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April 30: Holy Cross Monastery
We headed to the Holy Cross Monastery. This is the designated spot where the tree was grown that made the Cross of Christ. The story is fascinating and is copied in the first few slides. The inside of the Monastery is decorated with many paintings and inspires meditation.
We returned home and got ready for the Monday night classical concert just up the street from us. It was FANTASTIC tonight. What a treat.
America is secular.....even though we hear in the news that we are a Christian nation. Other than a church on every corner, especially in the South, I see little evidence of Christianity.
Israel is a country of 75% Jews, 20% Muslims, and 5% Christians; and you can't miss their connection to their respective faiths. It's so visible everywhere you go here. No, I don't think I am any more open to the divine than I ever have been.....I just see more evidence of praise for the divine around me here in Israel than there is in America or in Europe or Japan where I have lived or traveled.
Now for the US:
79.2% Christian [26.3% Evangelical Christian; 23.9% Catholic; Mainline Protestant 18.1%; 6.9% historical Black Churches; 1.7% Morman; Greek Orthodox .6% Other Christian .3% Jehova Witnesses .7%;
1.2% Other Faiths
Yes, it could be argued that Christians [on the whole] do not wear different clothes, special hats, special colors of clothes, or other outside trappings of their religion. [Except for perhaps the ultra-conservative Amis. I understand that. And I know that some Christians go to church on Sunday morning, Wednesday night, and even again on Thursday night. But it is so obvious that people in America are distracted and pulled in so many directions, whereas in Israel, [outside of Tel Aviv] the Yeshivas on every street are busy throughout the day. Or pass any Muslim area: you will see a full house at the mosques 5 times a day as worshippers gather to say prayers. That, put quite simply, is the difference I am observing.