altTHE HOLY LAND – Heidi Kuhn, founder of the organization “Roots of Peace”, December 12, met with His Excellency, William Shomali, at the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The organization is committed to a project directed to freeing countries from anti-personnel mines and replacing them with vines. A gesture of peace favorably welcomed by the local Church a few days before Christmas.
“They will forge their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Is 2:4).

 These words of the prophet Isaiah could offer support to the international organization “Roots of Peace” which has for it leitmotif “Demine-Replant-Rebuild”. More than just the mine-clearing policy, the organization helps to reconvert the minefields into fields of vines and contribute also to rebalancing the local economy of the affected regions of the Holy Land ( principally on the Golan, along the Jordan and the region of Bethlehem and Hussan).


fore heading to Bethlehem for a candle-light procession to seal this project with prayer, Heidi Kuhn, founder of the organization, met with H.E. Bishop Shomali. The Auxiliary Bishop for Jerusalem recognizes that “this visit allow us to rejoice in this Christmas time at this seed of peace so that our land may become again a place of life and no more of death”. Indeed, the Holy Land would conceal in its wounded soil around 1.5 million mines that impede access to more than 50,000 hectares of fertile land. In the surrounding of “Qasr al-Yahud” traditionally considered the place of Christ’s baptism, 500,000 mines would also be dispersed.

A mine-sweeping campaign, financed in part by the United States, was made possible thanks to the agreement of the Israeli and Palestinian authorities in the Bethlehem region. The project is financed, among others, by the private donations of resident of the United States. The lands, once swept of mines, will be reconverted to agricultural land where vines will be planted.

H.E. Bishop Shomali, greeted favorably the initiative, “This real project of peace in the life of the inhabitants of Israel and Palestine is very good especially because it removes the looming threat from families the threat that looms over their lives and on physical integrity of their everyday.”

Christophe Lafontaine