Christian Minorities: VIS, ATS and John Paul II Foundation for Christian communities protection in Bethlehem and interreligious dialogue in the Holy Land

Jerusalem, March 26, 2020 – Despite the epidemiologic emergency on-going all over the world, and hoping we will be back to normal life soon, AICS commitment in favor of Italian civil society organizations implementing development projects is not stopping.
In Palestine, in the framework of the Christian Minority Support Call, the project “Socio-economic integration of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, by protecting the local artistic, gastronomic and environmental heritage” has been selected along with 3 more initiatives, confirming the central role played by Italian CSOs in Palestine. Thanks to a budget of EUR 559,500 (AICS contribution: 89,3%) and for a total duration of 24 months, the project will gather 3 Italian organizations in partnership with secular and religious local partners, in particular the main Christian orders present in the Holy Land: Franciscans, Salesians and Lasallians.

With the general and common aim of enhancing interreligious dialogue and promoting a culture of peace, the project will implement different activities according with the main Italian partners: VIS will work with Bethlehem University on management and sustainability of social businesses and in recovery of green common spaces, while ATS will promote catering and hospitality activities managed by vulnerable Christian women and John Paul II Foundation will focus on training and employment in the artisan and artistic sector.
General aim of the call (and the project) is to contain the continuous transfer of Christian communities from partner countries and from the Holy Land in particular to other places, through a concrete improvement of professional opportunities and training, with the prospect to revert this trend and make these minorities main actors of the interreligious dialogue.

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