Holy Christian Ecumenical Foundation forges coalition to Help Holy Land Christians

Holy Christian Ecumenical Foundation forges coalition to Help Holy Land Christians
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Holy Christian Ecumenical Foundation forges coalition to Help Holy Land Christians 

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/23/14) – A group of American Muslim and Christian organizations today announced the formation of an interfaith coalition to protect Christians and other religious minorities in Arab countries and to promote peaceful coexistence.

Leaders of major Muslim and Christian organizations, religious leaders and activists met earlier this week in Washington, D.C., at the invitation of theHoly Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation whose mission is to maintain and support the presence of Christians in the Holy Land.


Discussions at that meeting resulted in the creation of the coalition to achieve the long-term goal of defending and protecting indigenous Christians and other religious minorities in Arab countries by restoring the historical coexistence of Muslim and Christians and preserving the presence of Christians and other religious groups as part of the fabric of Arab and Muslim civilization.

The coalition will work with all concerned organizations and individuals around the world to challenge stereotypes of Arabs of all backgrounds and to show that Christians and Muslims are united in working toward the common goals of peace and justice.

Coalition members say they will hold two conferences; one in early 2015 in Washington, D.C., followed by a second conference in an Arab country.

The coalition’s leadership committee includes the Very Reverend Joseph Rahal, pastor of the St. George Orthodox Church, the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese; Syed Moktadir, president, All Dulles Area Muslim Society; Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, national director of the Office of Interfaith & Community Alliances, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Nihad Awad, national executive director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); Bassel Korkor, Esq., legal officer, Syrian Christians for Peace; Haris Tarin, director  of the Washington, D.C., office, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Salam Al Marayati, president, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); and Kamal Nawash, Esq., president, Free Muslims Coalition.

The committee elected Sir Rateb Y. Rabie, president/CEO of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, as chair.

The coalition is open to any organizations, leaders and religious institutions committed to its mission.

Also in attendance at the formation of the coalition were His Excellency Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem; His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate of the Eastern Diocese, the Armenian Church of America (Eastern); Aram Suren Hamparian, executive director, the Armenian National Committee of America; Majd Akkawi, Youth Director, Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church; Khaled Elgindy; and Samer Anabtawi.

The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is very excited to be given the honor of leading the effort to have Christians and Muslims work for peace, justice and the common good.

For more information please contact Sir Rateb Rabie at rrabie@hcef.org or by phone at 301-951-9400 extension 212.

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RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

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