Run4unity: a race for dialogue

Run4unity: a race for dialogue

Run4unity: a race for dialogue 1600 900 admin


May 2015 – ANGELINA BANDAK – Run4unity participant

“I came here to participate in the race because I believe in unity. We are all here so that there may be unity among brothers and so that we get to know each other.”

Angelina is one of 300 young girls and boys, between the ages of 10 and 16, who participated in a race that took place on May 3 in the Palestinian Territories. The race was six kilometers long, and it began in Manger Square in Bethlehem, in front of the Basilica of the Nativity.

EDY SCHOPPING – Run4unity race organization, Bethlehem

“Bethlehem is a place that speaks about peace. It is the place of the birth of Jesus, who brought a message of love and peace that is still valid today. Bethlehem too, along with many cities around the world, wants to send out a message of peace to the world and to the Middle East in the name of all countries where there is suffering and war.”

The event in Bethlehem was attended not only by young people from throughout the Holy Land, but also by many foreigners. Run4unity, in fact, is a worldwide initiative, sponsored by the Focolare Movement. Inspired by the golden rule—that can be found in the philosophies and religions of the world—that states “Do not do to others what you do not want to be done to you,” the organization put on a race that from the Fiji islands, through 140 countries on all five continents, brings a message of peace and solidarity, and brings together young people of different races, cultures and religions.

MAURICE ROCK – Logistics manager, Run4unity race

“The race is organized by the Focolare Movement, an international Marian movement that is focused on peace and brotherhood among peoples. The race takes place every three or four years. In 2005, we had it in Jerusalem. In 2008, we brought it to Haifa. In 2012, it was held in Caesarea. And this year, for the first time, it is taking place in Bethlehem, up to Cremisan, through Beit Jala.”

Another significant place was where the end of the race took place this year: the Salesian monastery in the Cremisan valley. Here, the non-violent struggle of the local people prevented the construction of a section of the separation wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

MAURICE ROCK – Logistics manager, Run4unity race

“Let us search for the peace for which Jesus Christ came. He is peace. We want to help children who walk with us to feel that they have a role and responsibility. This place explains to young people that they play an important role in their [own] future.”

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