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