishops implored Christians in their respective countries to recognise their own responsibility for prayer, awareness and action.
The Coordination, which is made up of bishops from Europe, North America and South Africa, has met in the Holy Land with the encouragement of the Holy See every year since 1998 to support the local Church. The Coordination's presence is a reminder to the Christians of the Holy Land they are not forgotten and enables the bishops to witness the reality of occupation, so more informed questions can be asked of the politicians and diplomats in their respective countries in the search for a just peace.
Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the Holy Land Coordination, said it was important that all Christians took responsibility for what is happening in the Holy Land.
"We must never become accustomed to what is happening in the Holy Land. It is a scandal that requires all of us to take responsibility.
"We must pray for peace for everyone in this land; two peoples and three faiths. We must all make ourselves aware of the situation. Having informed ourselves of the reality, we must then take action, by supporting the charities active in the Holy Land, by coming on pilgrimage and by contacting our elected representatives.
"It is the responsibility of all of us to seek a just peace and in this 50th anniversary of occupation, that search must intensify."
Write to your MP concerning the occupation of the Palestinian Territories (East Jerusalem,West Bank and Gaza) which is now in its 50th year.