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Dean of Jerusalem seeks to counter extremism

13 March 2015

DIOCESE OF SOUTHWARK

Celebrating togetherness: the Very Revd Hosam Naoum at the House of Commons, last week

Celebrating togetherness: the Very Revd Hosam Naoum at the House of Commons, last week

CHRISTIANS in the Middle East fear that the Holy Land will "one day become a museum or theme park, emptied of its living stones: the worshipping community", the Dean of St George's Cathedral, Jerusalem, the Very Revd Hosam Naoum, said last week.

He described the dwindling number of Christians in the Holy Land as "the biggest challenge" he faced. "We feel that Christians are paying the heaviest price in all that is happening," he said. "Those making policies around the world regarding the Middle East, I think they are overlooking the situation that the Christian communities are living in. We see what is happening in Libya and Iraq and Syria; so it's quite worrying for us. We hope the whole world will come together to fight this phenomemon that is endangering human dignity and human rights around the world."

Dean Naoum was in London for the launch of the Friends of St George's, Jerusalem, in the UK, hosted in Westminster by the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry MP. Part of the mission of St George's was to maintain an interfaith ministry, the Dean said, "especially having in mind the growing extremism on every side". He spoke of "bringing together the children of Abraham to celebrate togetherness and living together, as people of God and as human beings".

"What we really wish the world would understand, and mainly the Churches, is that the ministry we are getting out in these lands is really on behalf of everyone, including the wider Church -because this is the place where Christianity started, and we carry this ministry not only on behalf of the people of the Holy Land, but on behalf of the whole Church worldwide."

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