president Commission JPIC of the Custody in the Holy Land at franciscans
excerpt of an interview by Thore Schroeder published 31.12.10 in HAARETZ.com
“By the time I was twelve I knew I wanted to become a Franciscan”, Louis Bohte recalls. But the friar, now 64, would never have thought he would one day be the manager of an 18-year-old Palestinian rapper in Bethlehem.
Looking after the career of hip hop artist Hajj MC has become an important part of his life. “For me it is a surprise to be on this road if you think about my age and my status,” says the monk who was born in Amsterdam. He grew up in a family of ten children that was strongly influenced by the father’s Catholic faith. “Although I was always critical I never rebelled.”
After finishing the priest seminary in coastal village of Katwijk, he started to work with drug addicts and prostitutes. While living in a monastery on the Dutch-German border he also became active in the peace movement, a venture that eventually took him to the West Bank. “It was not the Holy Land that attracted me but the chance to actively do something for the peace,” he explains.
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