WASHINGTON DC- Leaders of the four major Christian Churches in Jerusalem will join The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation for a press briefing on Friday, October 22, to launch a weekend-long conference, “Holy Land Christians Rooted in Bonds of Peace,” addressing the progress and challenges facing the Holy Land’s Christian population.

WASHINGTON DC- Leaders of the four major Christian Churches in Jerusalem will join The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation for a press briefing on Friday, October 22, to launch a weekend-long conference, “Holy Land Christians Rooted in Bonds of Peace,” addressing the progress and challenges facing the Holy Land’s Christian population.    

Religious leaders, including: H.B. Michel Sabbah, The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; the Rt. Rev. Riah Abu El-Assal, Bishop, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and The Middle East; the Rt. Rev. Munib Younan, Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem and Archimandrite Innokentios representing the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem will address concerns over the exodus of indigenous Christians from the Holy Land and activities Western Christians may undertake to support this dwindling community.  They will also discuss the challenges and responses to the current turmoil facing indigenous Christian areas of the Holy Land.  Traditionally Christian towns like Bethlehem and Jerusalem are now almost devoid of Christian inhabitants.  Christians account for approximately 75 percent (2.6 million) of Americans of Arab descent.     

Theodore Cardinal McCarrick will deliver a keynote address and the conference will also feature a Youth Summit of teenagers from Bethlehem dialoguing with their American counterparts.  The visiting teens have been attending school in Ohio and will address local Catholic schools in the area.  For the first time, the conference will conduct a Student Leadership Institute to assist Holy Land Christian students on college campuses.  

 “We are delighted to host the Holy Land bishops and know that our joint efforts will be of great consolation for the faithful in the Holy Land.  We hope that Western Christians will be moved by their witness of the living faith of our Mother Church and that our outreach to young people, both here and abroad, will help safeguard our future generations,” said Rateb Rabie, HCEF President.

WHAT:  “Holy Land Christians Rooted in Bonds of Peace” 
WHEN:  Briefing-Fri., Oct. 22, 11 AM; Conference – Fri., Oct. 22-Sat. Oct. 23
WHERE: Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Ave., NW, DC
WHO:   H.B. Michel Sabbah, The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; Rt. Rev. Riah Abu El-Assal, Bishop, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and The Middle East; Rt. Rev. Munib Younan, Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem; Archimandrite Innokentios Personal Representative of His Beatitude of the Greek Orthodox Church, Jerusalem
INFO:  http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/eventid/162/ID/23.cfm
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The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Inc. (HCEF) is a non-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides support to the Christians of the Holy Land who live in Christian communities dating back in time to those who first heard Jesus Christ preach his gospel.  HCEF sponsors programs that support children’s education, create housing, and provide work programs for community development and indigenous handicrafts.  HCEF Pilgrimages enable Western Christians to develop bonds of solidarity with their Christian brothers and sisters living in the Holy Land.