#63: Elias Chacour – Blood Brothers: Blessed are the Palestinian, Israeli, and Other Peacemakers

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Elias Chacour and Graham Hill discuss “Blood Brothers: Blessed are the Palestinian, Israeli, and Other Peacemakers.” The GlobalChurch Project, podcast episode #63.

“Elias Chacour is a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He recently retired after serving since 2006 as the Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church for Akko, Haifa, Nazareth, and all Galilee. He was born to a Palestinian Christian family in the village of Biram in Upper Galilee in 1939. Along with his whole village he experienced the tragedy of eviction by the Israeli authorities in 1948 and became a refugee in his own land. He and all his family members became citizens of Israel when the state was created.

In 1965, Father Chacour was ordained and appointed as priest of St. George Melkite Catholic Church in Ibillin. He remained there until 2006 when he was elevated to become Archbishop and moved to Haifa. Ibillin is a small Arab village in the Galilee region, near Nazareth, where Christians and Muslims have lived together peacefully for hundreds of years.

Father Chacour realized early on that his work in Ibillin would require more than routine priestly duties. His vision was, and is, that through education, children, youth, and young adults of different faith traditions will learn to live and work together in peace. That vision is a reality in the schools of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions (MEEI). As Father Chacour’s dreams became reality, schools were established in Ibillin over 30 years. The cluster of schools now serve 2,750 students from preschool through high school.

Many international groups and educational institutions have honored Archbishop Chacour for his work on behalf of peace. In addition to his nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (1986, 1989, 1994), he received the World Methodist Peace Prize in 1994, and in May 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Niwano Peace Prize by a Buddhist group in Japan. Also in 2001, Emory University and The University of Indianapolis recognized the work of Father Chacour with honorary doctorates.

Archbishop Chacour is the author of Blood Brothers (1984, updated in 2002 and again in 2013) and We Belong to the Land (1990). Blood Brothers has been translated into more than twenty different languages.”

From http://www.pilgrimsofibillin.org/about-us/abuna-elias-chacour/

Elias and Graham discuss Elias’s book “Blood Brothers”, and his current work to bring peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

From Elias Chacour’s book: “As a child, Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. The townspeople were proud of their ancient Christian heritage and lived at peace with their Jewish neighbors. But early in 1947, their idyllic lifestyle was swept away as tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million forced into refugee camps. An exile in his native land, Elias began a years-long struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world’s misunderstanding of his own people, the Palestinians. How was he to respond? He found his answer in the simple, haunting words of the Man of Galilee: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” In Blood Brothers, Chacour blends his riveting life story with historical research to reveal a little-known side of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the birth of modern Israel. He touches on controversial questions such as “What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East? “, “What does Bible prophecy really have to say? “, and “Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled?”

This podcast (and its associated video) was made possible through the generous sponsorship of The Refuge – Oran Park Baptist Church.

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