This year, students at the Student Activities Fairs at Georgetown, Xavier and Duke are given an original invitation- join the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Student Community! Arab Christians and Western Christians are equally drawn to the table, welcomed by a similar mix of American and Arab students facing them. The mission of building bridges is already begun.

As the 2004-5 school year begins, freshmen and sophomores look around their university’s long list of clubs, organizations, religious groups where they will dedicate their time in the next few years, and flourish as campus leaders.  This year, students at the Student Activities Fairs at Georgetown, Xavier and Duke are given one original invitation- join the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Student Community!  Arab Christians and Western Christians are equally drawn to the table, welcomed by a similar mix of American and Arab students facing them.  The mission of building bridges is already begun. 

This year, students have the additional opportunity to develop their HCESC campus group and their own leadership skills at the First International Student Leadership Conference on Friday, October 22, in Washington, D.C., which will kick off the HCEF 6th International Conference.  For details please see http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/186.cfm.  Below is an article written by a Xavier publication, about the “New Club on Campus.”

New Club on Campus
Megan Mathews

The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Student Community (HCESC), a new club hoping to help suffering Christians in the Holy Land, is beginning this academic year at Xavier.

The members plan to expand general awareness of issues facing the Christian minority in Palestine and work toward positive change.

The HCESC on Xavier’s campus is a branch of an international non-profit organization that focuses on increased awareness and funding for the Palestinian Christians.  It was originally established in 1999 by Rateb Y. Rabie. 

Xavier’s chapter of the HCESC is the third nationally recognized student community, following those set up at Duke and Georgetown.

Under the leadership of the new club’s president, Reem Rabie, the HCESC currently has ten members.  These new members of Xavier’s HCESC want members of this community to recognize the dilemma faced by Christians in the Holy Land. 

For example, the Christian presence in Palestine has plummeted this century to an unfortunate two percent.

While in 1922 nearly 51 percent of Jerusalem’s population was Christian, that figure has dropped to just four percent as of 2004.

Due to their new status as a minority group, Christians in this area are faced with school closings, property confiscation by authorities and traveling restriction.

In an effort to relive some of the suffering caused by these circumstances, Xavier’s HCESC will host various events and fund-raisers whose proceeds will directly aid Palestinian Christians.

Some of the club’s activities will include Olivewood gift sales (hand-carved crafts from the tress in the areas of Jerusalem and Bethlehem), guest speakers, and donation drives.

The members of the club are beginning the year with enthusiasm and the determination to make a difference.

The HCESC is looking forward to gaining new members, and all are welcome to visit their table on Club Day, September 12.