Aleteia

These 500 college scholarships help keep young Christians in the Holy Land

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The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land helps fund university studies, so local Christians don’t feel they need to go abroad to be successful.

Christians have lived in the Holy Land since the time of Jesus, but today the Christian population is in danger of disappearing as every year more and more emigrate in search of a better life for themselves.

The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land hopes to entice Christians to remain in the Holy Land by offering them hope. Every year 500 college scholarships are provided by the Custody of the Holy Land to local Christians so that they can study in their own land.

According to Br. Ramzi Sidawi, Bursar of the Holy Land Custody, when young people leave the Holy Land to study abroad they often never come back. These scholarships, he says, offer both a quality university education and the promise of a successful career — all while staying in the Holy Land.

“By now all our young people want to go and attend university. What attracts young people most is the qualifications and the ease with which they can find a job,” he said.

Indeed, the program has been a great success at educating students and finding then employment, according to Br. Peter Vasko.

“Ninety-five percent of these students now work in the legal, medical, accounting, engineering field. And when we see young people become professionals and being truly grateful to the Franciscan Custody, our hearts are filled with joy,” says Vasko.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican on April 2 postponed the traditional Good Friday collection to benefit Christian communities in the Holy Land. That collection will now take place in churches on September 13. Proceeds will support the continued presence of Christians in the Holy Land, by ensuring that they can continue to practice their faith, and educate their children.

To learn more about the scholarship program, watch the video below.