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Easter
Opinion
Text in which the author defends ideas and reaches conclusions based on his / her interpretation of facts and data

Holy Week without Easter Sunday?

The anxiety felt during Holy Week by believers and agnostics alike, given the tragedy in Palestine, reflects a universal human struggle

Procesión de Domingo de Ramos en Jerusalén
Palm Sunday procession in Jerusalem.ATEF SAFADI (EFE)
Juan Arias

Sadly, for many Christians, this Holy Week may not culminate in Easter Sunday, but rather in the solemnity of Good Friday. Similar to the stark crucifixion of Jesus at Calvary, echoing his anguished plea to God from the cross, “Why have you forsaken me?” This poignant cry resonates today in Palestine, his homeland, as countless innocent victims suffer from callous imperialistic ambitions.

Jerusalem, known as the Holy City, is where the world’s three major monotheistic faiths have historical ties. Today, it is a focal point of intense political and religious strife that is leading to the extermination of a people. Meanwhile, the Jewish people face echoes of past persecutions, resurfacing despite the apparent end after the Holocaust, a tragedy so great it is constantly evoked in the phrase, “Never forget.”

The historical interconnections between faith and politics, and between the three monotheistic religions, has led to persecutions and wars. Christians now witness the struggles of Jews and Palestinians. In the past, liturgical texts during Holy Week included prayers for the “perfidious Jews.” However, Pope Francis, a friend of the Jews, represents a positive change in the often shameful Catholic Church history.

Holy Week culminates with Easter Sunday, a day for celebrating hope and victory over death, light over darkness, peace against war. This year, the celebration of life and light is overshadowed by the anguish of children in Gaza dying of hunger, cradled by desperate mothers. Primitive instincts of death and revenge resurface, with innocent victims crying out against power-mad demons, echoing the words of Jesus, “Why have you abandoned us?”

We are well aware of how ideologies and dogmas are manipulated to serve power. Religious faith has been labeled the “opium of the masses,” offering false promises of liberation. Yet, even the most vulnerable among us still need a glimmer of hope to endure the crushing calamity they face.

The anxiety felt during Holy Week by believers and agnostics alike, given the tragedy in Palestine, reflects a universal human struggle. It symbolizes the profound inner battle we all face, regardless of our beliefs. This mystery of the internal conflict between fear and hope is something we may never understand and artificial intelligence will never unravel.

For millions of Christians, the cry of Jesus, a Jew who felt abandoned by God while dying on the cross, remains relevant today. Despite Pilate’s inability to find Jesus guilty as charged, he was sentenced to death. Yet, Jesus rose from his tomb and is alive today.

During this unique Holy Week, which seems devoid of hope for resurrection, those forsaken in the trenches of history, the despondent souls left wondering why they’ve been forsaken, are entitled to answers.

Do not seek these answers from God, but from the powerful rulers, indifferent to the desperate pleas of starving people who cannot understand why they are deprived of the basic right to live in peace. Peace, a word soaked in blood. Meanwhile, the warmongering hyenas stand like callous statues, unmoved by the anguished cries of all the forsaken people.

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