Easter name to assist the Holy Land survive the coronavirus pandemic

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Bethlehem & # 39; s Manger Square, usually full of tourists and pilgrims, stands empty during the Corona virus closure.(Photo: Friends of the Holy Land)

Christian charities serving in the Holy Land have joined forces in an Easter call to help the region survive the coronavirus pandemic.

As in other parts of the world, the Holy Land has been blocked to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Cover the Middle East, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) and Friends of the Holy Land have launched a joint Easter call for prayers and solidarity for people in the region.

They warn of "bad consequences" in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, especially for those who are already suffering from poverty and poor living conditions.

The appeal is led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, who said: "If we follow the last days of Jesus in Jerusalem, culminating in his passion, death and resurrection, we should address the many people in the Holy Land remember who go their own way of the cross amidst this pandemic.

"I ask everyone, while we pray for everyone who has this malignant virus, to pray for the people of the Holy Land, especially as we approach Easter."

Organizations fear that the virus will spread rapidly to areas lacking clean water or densely populated, which means that up to 15 people can live in one house.

There are further concerns about a lack of medical care and the impact on people with poor nutrition or underlying health conditions.

Brendan Metcalfe, director of the Friends of the Holy Land, described the challenges to keeping the virus at bay and the prospect of financial difficulties that many in the region face.

"Can you imagine telling people to wash their hands in a place where there is no clean water, where there is a lack of soap and where there is no hand sanitizer?" he said.

"While no one is guaranteed protection from the virus, many people in the Holy Land are particularly at risk and have absolutely no line of defense against this deadly disease – with no savings to fall back on."

Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director of Aid to the Church in Need, said: "For many of our friends and project partners, this is a time of survival. I know from calls and social media that Christians in the Holy Land and the Middle East are suffering for pray us this Holy Week and Easter.

"We are united with them in prayer and hope – knowing the loving kindness of the loyal benefactors from ACN and other charities."

Tim Livesey, CEO of Embrace, said: "Embrace supports a number of partners in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and we are working with them to provide the most vulnerable in the community with the support they need.

"In particular, we are helping to fund Caritas Jerusalem and other partners in Gaza, including the Church Council of the Middle East and the Anglican Al Ahli Hospital, to maintain essential health services. With COVID-19, the health care system there is more strained than ever." ""

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