Sunday, April 4, 2010

Arab Christians from Jordan risk all for Easter Sunday pilgrimage to Israel

Many of the Arab Christians flocking to holy sites in Israel this Easter Sunday come from neighboring Jordan. But they do so at a price.
Those who make the trek – and, as part of a broader rise in religious tourism, more are making it every year – risk their professional reputation and their family’s disapproval.
For a country whose 1994 peace treaty with Israel was never accepted at the popular level, receiving an entry stamp, let alone a visa from Israel, is considered “treason” to the Arab cause.
But despite a growing movement to discredit those involved with the “Zionist enemy,” hundreds of Jordanians risk their careers and reputation to complete a pilgrimage to holy sites in Israel’s occupied territories.
“I cannot help it,” says Daoud Yazeed, a Jordanian Christian who disguises his pilgrimages as business trips. “Jerusalem is calling.” MORE HERE

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