Jean Rolin's journalism has won many awards in France, including the Albert Londres Prize and the Prix MA(c)dicis. "Christians" is his first book to be translated into English.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Christians in Palestine, by Jean Rolin
Christians in Palestine is journalist Jean Rolin's highly personalized account of the lives of the Arab Christian population in Palestine. Set on the eve of the Iraq War, when Rolin visited Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jerusalem, this detailed portrayal reveals a people torn between their religious beliefs and their Arab patriotism, loathe to criticize their Muslim leaders and eager to blame their misfortune on the Israelis. Despite the importance of the community as guardians of the holy sites of Christianity, the Palestinian Christians suffer under a society governed by increasingly radicalized fundamentalist Islamic beliefs. As a consequence of the ongoing Middle East conflict, the Palestinian Christian rate of emigration is so high that they are now on the verge extinction, despite their presence in Palestine for over 2,000 years. Abandoned by their leadership and the international community, many believe that Palestinian Christianity will soon die if a peaceful resolution cannot be found between Israel and Palestine. Through his eloquent descriptions of the landscape and his intimate portrait of a community under siege, award-winning journalist Jean Rolin captures a little known aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in vivid detail.