By Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D.
On this Great and Holy Friday, Christians in the Holy Land feel like crying out the same words of our Lord and Savior,
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.” (Mark 15:34) Especially since September 2000 there has been no change on the ground from the awful military occupation that strips people from their very basic human rights.
And at the same time seeing all our hope in Christ who offers eternal life, we remember the most important words of all, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)
Thus on this most holy day, we must forgive that we live behind the huge Apartheid Wall that keeps us as prisoners in an open space.
We must forgive that there are 600 military checkpoints all around us.
We must forgive that all the natural resources, the roads, the seaport, the airport are all controlled by the Zionist State of Israel.
We must forgive that seven million dollars each day of innocent American taxpayers money is spent in the name of security for Israel.
We must forgive that more than 24,000 Palestinian houses have been demolished.
We must forgive that more than one million trees have been destroyed.
We must forgive that Israel ignores more than 60 UN Resolutions.
We must forgive that 531 Palestinian villages were destroyed by Zionist forces.
However, as we forgive can we also take non violent action. I am appealing to all my Brothers and Sisters in Christ to please express their solidarity by endorsing the Kairos Palestine Document. www.kairospalestine.ps.
Palestinian Christian leaders have issued the Kairos Palestine Document calling on Churches around the world “to say a word of truth and to take a position of truth with regard to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.” Please, I beg you to have your bishops, priests and friends review and sign this very important non violent action asking for our basic human rights in the very land made holy by Christ Himself.
Returning to live under military occupation reminds me that Christ tells us the one who will stay patient until the very end will be saved (Matt 10:22).
Thus in Palestine we are patiently waiting for freedom and our basic human rights reminding the whole world that our Christian presence in this very land of Christ’s Holy Resurrection is vital for peace and reconciliation.
Therefore during this most holy and sacred time in the Holy Land, Christians will continue to be peace makers and continue to witness for Christ’s love and for the Truth that Christ is the Light of the world. Fight the good fight until the end (1 Tim 6:12). It is the Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem on Great and Holy Saturday that reminds us, truly the Lord is Risen! A most blessed and Holy Pascha celebration to all!
– Maria C. Khoury contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.