Throughout the Holy Land — the biblical lands of Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria — religious sisters, priests, and lay men and women feed the poor, care for the sick, listen to the broken-hearted and find opportunities for families of all faiths who seek stability, security and a place to call home.

For all its current turmoil, war, political and civil strife and economic disparity, the Holy Land remains the cradle of Christianity. While the churches there remain small and vulnerable — especially to extremism — they are dynamic communities of faith witnessing the Gospel to all.

CNEWA has aided the peoples of the Holy Land since Pope Pius XI established it in 1926. With the mass exodus of Palestinians following the first Arab Israeli war in 1948 — more than 20 percent of whom were Christian —  that assistance intensified when Pope Pius XII founded the Pontifical Mission for Palestine in 1949 and placed its administration and direction under CNEWA. Created as a temporary relief committee to coordinate worldwide Catholic relief to the refugees, subsequent popes have extended the mandate of the Pontifical Mission to include assistance to all vulnerable peoples throughout the Middle East.


Iraq has played a key role in the spread of Christianity since the first century, yet the Christian population in Iraq has dwindled to a mere shadow of itself


CNEWA has long been present in this corner of the Middle East, which is truly a melting pot.


Jordan is a land of refuge — and as a country, it is among the most welcoming of refugees.


Lebanon, the beautiful Mediterranean country nestled between Syria and Israel, and one of the oldest and most vital cradles of Christianity, is facing an unbearable economic crisis.


With violence and conflict raging, tourism in decline and political ineffectiveness and corruption more pervasive, Palestine is facing daunting challenges.


Syria is a country of religious diversity whose people have faced unprecedented upheaval and destruction for decades.

CNEWA, known as the Pontifical Mission throughout the Middle East, works with these communities, helping them respond to the daunting challenges confronting them. The churches work to address immediate existential needs of displaced families, such as medical care and food, and to more long-term investments in people’s lives, including counseling, education, formation and health care.

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