The land of Jesus without Christians?
Poverty, violence and discrimination constitute the greatest dangers for Christians in the Holy Land. If nothing changes Christians can disappear completely from the Land of Jesus. Today there are only 150,000 Christians here. 400,000 followers of Christ chose immigration. It looks more dangerous in percentage terms. 40 years ago Christians constituted 20% of the population in the Holy Land, today only 2%. What should be done?
There is a process of peace in Israel, its aim being to establish the Palestine National Authority. Step by step, although with difficulty and delay, the performance-based and goal-driven roadmap is being realised. The Palestine National Authority will slowly take control over the territory. In August the Israeli troops are to withdraw from Gaza. During the last Israeli-Palestinian summit Ariel Sharon, Israeli Prime Minister, promised to return two West bank towns, including Bethlehem.
The Land of Christ without his followers? If nothing happens, what is likely today will become very likely tomorrow. And this would be the biggest sign of leaving the Lord and even treason. It would be some kind of escape, flight. And Christians in the Holy Land are not to be blamed for that. They are living in extreme conditions. They suffer poverty and endure intense sufferings. And moreover, they feel abandoned. They feel that nobody is interested in their fate and they are to count only on themselves. We should do our best - all Christians, fellow believers, are responsible for this - to make their situation bearable. The most effective and in fact the only method is organising pilgrimages. Those who have been there can witness that it is safe going there. One can follow the footsteps of Jesus.