For the first time in the history of Palestinian schools and after months of hard work, the students of the Terra Sancta School in Bethlehem, Christians and Muslims, published a joint statement in which they confirmed the strong desire for unity between the two groups in the city of Bethlehem.
The "Brotherhood Document" is the result of the work of the students who took part in a workshop organised to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan Al Kamel.
The historic event which took place 800 years ago led to dialogue between Christians and Muslims. On that occasion, the sultan was impressed by the simplicity and courage of St Francis, who preferred dialogue to war and bloodshed. This conference, which was attended by important representatives of Christianity and Islamism, embodied the roots of true coexistence.
Br FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of Holy Land
“With true dialogue and encounter we can build peace. Today it is possible, as it was during the meeting between St. Francis and the Sultan, and I am very happy that the students of the Terra Sancta School in Bethlehem worked very hard starting from this story, creating this wonderful workshop. I hope it can be a seed of hope.”
Sheikh ABDUL MAJID ATTA
Mufti of Bethlehem
“The Terra Sancta School commemorates this event to show its attention to the closeness and coexistence with its neighbor, just as St. Francis showed it in his meeting with Sultan Al Kamel. For Saint Francis planted a seed of peace in humanity."
H B Mgr MICHEL SABBAH
Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem
"Since we are one people, we must learn to live together, to meet each other. Of course, the project initiated by Father Marwan in this school is a pilot project and we hope that it will spread and continue in all Palestinian schools and that the Islamic and Christian authorities will react to this initiative and spread it."
In a moving atmosphere, the students recited a hymn to the Lord of Peace, holding candles in their hands to symbolize unity and coexistence.
Student Terra Sancta School - Bethlehem
"The more these projects are carried out, the more people will know about history, about Muslims and Christians living together in Palestine. I believe that Christians are very important in the demography of Palestine and if we declare how their number has decreased, there will be fewer and fewer people who will know that Muslims and Christians live together."