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Holy Land: bishops from USA, Canada, EU and South Africa, “young people play a key role in promoting peace”

(from Jerusalem) “Supporting the organisations that help create jobs, provide accommodation and ease dialogue”, “praying and organising pilgrimages that promote encounters and support for the local population”, and “taking a firm stance against all those who try to create further divisions, especially among our political leaders”. This is the appeal made to their faithful by the bishops of USA, Canada, EU and South Africa, of the Holy Land Coordination (Hlc), who in Jerusalem today ended their yearly solidarity visit to the local Church and Christians. Speaking of the meetings they had with young Palestinians and Israelis and their longing for a “peaceful coexistence”, the bishops state they share their hope and “acknowledge they play a key role in promoting peace”. An integral part of such scenario is also “the small local Christian community” that gives its support through “its young people and the service it provides to all young people”. “It is actually the young who find the courage to pursue justice and challenge the divisions that have been imposed on them. It is the schools and projects devised by young people – the final release says – that pull down the barriers and give people the tools to feed tolerance. They are young volunteers, like those who work with L’Arche in Bethlehem, with Beit Emmaus in Qubeibeh and religious orders in Gaza, who are showing their humanity in this wounded society. We remember these young people in our prayers – the statement ends – and, inspired by Pope Francis, we are committed, helped by God’s Grace, to do our part to make this land more human and worthier for present and future young people”. The statement has been signed by 13 bishops and by mgr. Duarte da Cunha, general secretary of the Council of EU Bishops Conferences (Ccee).

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