The World Council of Churches has launched an appeal for $1 million to “assure the continuation and the survival” of 19 church-related schools in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Seven of the schools are under Lutheran auspices, five each Eastern Orthodox and Anglican and two Quaker. They have a total enrollment of more than 5,400 students, both Muslim and Christian.
The World Council appeal says the Christian schools foster “religious tolerance and national integration and unity.” It calls the joint request for financial assistance an example of ecumenical “coordination and cooperation for mutual survival and development.”
Christians make up an estimated 7% of the West Bank population of about 900,000. The appeal says the Christian schools are “highly appreciated by the various sectors of the Palestinian society” and play “an effective role in the protection and preservation of the Christian presence in Palestine, as well as in the surrounding region.”