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Pope's trip to Israel: What's expected?

There's a lot of expectations riding on the Pope's visit to the Holy Land. He will go to Jordan, Palestine and Israel in a busy three day pilgrimage, from Saturday May 24th to Monday 26th.  It won't be political visit, but could have political ramifications. 

A day after meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the Pope will visit the Wailing Wall. 

ZION EVRONY

Israel's Ambassador to the Holy See

"The Western Wall, the Wailing Wall is the only remnant of the Jewish Temple. This is the root of our history, this is the holiest site in Judaism.�

Ambassador Zion Evrony is Israel's Ambassador to the Holy See. He says, that despite the attention of recent anti-Christian graffiti on Holy Sites in Jerusalem, the incidents, he says are isolated and the country is looking forward to the Pope's visit. 

ZION EVRONY

Israel's Ambassador to the Holy See.

"In many parts of the Middle East the Christian community is under attack, not in Israel. In Israel they enjoy full freedom and equal rights.â? 

But American Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, says the situation is much more complicated than that, especially for those living along the West Bank, where Israeli settlements have fueled tensions between Israel and Palestine.  

CARD. EDWIN O BRIEN

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre

"Some canâ??t even visit their families. Some will take almost a full day to get approval to go beyond the wall to get to their farms and so forth."

There are roughly 160,000 Christians living in Israel. Over the years, many have opted to flee from direct or indirect persecution in the Middle East, making Christians an even smaller minority.

CARD. EDWIN O BRIEN

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre 

"Because it means so much to the Christian world that we do have a presence there that the institutions and the buildings donâ??t become museum pieces.â? 

Even as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis had a long history of inter-religiuos dialogue. Now, millions hope that his visit will renew peace talks and at the very least, ease tensions on both a political and religious level. 

ZION EVRONY

Israel's Ambassador to the Holy See.

"Religious spiritual leaders can sometimes help ease tensions between two sides of a conflict. Iâ??m sure that when he comes to Israel, his message of peace will have an impact.â? 

KLH 

MG

JM

-PR

Up: KLH