Advocacy, Catholics Confront Global Poverty

What can you do to help bring peace to the Holy Land?

Upon leaving the Holy Land last week, Pope Benedict XVI expressed this plea: “No more bloodshed, no more fighting, no more terrorism, no more war. Instead let us break the vicious cycle of violence, let there be lasting peace based on justice.”

I often wonder how I could possibly make a difference in a place like the Holy Land whose people have experienced conflict, hardship and turmoil for more than 60 years. The Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative is a good way to start. This initiative, created by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services is asking one million Catholics to pray and learn about issues such as conflict and peacebuilding, sharing what they’ve learned with others, and taking specific actions to help people suffering from global poverty. Violence causes poverty. Poverty can increase violent conflict.

One such way to take action against violence and poverty was just announced – urging Catholics to contact their members of Congress to support White House efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You might think this task is too hard. That you could never contact your member of Congress because you would feel insecure, or not knowledgeable enough, or don’t have time. But you can, it’s easy. You can contact your member through CRS’ online Action Center – all you have to do is enter your contact information on a form, review a sample letter and, perhaps, if you have time, personalize it. Then you click “send,” your email will be sent to your member and she/he will know that you think promoting peace in the Holy Land is really important.

Your action, together with many others, will make a huge difference. The more people like you contact your members of Congress, the more Congress will listen to you. You’re the people who have elected them so you have a voice. Use it now. For the sake of peace in the Holy Land.

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