Jews, Christians and Muslims conference speakers called for vigorous renewed engagement of all parties to the Israeli Palestinian conflict to bring about an end to 60 years of bloodshed and 40 years of Occupation, and specifically charged Christians to support their brethren in the conflict zone.
H.E. John Cardinal Foley, Grand Master, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Rateb Y. Rabie, KCHS, HCEF President /CEO
Father Drew Christiansen, S.J. Editor- in -Chief, America Magazine
Over three hundred people participated in the General Assembly and Awards Banquet of the11th International Conference hosted by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, co sponsored by and held at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, in Washington, DC. Participants represented a wide national and international audience. The proceedings were recorded live on the worldwide web, and can be viewed by visiting the HCEF website: www.hcef.org traced the venerable history of support of the Order for the Christians in the Holy Land. He called the Christians there now the “unheralded true heroes in the struggle for reconciliation and peace“
Hussein Ibish, Senior Fellow, ATFP
Paul L. Scham, J.D., Exec. Dir., Gildenhorn Inst for Israel Studies
Dr. James Zogby, President, AAI
The conference keynote speaker, Cardinal John Foley, Grandmaster of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, carrying the cross of Jesus once more under terribly distressing conditions.” The conference also focused on the well-being of the Mother Church. Rev. Dr. Barnes, Senior Pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, called on the Christians in the West, especially in America, to renew their commitment to there, the ‘Living Stones’. the ‘Mother Church’ in the Holy Land and the Christians there, the ‘Living Stones’.
Over 25 speakers, who are experts in their fields, addressed the conference participants. Several conference sessions were devoted to highly timely topics such as: is there hope for a two state solution?, the role of media as a positive or negative force in bringing about peace, and religious faith as a path to peace. Eminent Jewish, Christian, and Muslim panelists explored these critical topics. The attendees were riveted by the compelling testimony of women from Jerusalem. They represented the three Abrahamic traditions and described the suffering visited on them in this conflict.
H.E. Cardinal Foley with Knights & Ladies of the EOHS
Friday evening at the Awards Banquet, Cardinal John Foley accepted the Foundation’s Living Stones Award on behalf of the Equestrian Order for its long history of support of the Christians in the Holy Land. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, former Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and now to the U.S. was honored with the Path of Peace Award, the highest award of HCEF. Reflecting on his four decades of diplomatic service, the Archbishop said “if there is to be peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it must begin with actions of the U.S. here.” The other honorees were HCEF Award recipient, Dr. Samir Abu-Ghazaleh, eminent physician and humanitarian and Mrs. Mary Beahn who was honored with the HCEF President’s Award, the highest award for volunteers.
All conference sessions and photos for the general assembly and workshops can be viewed by visiting www.hcef.org.