The students and staff of Ballymun Youthreach were delighted to be part of a speaking tour which brought three of the most eminent church figures from Palestine to Ireland to discuss the deteriorating situation of the Christian community in the Holy Land, particularly in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas. Our eminent visitors included His Excellency Archbishop Theodosius Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Rev. Canon Dr. Naim Ateek of the Anglican Church in Palestine and founder and head of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem and Rev. Fr. Dr. Peter Madros, representing the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. These representatives are of highly significant stature in religious and socio-political terms – not just in Palestine but in an overall Middle East context. They are unequivocal in their quest for justice, truth and peace and were determined to bring that message to Ireland.
The visit to Ballymun Youthreach took place from on the 16th April and the guests informed the students and staff of the plight of Palastine and answered questions from curious students. It fitted in seamlessly with the development education programme of Ballymun Youthreach as well as the FETAC level 4 History course as well as engaging them in social justice issues.
Ballymun Youthreach and especially Lionel and Jacqui would like to thank Sadaka for their invaluable help and co-operation in organising the event and we hope to work with them in the future on a proposed student trip to Palastine. We also hope to upload a video of the talk online shortly.