The Bethlehem Institute for Peace and Justice

Passionate about peacemaking?
Want to be a part of the global movement in peace studies?
Desire to learn more from dynamic Holy Land Christian peacemakers?

Join us this September in our first online course for audit or credit entitled Introduction to Peacemaking and Justice.

The Bethlehem Institute of Peace and Justice promotes interdisciplinary research and study of peace and justice in the context of the Palestinian experience. Bethlehem Bible College is accredited by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Asia Theological Association, and the Middle East Association for Theological Education. 

To find out more

An Update from Wendy Hough

I would like to express huge thanks once again to all those who have been praying for me through this time of such disorientation. It means so much to feel that I am accompanied from afar on this wilderness journey.

It has been a period of disenfranchisement. I came over to the Netherlands eventually as it was impossible after almost half a year to continue paying to rent a room. Here I can stay with old friends to whom I am very grateful for hospitality and friendship. It is undoubtedly restorative, and I can get my CoVid vaccinations whilst here. When I arrived, my daughter, Lily, thought I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!

It has certainly been the biggest challenge of my life to process this all and psychologically/emotionally and spiritually find a way through and beyond this. I do find openings and encouragement, then find myself overwhelmed and almost paralysed by the practical consequences of this all. It is still an emotional roller coaster. I feel very small indeed at accepting financial help but it has been a lifeline and I am humbled and deeply grateful for such kindness and generosity.

I have had to engage new lawyers to present the appeal to the ministry. Every time I feel that we have taken a step forward it seems another door is locked and we have to go searching for another route.

As you may have heard me say before, my concern for and investment in supporting the dispossessed and displaced has always featured highly in my personal life and ministry and now after this experience I shall continue to work in this arena for justice even more so.

With deep thanks and warmest wishes,

Wendy

You may contribute toward Wendy’s appeal costs here

The Bethlehem Institute of Peace and Justice

The Bethlehem Institute of Peace and Justice at Bethlehem Bible College invites you to enroll in its fully online course beginning this September 2021

Introduction to Peacemaking and Justice in the Palestinian Context 1

This asynchronous, guided, online course, taught by Palestinian and international professors, explores fundamental concepts in peacebuilding and justice, the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and present realities on the ground; Biblical theologies of peace; reflections on peace and justice from the perspective of Judaism and Islam; non-violence and peacemaking; the practice of sulha in Arab societies and how it relates to other models of reconciliation, and more.

The course may be taken for credit or audit by either students already enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs, or by non-traditional students. The course is offered internationally and to people of all faiths.

All the course material, including required reading, is located on the educational platform, Its Learning, which the Institute uses. The tuition is inclusive of reading assignments.

The tuition fee is determined on a per-credit basis. The rate for the academic year 2021/2022 is $495 ($165 per credit hour) for internationals and $240 ($80 per credit hour) for local and auditing students. The course is for 3 credits.

This course especially serves:

Those who are passionate about affirming the relevance and reasonableness of peacemaking in the world.

Those who desire to learn more about the Palestinian Christian experience – its joys and sorrows – in peacemaking.

Those who want to explore the holistic discipline of peacemaking and justice studies.

Find out more at www.bipj.org or direct your inquiries to Info@bipj.org.

Morally Responsible Investing

Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and flouting of United Nations resolutions is ongoing and unwavering. Dozens of international corporations profit off this oppression by contracting with the Israeli government and participating in the construction of illegal settlements. As we mark the beginnings of the BDS Movement on July 9, 2005, here’s what you need to know about morally responsible investment and what you can do so that together we can rise up.

Our guest will be Charlotte Marshall of Sabeel-Kairos UK.

Time: Tuesday, July 13, at 4:00pm London time (6:00pm East Jerusalem, Palestine time UTC+3)

Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/94679502800

(There’s no registration page, so please set an alarm for yourself and use this link on Tuesday.)

Remember, if you’d like to receive a reminder about the gathering an hour before it begins, please use the registration form at the bottom of the page.

Christ at the Checkpoint Young Adults

Statement by young Palestinian Christians

This statement was written with urgency by Palestinian Christian young adults from all across the land, expressing repentance and hope regarding the ongoing injustices. If you identify with this statement, it is yours to hold as well. We urge all to read and reflect seriously on its call.

“Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5 : 23-24)

Statement of Repentance and Hope

We Palestinian Christian young adults from the 48 territories, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza; cannot remain silent with what is happening in our community. Based on our understanding of our spiritual, ethical and national responsibilities, we declare the following:

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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.

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Dear Archbishop Justin: Why are you silent on the suffering in Gaza?

The Board of Trustees of Sabeel-Kairos UK have written an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury questioning his silence over the last 11 days on the disproportionate violence against civilians in Palestine, and the lack of solidarity and support for the Palestinian people.  You can read our letter, and share in this action here. 

In the last 11 days we have witnessed once again an unprecedented level of violence towards civilians in the Holy Land. 

Whilst people have been suffering in Israel and in the West Bank too, the lives of those in Gaza have once again been disproportionally affected. 219 Palestinians, including 63 children and 35 women (3 of whom were pregnant) have lost their lives. Tens of thousands have been displaced and made homeless once more. Hundreds of buildings have been destroyed, including 6 hospitals and 44 schools. This is unacceptable.

We welcome the news of the ceasefire, which we hope will hold and protect all civilians from more violence. But unless the root causes are addressed – namely Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, its siege of Gaza, and its discrimination against non-Jews inside the State of Israel, we will be back here, lamenting the next war very soon.

During the last 11 days, Churches around the world have been issuing statements of support and solidarity, and calling for the structural injustices in the Holy Land to be addressed. In the UK, the Methodists, United Reform Church, Catholics, Quakers and others have all spoken out, yet the Church of England has remained silent. In the letter below, written by the trustees of Sabeel-Kairos UK, we challenge that silence, and we ask those of you that are members of the Church of England to do so with us.

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Bishop Azad Marshall elected as Moderator of the Church of Pakistan

Bishop Azad Marshall of the Diocese of Raiwind has been unanimously elected Moderator of the Church of Pakistan (The Anglican Church of Pakistan became the United Church when it merged with three other denominations in 1970). This position has a three year term. He succeeds Bishop Humphrey Peters. Bishop Azad is also a valued member of the Peacemaker International Board of Reference.

In December 2016, Bishop Azad was honoured by the government of Pakistan for his work on human rights. He was one of 40 recipients of awards last weekend to mark International Human Rights Day. Bishop Azad received the Presidential Award for Human Rights from the President of Pakistan, Muhammad Mamnoon Hussain, during an award ceremony at the President’s House.

Bishop Azad is the President of National Council of Churches in Pakistan. “He has no doubt a long and continuous record of contributing to educational development and human rights in Pakistan,” a statement from the Diocese of Raiwind said. “We congratulate him and pray for his continuous ministry in Pakistan and beyond.”

The diocese thanked the Pakistan government “for recognising and nominating distinguished citizens committed to upholding the poor and the marginalized [and] for upholding their human rights.”

President Muhammad Mamnoon Hussain presents the human rights award to Bishop Azad Marshall

The Greatest Threat to Peacemaking

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:19-23)

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