The biblical contest is initiated by the Annunciation Family Club of Nazareth, under the organization of a Committee led by Nabil Totari and Bassam Shahtout, and takes place in the pastoral center of the Latin Parish. Participants at the age of 10 to 40 answer several biblical multiple-choice questions on computers. The questions are “not easy, but adequate, corresponding to the different levels” said Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine. There are 4 groups for children, boys, young people and adults. The winners of each group win a free journey to Rome where they will meet Pope Francis and a pilgrimage to Lourdes in France.
The competition takes place every Friday and is under the supervision of all Churches of the Holy Land. Every week, there is a bishop presiding the session with the attendance of some priests, religious sisters, teachers and many families. On February 8, Bishop Marcuzzo presided the session which was “as always, very interesting, ecumenical and constructive”. The presenter of the program was Mrs. Suzan Ass’ad whereas the jury comprised of Fr. Nael Helou, Deacon Sharbel Banna and Professor Daoud Daoud. There were two groups of people aged 11 to 13 mostly from Nazareth and Galilee, but also from cities all over the Holy Land such as Jerusalem, Beit Jala and Nablus.
Every week about 200 participants attend the contest and in the last session a singer named Luna Srugi accompanied by Adib Sakhnini at the piano, animated the event with beautiful biblical songs. The four happy winners of last week were Saeed Jarayseh, Marial Saffouri, Wardeh Khoury and Hala Salman who will all go to the next round. It is a “wonderful initiative to encourage the people to study the Holy Bible, and the Christian families to be united around the Word of God,” said Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo who followed this initiative since the beginning when he was the Bishop of Nazareth. With reference to his 23 years spent as bishop in the town of the Annunciation, he said: “it is one of the best pastoral initiatives to announce the Gospel, and all the parish priests and the pastoral operators of the region have the same impression”.