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Monday, February 20, 2017

One World Religion Watch: Where ill children unite Christians and Muslims

One World Religion Watch: Where ill children unite Christians and Muslims
Now ill children are a source of "unity" and coexistence it seems....
 

Bethlehem: where ill children unite Christians and Muslims

Stories of coexistence between Christians and Muslims. A Journey to the West Bank Caritas Baby Hospital, cradle of tenacious alliances for the sake of children
 
 This story begins in the Holy Land, in Bethlehem 1952: it is Christmas Eve and Ernst Schnydrig, a Swiss priest on a pilgrimage, decides to visit the Basilica of the Nativity. As passing near a refugee camp, he sees a father intent on burying his son. He finds out the child died due to lack of health care, as infant mortality in this refugee camp is high. Deeply moved, the priest wonders how he can help and in a very short time, with the help of a Palestinian doctor, he decides to rent two rooms and provide childcare. His dream is to build a hospital, so he promotes his project in Switzerland and Germany where he is a member of Caritas. Soon after the Swiss-German association Kinderhilfe Bethlehem is born and collects the necessary funds while managing to get a piece of land from the Custody of the Holy Land. Finally, in 1978 the Caritas Baby Hospital opens its doors. The daily life of this hospital - where every year over 35000 young patients are treated and about 5 thousand hospitalized – is about tenacious and fruitful complicities, about strong ties that begin when people team up and support each other in giving life and a future to vulnerable and wounded children.

The hospital’s slogan
Currently the Caritas Baby Hospital is the only pediatric hospital in the West Bank and it is largely supported by private donations. The hospital has 82 beds and welcomes both Christian and Muslims children (newborns to 14) living in Bethlehem and its surrounding areas. It employs 248 people, mostly women: one third are Muslim, the other two-thirds Christian (Catholic and Orthodox). Among them is Corradin Lucia, 48, responsible for the quality and safety of the hospital. Member of the nun Congregation “Suore terziarie francescane elisabettine di Padova” she says: “relations between us are very peaceful, cooperative and respectful. Religion does not represent a cause for division. Sometimes, when external turmoil occurs, someone gets caught up in discussions, but it soon prevailed by professionalism, the desire to desire to help children and an overall sense of responsibility which downsize the difference of faiths to insignificant and irrelevant. We feel compelled to honor the hospital’s slogan, which reads, “We are here for the children and the mothers.” We rely on teamwork, we support and encourage each other, moved by the same purpose: give the best care and ensure mothers the support they need.“

The Muslim nurse
The words of Sister Lucia echoed those of Rasha Hasan Mohammad Said, a 42 years old married Muslim, and mother of three girls, who for 22 years has worked as a nurse in the hospital. “I like working here; it’s like having another family and another house. There are people with whom I can share all my thoughts. I have learned a lot during these years: how to solve problems, how to help and seek a better future for all, how to give substance to ideas. My relationships with Christian colleagues are excellent; there is a special relationship between us. More generally, I can say that I have excellent relations with Christians; I appreciate their respect and support. I consider myself lucky because many of them are part of my everyday life. I know I have a big family. “

The alliance between mothers
The hospital also provides care to the young patients’ mothers. A residence was built especially for them, where they can stay during the hospitalization of their children while an articulated pick-up service and training are also provided. It is important that parents are able to continue their children’s medical treatment after discharge from hospital - especially those suffering from chronic or congenital diseases -, Sister Lucia continues: “For this reason we invite mothers to single and group meetings during which we provide all the necessary medical indications. In addition, some social workers assist the families who find themselves in precarious economic conditions. “

Sharing sufferance and hope
The meetings organized for the mothers also aim at promoting and encouraging friendship: “The suffering of a child can dig a black hole in any woman’s soul and sharing the pain, the worry, and the hope, become essential” said Sister Lucia. “Over the years I have noticed that many Christian and Muslim mothers, especially those with children affected by the same disease, after living side by side in the hospital lane and taking part to our meetings, have become friends: they trust each other and once they leave the hospital, they continue to see each other, exchanging advises and support. They even involved other women who - through word of mouth - have come here to take care of their young, and thereafter become friends with other mothers. It is a good network that widens day after day and that we hope will contribute to the quality of relations between Christians and Muslims; relations that in the city of Bethlehem, are peaceful, and have undoubtedly improved on the past. “

A road for everyone
Rasha says she has many Christian friends: “We see at each other’s homes regularly; my daughters have close ties of sincere friendship with Christian faith girls both at school and in the area where we live. “ And reflecting on her land she adds: “Muslims and Christians have lived here together for a long time: we have learned to treat each other with mutual respect and good will, to recognize in each other a common humanity regardless of religious affiliation.” Sister Lucia continues: “I believe that in order to build a more just world, the right road to take, a road that anyone can take, is precisely to grasp the common humanity, which we have received for free (that includes, for example, our capacity for compassion, solidarity, and protection of the weak). The more we remain human - considering ourselves different, but not enemies - the more we can get along and weave peaceful and truly fruitful ties. “

Believe in the human being 
Both finally express a conviction: “We are persuaded that the genuinely religious people (of different faiths), who live and work together in harmony, can teach the world how, as” human beings”, we can live in peace. We believe that it is possible for anyone who really believe in human beings” 


TCK: WAIT...Doesnt Scripture say not to trust in man?  The New Tower of Babel at work!
Jer 17:5  Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.