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Posts tagged ‘Pope’

At home and abroad, Christian Palestinians under attack by Israel and its apologists

As the Pope visits the ‘Holy Land’, much media coverage has focused on the current problems facing Christian Palestinians, and in particular, the so-called ‘price tag’ attacks being perpetrated by right-wing Jewish extremists. Ahead of the Papal visit, Israeli police even issued restraining orders against known activists. Read more

Can the pope help Christian Palestinians?

The pope’s visit to Israel/Palestine has thrown the spotlight on the troubled Christian Palestinian community, a group normally only considered in the western media at Christmas when the world’s media descends on Bethlehem.

However, the feelings of the local faithful about Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage are quite mixed, an ambiguity caused by an uncertainty about the Vatican’s agenda for the visit, and the political atmosphere post-Gaza assault.

Plenty of Christians, especially Catholics, are understandably happy from a personal, religious point of view. Yet for many, the sense of celebration is tempered by a hope that the pope’s visit will contribute something to their dire day-to-day reality. Read more

In the Middle East, the Pope’s every move will be scrutinised

Today, Pope Benedict XVI embarks on his Middle East tour. First stop is Jordan, with an itinerary that covers three days of meetings and masses. One of his visits will be to “Bethany beyond the Jordan“, which lays claim to being the place where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist.

This is being considered quite a coup for the Jordanians, who have prioritised the promotion of the baptism site “more than any other” tourist spot. Since none of the other rivals for the title of being the baptismal location are included on the regional trip, it is fair to see the pope’s visit as an endorsement of a location that in recent years has succeeded in overshadowing the competition over the border. Read more