From The Guardian-
The archbishop of Canterbury is to make a high-level 12-day visit to the Holy Land in May, focusing on religious freedom and the challenges facing Christians in the Middle East.
It will be Justin Welby’s first official visit to the Holy Land since becoming archbishop four years ago, although he made a private visit in 2013 during which he was criticised for not visiting Bethlehem.
In May, he will cross the imposing separation barrier that Israel has erected to visit the birthplace of Jesus. He plans to meet the Christian mayor of Bethlehem, Vera Baboun, and Palestinian Christians whose homes, land and livelihoods have been affected by the wall that almost encircles Bethlehem and adjacent villages.
Lambeth Palace said Welby’s central priority on the trip was to affirm the Christian community in the Holy Land, to support and encourage the work of the Anglican St George’s Cathedral in East Jerusalem and to identify challenges regarding religious freedom in the region.
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