- Mar 29, 2020
Communal church life is an integral part of family life for George and Randa Sabat and their four children, but with a strictly enforced lockdown on the city and the two neighboring towns of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, the family has been looking inward for spiritual support and a strengthening of their faith.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem urged its faithful to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health, following its order March 5 to close all schools, universities, mosques and churches, including the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field.
Amid continuing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Catholic pilgrims in the Holy Land said they were being cautious but had no regrets about continuing with their pilgrimage.
After Israel reported that 18 people from a recent South Korean tour group were infected with COVID-19, a coronavirus, a spokesman for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said officials were concerned how the diagnosis would affect Lenten and Easter pilgrimages.
In a private meeting with Pope Francis, Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East had an opportunity to sound the alarm regarding the survival of Christians in the region as a result of persecution, extremism, economic insecurity and immigration to the West.
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.