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19.02.2001 – 09:44

Niwano Peace Foundation

Rev. Abuna Elias Chacour to receive 18th Niwano Peace Prize

    Tokyo (ots-PRNewswire) - The Niwano Peace Foundation (Nichiko Niwano, president, and Motoyuki Naganuma, chairman) officially announced that it has decided to award the 18th Niwano Peace Prize to an ordained Palestinian Christian priest and educator, Rev. Abuna Elias Chacour of Israel.  This decision was reached after careful deliberation by a screening committee of seven members representing the Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic faiths who chose from nominations offered by 1,000 recognised authorities in 125 different countries.  The presentation ceremony will take place in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, May 10th, at 10:30 a.m.  In addition to the award certificate, Rev. Abuna Elias Chacour will receive a subsidiary prize of a medal and 20 million yen.          Sixty-one-year-old Rev. Chacour is a Melkite Catholic Priest and the president of Mar Elias Educational Institutions.  Rev. Chacour has dedicated himself totally over the last thirty-plus years to efforts for reconciliation between Jews and Palestinians in Israel. In particular, Mar Elias Educational Institutions which Rev. Chacour established has been serving as a site for developing mutual understanding between youths of different religions and ethnic backgrounds.          In 1939, Rev. Chacour was born in the village of Biram in the Upper Galilee in Arab Palestine to a Palestinian Christian family. At the age of eight, he experienced the tragedy of his people when his family was evicted by the arrival of Jewish immigrants and became refugees in their homeland. People who have experienced persecution can become embittered and often resign themselves to a course of violent revenge.  But that was not the path that Rev. Chacour chose. The Jews themselves had been the victims of persecution by Nazi. Instead of meeting violence with violence, he chose the course of action to break the cycle of violence, suspicion, and hatred.  In co-operation with Jewish friends, Rev. Chacour organised a march comprising Jews and Arabs to protest the Israeli authorities' violent oppression of Palestinian refugees.          Rev. Chacour said in a message that he was delighted to be honoured with the Niwano Peace Prize, and that the existence of the Niwano Peace Foundation and the prize with which they honour so many people who work for peace and reconciliation is a sign of hope for humanity.          URL:      ots Original Text Service: Niwano Peace Foundation Internet:

Contact: Hiromichi Mizumoto/Niwano Peace Foundation, Shamvilla Catherina 5F, 1-16-9 Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Phone: +81-3-3226-4371 Fax: +81-3-3226-1835 E-mail:

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