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From left to right: HCEF President and CEO, Sir Rateb Rabie, KCHS; His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington; His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Chair, HCEF Advisory Board.

Bethesda, Maryland – His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem embarked on a trip to the United States in order to advocate for Christians of the Holy Land and across the Middle East. On Thursday April 21, 2016 he met with His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington to explain the many challenges faced by the Christian community in the Holy Land particularly in Palestine and Israel.  

He stressed how Christians, a minority between Jews and Muslims, are called to be a bridge between the two religions, two cultures, and two political sides. Only by living out the gospel can we form that bridge of peace. He discussed the many challenges the Christian community faces, the military occupation with its daily humiliations, the wall of separation, violence on both sides and the rise of religious fanaticism both Jewish and Muslim.

He lamented over the exodus of Christians which he described as “a bleeding, which deprives the Church Jerusalem of its best elements.” The presence of a vibrant, flourishing Christian community in the Holy Land is what prevents the holy places from being reduced to mere archaeological sites. He stressed that the “Nature and vocation [of the] holy land [is to be] chosen by God to unite all men to himself and to each other.”

The Patriarch extended an invitation for His Eminence Cardinal Wuerl to visit the Holy Land. His Eminence accepted and the planning will commence for a trip next year. Cardinal Wuerl is a longtime supporter of HCEF and its values. He supports the mission of the foundation and the work they do to maintain the Christian presence in the Holy Land and build bridges between Christians of the Holy Land and those of the West.