President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine confers on Bishop Riah Abo El Assal the Star of Jerusalem Order on 31 May in recognition of his work on behalf of peace, justice and reconciliation. A richly deserved recognition. Source: Amad
Category: Holy Land
Statement on the Commemoration by the Palestinians of the “Al-Nakba”
Acknowledging our communities’ commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the “Al-Nakba,” along with that of their fellow Palestinians, the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem reiterates the Churches’ call to strive for a just and lasting peace for our land, the Holy Land.
Our faith teaches us that we are all brothers and sisters in humanity, and that we must unite and worktogethertoachievepeace,tolerance,andjustice.Christianityhastaughtusthatlove, compassion, and mutual respect are the path to achieving peace in the world, and this is especially applicable to our beloved Holy Land.
We pray for all members of our churches and the rest of the people in our land, and we urge everyone to work together to build a better and more humane future for all. We remind everyone that peace can only be achieved when there is fairness and respect for human rights and international law.
We believe that justice and peace are the keys to stability and prosperity in the region, and we declare our readiness to work with all concerned parties to achieve these noble goals. We call upon the international community to play a greater role in supporting the protection of our communities and in preserving holy sites and the current “Status Quo” rules under The Hashemite Custodianship as well as striving to achieve a permanent and just peace in the region, based on international legitimacy and United Nations resolutions.
Our beloved Holy Land is “the home of the three faiths.” We pray for God to grant us all wisdom as we work to move towards a better future, and to provide the Palestinian people the right to self- determination, state building, and prosperity—allowing all the peoples of this Land to live in peace, dignity, and prosperity.
The Council of Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem
Call for Protection of Religious Minorities in Jerusalem
“We expect and demand that the Israeli government and law enforcement agencies act decisively to guarantee security for all communities, to guarantee the protection of religious minorities and to eradicate religious fanaticism. We specifically refer to these serious incidents of intolerance, crimes of hatred, and vandalism directed against Christians in Israel.”
Statement by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem Regarding the British Embassy in Israel
Christian Support for the State of Israel: Is it Biblical?
For Christians who believe that all are created in the image of God, with equal worth and dignity, what are we called to do for the people of the Holy Land? How can we be faithful and faith-filled peacemakers and justice-seekers? A presentation given during a recent webinar hosted by Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA).Continue reading
Prayer Vigil for Gaza
A vigil for Gaza was held in Reading town centre on Saturday 5th June organised by Reading Muslim Council with contributions from the Jewish Network for Palestine, Cordoba Foundation, Green Party, Slough PSC and Jewish Voices for Labour. Organisers estimate that around 250 people participated in the vigil while many people out shopping stopped to listen to the presentations. At the end of the vigil balloons were released in memory of each child killed in Gaza. I gave a short presentation (below) and also offered prayers for the bereaved and injured.Continue reading
Israel/Palestine: In Search of the Rule of law
Measuring the distance between international law which Britain has pledged to uphold – and the lived reality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Register for the conference here.
Ancestral Journeys and Western Missions by Anita Damiani-Shanley
Like other Western colonial-settler experiments, for over 70 years, Zionists have been systematically erasing the culture and history of indigenous Palestinians to justify their forced removal and the theft of their land. Ilan Pappe, in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, calls this ‘memorocide’ and in The Palestine Nakba, Nur Masalha elaborates,
“The founding myths of Israel have dictated the conceptual removal of Palestinians before, during and after their physical removal in 1948… The de-Arabisation of Palestine, the erasure of Palestinian history and the elimination of the Palestinian’s collective memory by the Israeli state are no less violent than the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 and the destruction of historic Palestine.”
This is why books such as Ancestral Journeys and Western Missions are so vital in recording the memories and eyewitness accounts of Arabs and Palestinians who experienced the arrival of Western colonialists to the Middle East, were co-opted into their wars, witnessed the rise of Zionism and then became refugees in the Palestinian Nakba. Anita Damiani-Shanley’s book will most certainly help perpetuate their heritage and rightful historic claim to Palestine.
Ancestral Journeys is however much more than the story of two families, one Arab and the other Scottish joined in marriage. It traces the influence of missionaries, archaeologists, traders and colonialists competing with each other for a share of the Near East as the Ottoman Empire met its demise. Richly illuminated with family photos, the three main chapters trace the ancestral journeys of Damiani-Shanley’s extended family from Scotland and Lebanon to Iraq and then to Palestine. A fourth chapter traces the role of the Anglican Church in Palestine.Continue reading
Cultivation and Climate: A Palestinian Perspective
For Fairtrade Fortnight, on Friday 26th February, Kairos Reading is holding a Zoom event with two Palestinian speakers: Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh from the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Muhanad Al-Qaisy from the Keep Hope Alive Olive Tree Campaign. They will be talking on the effects of climate and other factors, including, of course, the occupation on cultivation and fairtrade issues in Palestine.
To register your interest for the event and to receive the Zoom link to the meeting, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org We are not charging for the event but we would encourage people to donate to either project or both.
Palestine Museum of Natural History
The Stones Cry Out
The Stones Cry Out – Voices of the Palestinian Christians, a film by Yasmine Perni is now viewable on Vimeo.
“The voices of Palestinian Christians have all too often been drowned out in the turmoil of events. This is their story, in their voices, from the Nakba of 1948 until today.”Continue reading