CNEWA

In Conversation: Called to Be a Christian in the Holy Land

Joseph Hazboun, regional director of the Jerusalem office of CNEWA-Pontifical Mission, spoke with Michael J.L. La Civita, CNEWA's director of communications and executive editor of ONE, in the fourth episode of ONE: In Conversation.

Editors’ note: Joseph wrote about the work of his team and their commitment to witnessing to the Christian faith in the land where Jesus lived  in “A Letter From the Holy Land” in the December edition of ONE magazine.

In this podcast, Joseph speaks about the current conflict and challenges in the region and the role the church can play in being an agent of healing and reconciliation.

Watch this episode of ONE: In Conversation and read an excerpt of Joseph’s insights below.

“I see that vocation is a wider concept. Every Christian, every human being, but most every Christian, has a vocation to serve, whether as a single man or woman, there is a service that only a single person can perform, whether as couples without children, whether as a family with children, or whether an individual who decides to join the clergy or become a religious.

“Beyond that, I believe that our presence in the Holy Land, which has been tormented by wars, and conflicts and intifadas probably since the time of Jesus … to remain steadfast in the Holy Land is in itself a special vocation.

“And I’ve heard lots of colleagues who say, when they decide to leave, I say, why are you leaving? This is your homeland. You have the right to be here. And they say, yes, I agree, it’s the land of Christianity and the land of our ancestors. But we have the right to live in dignity, to live free, not worrying when I go out of home or when my child leaves home, whether he will come back, or he will be shot or I don’t know what other things might happen. So they are tired of the conflict.

“And this is the danger that we are seeing, that the families that are doing fine, they have good jobs, good income, they own their own homes, their children are growing. Instead of starting, beginning to think about the future for their kids here, they start thinking that now it’s time to leave so that they can provide a better future for their children abroad.

“And I understand that, because I live conflict, I live tension at the checkpoints on a daily basis, going to Jerusalem, coming to Bethlehem. So, their anxieties are not strange to me because I live them firsthand.

“So, that’s where vocation becomes very important and we have to have a strong faith that God will not forsake his people.”

To support CNEWA’s emergency relief efforts in the Holy Land, visit https://cnewa.org/what-we-do/emergency-relief-holy-land/

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