|[Fwd: Christians of the world should be ashamed] (fwd)|
>Christians of the world should be ashamed
> > by Catholic priest, Father Labib Kobti
> > 5.2.2002
> > I am devastated about what is happening to the HOLIEST PLACE IN
> > The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, the BIRTH place of Jesus Christ
> our > Lord.
> > Christians of the WORLD have lost their dignity and lost the moral
> courage it takes to defend their holiest places. Defending does not mean
> sending an army, it means to stand with what is right, true and fair for
> the Church and the people besieged in the church without food, water,
> electricity and put pressure on their governments, on the USA and Israel.
> It is taking too long.
> > It is unfair. It calls for people of conscience.
> > Unfortunately, Christians of the worlds have been duped by Israel once
> > How Arab-Christian will be able to tolerate living under such a brutal
> and violent occupation? This situation would create catastrophic
> consequences for Arab-Christians of the Holy Land. The
> Palestinian-Christians have been fleeing in record numbers and this is
> precisely the desire of the state of Israel.
> > Israel would like to force the Palestinian Christians out of the Holy
> land because it is their desire and their ultimate goal to rid the land
> of all Christians. This will give them the great opportunity to say to
> the world that the war in Palestine is a war against terrorism and make
> from our beloved Palestinian Muslims the target of this war. The way USA
> is doing in Afghanistan.
> > Yet, most American Christians and the Christians of the West are
> ignorantly being fed lies that they accept as a God given truth--that
> Israel's war is simply against Muslim Palestinians using the same logic
> of the Taliban/Afganistan. They are ignoring that the problem is the
> ISRAELI OCCUPATION and it is not a war against terrorism but a resistance
> against Occupation. And Palestinian resistance are Christians and Muslims.
> > Palestinian Christians of the Holy Land who have been living in harmony
> with Muslims for centuries feel abandoned and alone. They feel angry
> against the Christians in the West and specially the American Christians.
> > There is little that their Muslim blood brothers and sisters can do to
> console and defend the Palestinian Christians. Muslims from Qatar and
> Arab world offered to repair the destruction that the Israelis have done
> to the Holiest place of Christianity, the Church of the Nativity.
> > In fact, in the Church of the Nativity, Palestinian Muslims and
> Christians are sharing the same food, water and defending the place
> against the Israelis. They are not terrorists, it is their right by
> international law to defend their city from occupation. The Palestinians
> are fighting against the evils and frustrations of Israeli occupation for
> over 35 years. It is a right, it is not at all a crime. That Christians
> of the world are unable to see this reality and exercise any pressure to
> save the priests, the people, and the defenders of their Holy Place, or
> to exert pressure on Israel to
>deliver food, water, medicine for the besieged make Arab-Christians in
>the Middle East angry. This is an indifference based on a certain
>racism and hatred for the Arabs, regardless of his or her religion.
> > Palestinian Christians are angry at Western Christians who have
> abandoned them. Palestinian Christians feel that Western Christians have
> left them alone to face this brutal Israeli occupation simply because
> they are Arab Christians. This at least what many Arab-Christians have
> said to me as their
> > pastor. If we were Italian, English, Irish, Americans, Germans, French
> would they do the same? Imagine if Jews would besiege Notre Dame of
> Paris, or the Vatican, or St. Patrick in New York. Or imagine if a group
> of any people would besiege Jews for days inside any synagogue in the
> world and deprive them from food, water, electricity and kill them with
> snipers. Would it be tolerated and accepted, would it take that long to
> save them and stand with the innocent Jews in a place of prayer? Wouldn't
> the whole world move to do immediately what is fair, right and just? Why
> they are doing this to our Arab
> > Palestinians people? Why the West hates us that much? What did we do to
> deserve all this, what did the Palestinians do to the world? Who are we
> as Arab-Christians for the Christians of the West? Aren't we the
> Christians of the first centuries? The Christians who translated the
> Bible into different languages; the first who have created monachism, and
> religious orders; the first fathers of the Church; the first missionaries?
> > At his visit on March 2000 Pope Paul II was proud of the Palestinian
> > Christians and their history and thanked them for what they have given
> to the world and praised the harmony between Muslims and Christians in
> the Hoy Land.
> > How we can as Arab Christians recall with pride these words of the Pope?
> > How we can recall the many other speeches of the Cardinals,
> Archbishops, Bishops, pastors preachers of the Catholic, Orthodox,
> Anglican and Protestant Churches?
> > They seem to many of the Arab Christians as just all these were words
> to the public opinion. But when there should be some actions, everybody
> finds a way to step back and try to think what to do and when to act.
> What a shame?
> > There is a kind of acceptance between the people in the West that
> killing Arabs, Muslims or Christians is a good things for the world. Our
> people say this and repeat it. And I can understand, as an Arab Catholic
> priest, their frustration and after months of destruction and massacres
> by Israel. What the world is waiting for? For a holocaust against Arabs?
> > The Christian Palestinian population fleeing the Holy Land are saying
> to me:
> > When Sharon visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Muslims from around the world
> stood proudly to defend their Holy Place and they were so angry that
> Sharon had to leave immediately in front to the world wide condemnation.
> > But what have the Christians of the world done for the holiest place on
> earth, the place of the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ? Nothing.
> > Never before in the history of the Church of the Nativity has it been
> attacked in this way. Even when the Persians conquered Bethlehem in 622
> they absolutely respected the holiness of the place, because they saw
> some mosaics that depict the magi coming from Persia.
> > In 1948 20% of Palestinians in the Holy Land were Christian, today,
> because of the Israeli occupation and its attendant violence, poverty and
> discrimination that number has dwindled down to 1.8%. Statistics indicate
> that in a few years the Holy Land will become a Christian museum with no
> LIVING STONES. And what is the Holy Land without the Palestinian Christians?
> > Without the true and oldest people of the land of Jesus Christ,
> descendants of the Cananites, Jesbusites, Aramites. These Arab-Christians
> who have been
> > celebrating Christmas for 2000 years and the Holy week for 2000 years.
> What is the Holy Land without its rightful people?
> > Palestinian Christians feel that the Christians of the West lack the
> courage and morality to stand united with them, Christian Palestinians
> feel that the utter contempt and disregard that Western Christians have
> for Christian Palestinians stems from a kind of racism against all Arab
> > I am so afraid that Christians of the Holy Land will be forced to
> abandon the land because they themselves feel so alone, so depressed so
> unhappy to be called Christians at the same level of the Christian of the West.
> > I was sent to the United States to serve the Arab-American Christian
> > community by my superior, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel
> Sabbah. I have been a Pastor of the Arab-Americans in California for 10
> years. I have witnessed the Arab-Christian community in San Francisco
> continue to grow with Christian immigrants from Ramallah, Bir-Zeit,
> Gifna, Bethlehem , Jerusalem, Taybeh ... coming to San Francisco to flee
> the ungodly Zionist occupation.
> > Today there are more Palestinian Christians from Ramallah in San
> Francisco than in Ramallah itself.
> > What a shame?
> > Arab-Christians at the end are the losers, they lost their prestige,
> their future and their hopes. I am very concerned for them, perhaps I am
> so concerned because I am also an Arab Christian, I cannot rely on the
> non-Arab world to give a damn about the Palestinian-Christians.
> > I feel so ashamed of the Christians of the World.
> > Father Labib Kobti
> > San Francisco
> > www.Al-Bushra.org