This annual visit was set up over 20 years ago at the invitation of the Holy See with the aim of visiting and supporting the Holy Land’s local Christian communities as they experience the political and socio-economic realities of living in Israel and Palestine.
During their stay, the bishops will be based in Ramallah with an overnight visit to Gaza, where they will celebrate Sunday Mass on 12 January with the small Christian community in Gaza.
The visiting bishops are mindful that, during Christmas 2019, the Israeli government prevented Gazan Christians from visiting Bethlehem or families and relatives in the West Bank. The bishops are determined, therefore, to go to Gaza to help remind the small Christian community that they are not forgotten as Christians. In addition, at this time, Gazan Christians are being reassured that their fellow Christians from the bishops’ home countries are praying for all Gazans and for an end to the conflict.