Most Christians in the Holy Land feel abandoned by their brothers and sisters in the West.
(PRWEB) May 10, 2013
‘Where God Weeps’, a program that enables followers to learn more about the suffering Church around the world recently focused on the plight of the Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land which resulted in a startling new video produced by the Catholic Radio & Television Network.
According to Fr. Peter Vasko, President of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land who has lived among these Palestinian Christians for over 25 years and devoted his life to preserving the Christian presence in the Holy Land says the video paints a vivid picture of the difficulties that the Christians in the Holy Land face on a daily basis.
He says, "The film is good and it does a decent job of portraying the obvious struggles - closed shops, families separated," but he goes on to say that the psychological consequences of these conditions, the denial of basis freedoms are really taking their toll.
Vasko continues, "Most Christians in the Holy Land feel abandoned by their brothers and sisters in the West. Nobody seems to know or care what is happening to them." So films like this are helpful in getting the message out.
Another aspect of the film that is dear to Fr. Vasko's heart was brought out by Patriarch Fouad Twal when he said that although he is very grateful to see many pilgrims coming to visit the holy places, “from the other side, it is painful to see that the local Church, the local Christians, cannot visit these holy places.” Fr. Peter sees firsthand how heartbreaking that can be.
The film also shows the 20-foot high wall built by the Israeli government throughout the land, which often keeps Christians from visiting family members, holding jobs, attending school or even shopping for daily necessities.
“Walls never bring peace,” said Fr. Vasko, and quoting from the film he added, “walls create ghettos.”
He pointed out that Christians now make up less than two percent of the population in the Holy Land. “And these numbers are diminishing further as Christians give up and leave,” he said, adding that 500 Christian families leave the Holy Land every year.
Vasko urged everyone to watch the video, “so they can understand the critical conditions the Church is facing in the Holy Land.” Despite the grim statistics, he adds, the film ends on an upbeat note, encouraging pilgrims from the western world to visit the Holy Land and the Christians who live there.
“It is vital for Christians to not only remain in the Holy Land,” he said, quoting from the film, “but they must feel a solidarity with the rest of the world.“ The film refers to the Christians as ‘living stones.’
“Don’t just visit the shrines,” Vasko quoted, “visit the living stones.”