COVID-19 effects on the Holy Land

The Global Pandemic & Holy Land Christians: Father Peter Interviews with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN

April 2020

With the Holy Land locked down, Christians are coming to aid with food delivery to the sick and elderly.

In a recent interview with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN, Father Peter shared about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on Christians in the Holy Land. The diminishing population of Christians in Israel is faced with economic collapse, as well as a lack of tourism and pilgrimage because of this rampantly spreading virus. Israel has well over 9,000 confirmed cases. Since the beginning of March, the city has been sequestered to slow the spread of the disease.

In response to this crisis, FFHL began delivering food to parishes in Bethlehem and Jerusalem to those who are not able to leave their homes. Boy Scout volunteers place boxes of food on the doorsteps of the sick and elderly, to protect them from being exposed to the dangerous virus. This service has already saved many lives.

Religious ceremonies are also being impacted by the virus, as Christians were not able to celebrate the Easter season together as a community this year. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher remained closed for Easter services. Priests from the Church of St. Joseph of Nazareth, along with Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, delivered palms to doorsteps on Palm Sunday, and Holy Mass was televised through the internet.

No one knows why this is happening around the globe, but only our deep faith in God will pull us through these dark times. Christians should use this time to pray more, say the rosary, read sacred scripture and find strength in Mass that we can virtually participate in. We must be positive as there is always light at the end of a dark tunnel. The Lord gives faith and hope, not fear and anxiety. We must trust in His love for us.