Apartheid Free

Peacemaker Trust is pleased to endorse the global Apartheid Free Coalition.

“We came together in 2022 as an interdenominational coalition of faith groups in North America following the emerging consensus among the international human rights community that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people amounts to the Crime of Apartheid.

We ask ourselves and our communities to take a renewed public pledge against all forms of racism, bigotry, and oppression, including against racist discrimination, Islamophobia, antisemitism, and xenophobia in our own communities. We seek to educate ourselves and our communities about the devastation of Palestinian lives under military occupation, settler colonialism, and apartheid, and about the connections between settler colonialism, racist oppression, and the cult of security in Palestine/Israel and in North America.

Inspired by the anti-Apartheid movement that toppled the Apartheid regime in South Africa, we are building an anti-apartheid movement in North America and encourage our faith communities and all communities of conscience to step away from any and all support to Israeli apartheid, occupation, and settler colonialism.

This coalition is convened by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and includes:

Black Christians for Palestine
Community Peacemaker Teams (CPT)
Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Palestine Israel Network (EPF PIN)
Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (IPMN)
Justice for Palestine and Israel Community of the Alliance of Baptists
Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN)
Quaker Palestine Israel Network (QPIN)
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network (UCC-PIN)
United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME)

An Open Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Dear Archbishops Welby and Cottrell

​We write as supporters of an organisation called CAMPAIN, a group that challenges misrepresentation and misinformation in public affairs and the news media. It is a non-partisan body with members belonging to all political parties and none, and members of the Christian faith, other faiths and none. The instigators of this letter are Christian (including Ordained Priests). However, whether Christian or not, most people in the UK expect the established church and its leaders to be a beacon of hope in the dark areas of this world that will publicly stand up for the rights of ALL people – not just those who claim a faith.

​We note that the Church of England sets out its role in the world in its Five Marks of Mission. All signatories of this letter share a commitment to the fourth Mark which is “to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation”.

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Olive Picking Program in Palestine

We invite you to participate in the annual JAI-ATG program for civil international solidarity with Palestinians, as part of the ongoing Keep Hope Alive – Olive Tree Campaign. The 2023 programme will run from 14-23 October.

The aim is to help Palestinian farmers and their families pick/harvest their olive fruits at their fields, that are subjected to the threat of confiscation.

Besides olive picking, the program features introductory presentations about the current situation in Palestine and the effects of the apartheid Wall, Colonies, tours in the old cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, and Bethlehem, in addition to cultural exposure.

Read more details about the program, proposed schedule and online registration form

Supporting Justice, Peace and Reconciliation in Palestine

It was a delight to support numerous Christian, Jewish and Muslim organisations campaigning for justice, peace and reconciliation in Israel-Palestine, marking the 75th anniversary of the Nakba at the National March in London held on Saturday 13th May. In particular, helping promote the work of Christian ministries, Pax Christi and Amos Trust, as well as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

This is entirely consistent with our charitable purpose of promoting religious harmony for the benefit of the public by promoting knowledge and mutual understanding and respect of the beliefs and practices of different religious faiths – as well as the Mark of Christian Mission “To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.”

A Vision of Jerusalem: A Biblical Exposition

John Wesley preached outdoors because the Church of England denied him a pulpit over his evangelical theology. He could have left the Anglican Church but didn’t. They didn’t want him. His theology was too evangelical. His love was too extravagant. His methods too unorthodox. So they shut him out of churches and pulpits. They could not silence Wesley. Instead he preached in the open air – in fields, markets, and cemeteries and the crowds loved him.

In April it was my privilege to read and expound the scriptures in the open air in Whitehall outside Downing Street before an estimated 15,000+ Jews, Muslims, Christians and those of no faith. It was truly one of the highlights of my ministry. (click on the photo above to watch my presentation).

The text of my presentation together with photos and more short videos may be found here.

Meet Francesca Albanese: The UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine

A special webinar with UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, Francesca Albanese, organised by the Convivencia Alliance and Jewish Network for Palestine. 26th April, 2023.

Francesca Albanese spoke on: Reporting on Rights under Occupation: the work of the UN Special Rapporteur in Palestine.

The Respondents were: Prof. Nur Masalha (SOAS) and Prof. Ilan Pappe (University of Exeter). The meeting was chaired by Prof. Haim Bresheeth-Zabner (SOAS).

Ranjan Solomon joins Peacemaker International Board of Reference

We are delighted that Ranjan Solomon has kindly agreed to join the Peacemaker International Board of Reference. Ranjan is a freelance writer, organisational consultant and human rights activist living in Goa. 

Ranjan served for 33 years with the YMCA in refugee services in Bangladesh and India. He was also Executive for Justice and Development in the Asia-Pacific Alliance of YMCAs. 

Before retirement he was Executive Secretary, Communications, Mission and Ecumenical Concerns, World Alliance of YMCAs. He was also General Secretary, Ecumenical Coalition for Third World Tourism (ECTWT) and a consultant for the Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum, World Council of Churches (2009-2016). He was President, National Confederation of Human Rights (now banned by the Government of India). 

Ranjan is executive director of  Badayl (Arabic for ‘Alternatives’) is a Consultancy that deals with Organizational Development for organizations that address questions of justice, peace, and human rights. Badayl facilitates’ ‘Future Search ” process which results in arriving at new paradigms of organizational development consistent with leadership/management trends that are  contemporary and out-of-the-box in scope. Some of Badayl’s projects include a Global Review-Research on “Environmental Democracy, An Evaluation of an NCCI initiative: “Freedom of Religion and Belief”. Other evaluations involved a review of the work carried out in Chechnya at the height of the war with Russia. The evaluation looked at Future Search and a capacity-assessment of the organization. A major evaluation of the Yakkum Emergency Unit in Indonesia during the inter-religious conflict in Medan. Badayl served as Consultant to the Caritas-Goa’s programme for justice in tourism in Goa (Centre for Responsible Tourism). Badayl supported a study on “The Question of Water in tourism (Water as a right of ‘The Commons’)”. 

Ranjan is the co-founder and Core Group member/Program Coordinator of the Movement for Liberation from Nakba (MLN) a coalition of organizations and individuals from Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia, the UK and South Africa which disseminates knowledge about Palestine in the Global South. He is Convener of Indo Palestine Solidarity Network and Global Kairos for Asia Pacific Palestine Solidarity Network. He is an Op Ed writer for The Goan.  

New Appointment as Bishop’s Chaplain

Dear Stephen,

Re. Bishop’s Chaplain

Salaam in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection from the death we celebrate these days ever proclaiming: “Jesus Christ is risen”.

In recognition of our long-standing relationship of over thirty years, I am writing to formally invite you to become my chaplain in the UK, to assist me when I am visiting, or to advise me in the fulfilment of my episcopal duties, albeit in retirement.

My dear Stephen, you are a person of integrity and forthright views with the courage to express them.

At the same time you have always shown the utmost respect for the adherents of different faiths, in particular to Jews and Moslems, while advocating for Christian presence in the Land of the Holy One, Israel and Palestine, and campaigning for Palestinian Human Rights.

I wish more servants of Christ, bishops and clergy, Anglicans and others, were as courageous as you in challenging the destructive effects of Israeli apartheid and Christian Zionism on both Jews and Palestinians.

I appreciate your prayers, your advocacy and solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land.

Know this comes with my prayers and my sincere thanks in advance.

In Christ,

+Bishop Riah Abo El Assal

I have been assisting Bishop Riah in the fulfilment of his episcopal duties in an informal capacity for decades. It is a delight and honour to have that role more formally recognised.

Bishop Richard Llewellin on EAPPI, South Africa and Apartheid

In this interview Bishop Richard Llewellin talks about his experiences of serving his curacy in South Africa under the apartheid regime and the parallels with Palestine today. (apologies for the quality of the audio).

In this interview Bishop Richard Llewellin shares his experiences with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine (EAPPI). EAPPI is an international programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches. It brings people from around the world to the West Bank to serve for three months as human rights monitors. For more information see https://eappi.org

Bishop Richard was ordained in 1964 and was a curate at Radlett. After serving a second curacy at Johannesburg Cathedral, and being expelled from South Africa by the apartheid Nationalist government of the day in 1971, he was then successively the Vicar of Waltham Cross, the Rector of Harpenden and a canon of Truro Cathedral before being ordained to the episcopate as the suffragan Bishop of Street Germans (1985-1992). 

He later became the suffragan Bishop of Dover (1992-1999) and was subsequently appointed Bishop at Lambeth and Chief of Staff to the Archbishop by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, a position he held until 2004. In retirement he was appointed an honorary fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University.

Bishop Richard is a member of the Peacemaker Trust Board of Reference and  Palestine Solidarity Campaign