BENEDICT XVI: TO ISRAEL’S AMBASSADOR, "CHRISTIANS, AN ALARMING DECLINE"

May "the increasing friendship between Israel and the Holy See" help give "confidence to the Christian community", infusing into it the "hope in a future of peace and security in the land of its ancestors, without feeling the drive to migrate". Today, at the meeting with the new ambassador of Israel to the Holy See, Mordechay Lewy, Benedict XVI expressed again all his "concern" for the "alarming decline of the Christian population in the Middle East and in Israel, due to migration". "Obviously – said the Pope –, the Christians are not the only ones who suffer the effects of insecurity and violence but for many reasons they are now particularly vulnerable". "The Christians of the Holy Land – explained Benedict XVI – have maintained good relations for a long time" with Muslims and Jews alike. "Their presence in Israel and the free practice of the mission and life of the Church can significantly contribute to healing the rifts between the two communities. I invite your government to keep looking for ways to take advantage of the good will that the Christians carry" towards both Jews and Muslims, peoples who "have lived and prayed for centuries in the land that all three religious traditions call Holy".

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