Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ACTION ALERT: Urge U.S. Action on Palestinian Christian Issues on Eve of Pope's Visit

Churches for Middle East Peace sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton yesterday, on the occasion this week of the Papal visit to the Holy Land, highlighting the rapid decline of the Palestinian Christian community there. The letter was also sent to President Obama, Special Envoy Mitchell and other key contacts in the Administration and Congress.

Help amplify CMEP's message! Tell the White House the decline of Palestinian Christians makes the Administration's efforts to achieve a just and lasting two-state solution even more urgent.

While recognizing that ultimately only a negotiated peace agreement can stem Palestinian Christian emigration, the letter cites several specific issues that can be acted on immediately, including: restrictive Israeli residency and family unification regulations in East Jerusalem; visa and permit restrictions that inhibit the movement of several hundred Arab clergy; and the need for further efforts to strengthen the rule of law in the West Bank and Gaza.

Send an email to President Obama urging the Administration to address the situation of Palestinian Christians as part of their comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace effort.

The CMEP letter stresses that the prospect of a Holy Land devoid of its living Christian community is not just a tragedy for world Christianity but would have serious ramifications for a future Palestinian state, the interreligious nature of Jerusalem, and regional peace and security. It concludes with the hope that persistent U.S. diplomacy can provide a positive future for all the people of the Holy Land.


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