Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas; Thoughts on Christian Pilgrims in the Holy Land and Arab Christians

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas! Thank you for visiting my blog.

I would like to take this opportunity to note my vindication for something I observed two years ago at the first Christmas since I launched this blog. At that time, I noted that there were more Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land than the year before, which had been the first year of an increase in pilgrims after a sharp decline. This year, the number of pilgrims is at a record high. Tens of thousands of Christians have made pilgrimages to the birthplace of Christ to celebrate His birth.

The restoration of the right of Christians to express their religion by making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land without fear of terrorism is one of the most striking achievements of the War on Terrorism, including the Liberation of Iraq, which removed from power Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, who had sent aid to Palestinian suicide bombers who targeted and killed Americans. The passage of time since the last Palestinian intifadah and the relative peace that has ensued has also contributed to a sense of security.

The return of pilgrims to the Holy Land should give hope to the beleaguered Christians in the Middle East, as the pilgrims are not only appreciated for the boost they provide to the economy for the local Jews and Muslims, but serve to remind Arab Muslims that Arab Christians are not practitioners of a foreign, Western religion, but are fellow Arabs who have been practicing their Eastern religion for thousands of years. Therefore, Arab Christians ought to be trusted and respected as loyal, integral members of the Arab nation. May God bless the Christians in the Holy Land. Peace to all men of good will.

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