The Church of the Holy Land mourns the passing of Jeries Khoury

The 64-year-old of Palestinian died on 3 February in Rome, where he was to attend a papal audience. A scholar of comparative religions, since 1988 he was director of the Al-Liqa’ Center, an institute dedicated to exchanges with Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Jeries Khoury, a Palestinian Catholic scholar of religion and director of the Al-Liqa’ Center, died on Wednesday (3 February) in Rome.

Khoury, 64, was in the Italian capital with a delegation from the institute to take part in an audience with Pope Francis.

A leading figure in the Church of the Holy Land, he devoted his entire life to Islamic-Christian and ecumenical dialogue. He also was long-time friend of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) and AsiaNews.

During the agency’s annual pilgrimages to the Holy Land, he made himself available several times to explain to the pilgrims the situation in which Christians find themselves, often marginalised by Jews and Muslims.

From 1988 until his death, he was the director of the Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land, an institute dedicated to Muslim-Christian and ecumenical dialogue, including Judaism, founded in 1982. Al-Liqa’ means meeting.

Khoury was born in Fassouta (northern Israel) in 1952, where he served as mayor from 1996 until 2001.

He attended high school at the St Joseph Seminary in Nazareth before going to Rome, where he earned two BAs in Philosophy and Theology from Saint Thomas Aquinas University.

Subsequently he obtained an MA in Theology and two PhDs in Islamic Philosophy and Comparative Religious Studies.