Catholic Higher Education Amidst the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, and the Catholic Studies programs presents this event featuring Brother Peter Bray with opening remarks from Georgetown’s Vice President of Mission and Ministry, Fr. Mark Bosco.
Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor (President) of Bethlehem University in the Holy Land, will share his reflections on the daily challenges faced in operating the only Christian University in Palestine. Bethlehem University, a work of the Vatican and the De La Salle Christian Brothers, opened its doors in 1973 to serve the Palestinian Community as a center of education. Located in the heart of Bethlehem in the midst of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the University seeks to create peaceful minds and hearts. With a student population that is 75% Muslim and 25% Christian, the University stands as a place of encounter and dialogue between members of the two faith groups.
Once a vibrant minority community, Christians today number less than 2% of the population in the Holy Land. The University, through its academic and employment programs, is one of the few hopes of sustaining the dwindling Christian population. With 46% of the student population living in Jerusalem, Brother Peter will share the experience of those students who each day must pass through the separation wall and military checkpoints that divide Bethlehem from Jerusalem. Having a student population that is 76% female, the University serves as a major educator of Palestinian women.