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Jericho: aid to Christians in need
Jericho is a small oasis in the desert, known for the different miracles that Christ performed there. The Christian community of Jericho is the smallest of all those in the Palestinian Territories, and indeed among the smallest in all of the Middle East. The Christians, numbering about 400, are grouped principally around the Latin Parish of the Good Shepherd, where the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land are present.
The socio-economic situation in Jericho, as in the rest of the Palestinian territories, is very difficult, due to the high unemployment rate and the lack of basic public services. Those who most severely suffer the consequences of this are the large families, who frequently are unable to meet the essential needs of their own children and of the elderly within the community.
The Franciscan friars of the parish, in addition to providing spiritual guidance to the Christian community, seek to help meet the concrete difficulties facing these families. The Franciscans manage, for example, a number of schools and educational activities, aimed at ensuring a proper education and a secure environment for all the children, in particular those coming from poor and destitute families.