With the Good Friday Collection for the Holy Land ((Pro Terra Sancta), on April 19, 2019, the Vatican expresses its concern for the Middle East, where relations between peoples are deteriorating, “creating an unjust situation such that, to hope for peace becomes almost imprudent.” It stresses the need to support the region’s Christians because “a Middle East without Christians would not be the Middle East.”
In a letter, dated March 6, Ash Wednesday, addressed to Bishops worldwide, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and Monsignor Cyril Vasil’, the Dicastery’s Secretary, invite Christians to think more intensely during Holy Week, “of our brothers and sisters who live and witness <their> faith in Christ dead and resurrected in the Holy Land, expressing to them also our solidarity in love.”
However, they also rejoice. “We witness with hope a certain recovery of pilgrimages, seeing the joy of the faith of so many faithful, coming increasingly to the Holy Land from China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
This apostolic vitality is a great sign for the local communities, and challenge for those of the West, tempted sometimes to discouragement and resignation in life and the witness of their faith on a daily basis.”