Kumi Now: Christian Zionism

Kumi Now are working to connect activists around the world with the organizations working on the ground in Palestine and Israel to bring a just and lasting peace based on international law and nonviolence.

All Palestinians regardless of their faith face similar challenges. However, Palestinian Christians face a specific kind of challenge from Christian Zionists who manipulate scripture to support the oppression of Palestinians. On August 22, 2006 Palestinian Christian churches addressed the threat of Christian Zionism with the “Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism.” We mark the anniversary of the declaration by learning about Christian Zionism and learning what you can do so that together we can rise up.

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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. 

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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.

Jewish Network for Palestine: Convivencia

The Jewish Network for Palestine recently invited me to give a short presentation on ‘Convivencia’ or coexistence at their 2021 annual meeting.

Convivencia simply means ‘coexistence’. It is an academic hypothesis, first proposed by the Spanish philologist Américo Castro, regarding the coexistence of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities during the period of Spanish history from the Muslim Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the early eighth century until the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

By extension the term can describe the contemporary religious and cultural interaction and exchange fostered by such proximity as a way to challenge the various forms of ethno-supremacism and exclusive religious nationalisms emerging in different parts of the world. 

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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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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Olive Picking Program in Palestine

Peacemakers is partnering with the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the YMCA in Palestine and Alternative Tourism Group (JAI-ATG) to promote their olive picking and olive tree planting programmes. To find out more visit their website.

This agricultural event is of special significance to the Palestinian economy when all energies and efforts are mobilized. The program aims to assist Palestinian farmers living close to illegal Israeli settlements who are vulnerable to attacks or land seizure.

Besides olive picking, the program features introductory presentations about the current situation in Palestine and the effects of the Apartheid Wall, tours in the old city of Jerusalem, Hebron, and Bethlehem, in addition to evening sessions, cultural event and social gatherings.

In December 2019, Stephen assisted with the olive tree planting project and also contributed to the 2020 Calendar.

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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