Religious practice in the Land of the Bible tends to encourage exclusivity and discrimination rather than love and magnanimity. There is no place like the Holy Land to make one cynical about religion.
In this land of turbulence and wars there have always been oases of tranquility and peace where monks have been able to hide themselves away, never bothering with the worldly events taking place outside their door. This perhaps was the only saving grace of religion in the Holy Land.
Both quotes come from Raja Shehadeh, Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape — Winner of the Orwell Prize 2008. (pp 141, 154)
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