ASIA/LEBANON - Maronite Patriarch: Trump's "Plan" for the Holy Land is "a sign of war and hatred"

Friday, 31 January 2020 middle east   oriental churches   area crisis   geopolitics  


Bkerkè (Agenzia Fides) - Calling U.S. President Donald Trump’s Peace-to-Prosperity plan a “unilateral initiative,” church leaders in the Holy Land said it did not give “dignity and rights” to the Palestinians. US President Donald Trump called the plan the "deal of the century" and will "create more tensions and probably more violence and bloodshed", which risks "destroying" the Holy Land where Jesus Christ was born. This is what Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites said on January 30, in the reflections with which he accompanied the recitation of the rosary which has been taking place in the church of the Maronite patriarchal see of Berkè since last October, to invoke the gift of peace for Lebanon. The Primate of the Maronite Church invited everyone to pray for the Holy Land, "where the Savior Jesus Christ was born, where the Most Holy Trinity was revealed, where the Church was established, and from where the Holy Gospel was announced to the whole world". It is not possible - the Patriarch remarked - to accept "that this land is destroyed "for the intentions and choices "of a person who has decided to put aside history". Jews, Christians and Muslims coexist in the Holy Land - added the Maronite Cardinal - "as God willed. And this land cannot bear this political decision taken by the Administration or by the President of the United States". The Patriarch concluded his reflection by imploring God to spare the peoples possible sufferings caused "by this plan wanted by the US President", and by remembering that there can be no peace when injustice and arrogance prevails.
In recent days, strong criticisms of the US "Peace for Prosperity" plan launched by Trump had already been voiced by various church realities and bodies, including the Patriarchs and heads of the Churches of Jerusalem, the Lutheran World Federation, the Assembly of ordinary Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land, the World Council of Churches and the Conference of Catholic Bishops of England and Wales. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 31/1/2020)