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Sheikh Maher Assaf: Open Jerusalem’s access to holy places for all

The following feature story is part of a series that continues this years Easter Initiative, which offers a glimpse into the daily lives of Palestinians, Muslims and Christians, living in and around Jerusalem, some of the challenges they face, and what gives them hope. The concept of sacredness underscores these stories. Below, Sheikh Maher Assafs story, set in Bethlehem, speaks to the sacredness of worship, and how freedom of religion is key to achieving peace.

In Silwan, Jerusalem, “we want to see justice for everyone”

The following feature story is part of a series that begins this year’s Easter Initiative, which will offer a glimpse into the daily lives of Palestinians, Muslims and Christians, living in and around Jerusalem, some of the challenges they face, and what gives them hope. The concept of sacredness underscores these stories. Below, Yacoub Rajabi’s story speaks to the sacredness of human dignity—and the sacredness of life itself.

In Lebanon, “without peace there is no justice”

When Dr Michel Abs, secretary general of the Middle East Council of Churches, speaks about living conditions in Lebanon, his compassion for his people—and his passion for peace—brim over. In a video interview with the World Council of Churches, he honestly shared his deepest concerns about the current socio-economic crisis in his nation, and how churches are helping.

South Hebron Hills families share stories of life under occupation

Jack Munayer, coordinator for the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI), recently visited the South Hebron Hills area with diplomatic delegates from eight different countries, as well as Israeli activists. The visit was organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The group visited families and listened to their stories with the goal of discerning the nature of hardship and trauma that the occupation continues to cause.

East Jerusalem Initiative: accompanying families facing eviction and displacement

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is beginning an East Jerusalem Initiative, through which the WCC-EAPPI is accompanying—even without a physical presence—families facing eviction and displacement, as well as people facing other violations of their rights. Below, WCC director of the Commission for the Churches on International Affairs Peter Prove explains the goals and history behind the East Jerusalem Initiative.