Rev Mark Battison joins the Peacemaker Board of Reference

We are delighted the Revd Mark Battison has joined the International Board of Reference of Peacemaker Trust. 

Mark is an ordained Anglican Priest currently working in a half time capacity at St Margaret’s Church in the Diocese and City of Leicester. 

He is also the CEO of a Group of companies engaged in the world of technology and robotics. 

He is currently Chair of the Board of Sabeel-Kairos and, prior to a long term illness, he was Director of Friends of Sabeel UK for 3 years. 

Mark is planning to retire soon and can then devote more of his time to working for justice, freedom and peace for the peoples of Palestine.

Sabeel International Gathering, Bethlehem

The First Sabeel International Gathering took place in Bethlehem 2-7 December.

It is said that theology is like a cross which vertically leads humanity to God, and horizontally leads us to our neighbour. For Palestinian Christians, this link was damaged during the Nakba. Unable to go back to our former theological thinking while struggling to find a way forward. Whether it was Western feelings of guilt, the theology of Christian literalists, or the ideology of Zionism, the bible was used to grant approval to the tragedy of the Palestinian people.

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Kairos Palestine: Developments within the Evangelical Movement in relation to Palestine

Donald Trump has probably accomplished more for Israel in his short time in office than any other US President since Harry Truman unilaterally recognised the State of Israel in May 1948. President Truman did so, going against the advice of his State Department, US Mission to the United Nations and ambassadors in the Middle East.

Download the Kairos Palestine Evangelical Movement article pdf

President Trump seems to have continued that unilateral, idiosyncratic tradition but with gusto. In December 2017, for example, reversing decades of US foreign policy, President Trump announced the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel andordered the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  On 14 May 2018 – the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding – the US officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Also, in May 2018, President Trump announced that he was unilaterally withdrawing the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or Iran nuclear deal. 

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Kumi Now: Christian Zionism

In response to our current situation and adhering to our principles of justice, inclusion, and nonviolence, Sabeel has been moved to act. After months of collaboration with local Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals, Sabeel is excited to introduce the Kumi (Rise Up) project. We wish to invite local and international individuals and organizations to join the Kumi project in order to work as a united force as we launch this fall .

The ugly reality of the present situation has created a feeling of hopelessness for many Palestinians. In our attempt to stand firm in the face of oppression, many believe that we have no chance of success and rightfully feel that we have reached rock-bottom. From global to local levels, we are disheartened by the current reality.

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The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism

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Statement by the Patriarch and Local Heads of Churches in Jerusalem

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel.   The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is reduced to an ideology of empire, colonialism, and militarism. In its extreme form, it places an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.

We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as a false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.  Continue reading

Rev Naim Ateek: How can we read the Old Testament?

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Tuesday 26th June 2018 – King’s College London

King’s College London
Lecture Theatre 2
Bush House, 30 Aldwych
London WC2B 4BG

Is it time to stop reading large parts of the Old Testament in our churches? Why do we read passages which present a Gospel message that is not Good News for all?

Rev Naim Ateek is an Anglican priest, a Palestinian Arab, a citizen of Israel and the founder of the Sabeel Centre in Jerusalem.

For 30 years Naim and the Sabeel Centre have challenged a reading of the Bible that supports an exclusive Zionist claim to the land. They have presented a Palestinian theology of liberation that emphasises the prophetic themes of inclusivity and justice.

Naim will speak of his work and of the struggle to read Old Testament passages that seem to deny his right to exist in his Land, including the Exodus passages that have been used to bring liberation in so many other places. He will ask how we should encounter those passages, which seem to reinforce the subjugation of an oppressed people?

There will be a 45-minute talk and then an extended period of time for questions and discussion. The event is jointly hosted by King’s College Chaplaincy, Amos Trust, and Sabeel Kairos.

It is part of Amos Trust’s occasional theology series and is run in collaboration with Sabeel Kairos. The focus will be on theology, and while Naim will talk about the current situation in Palestine, it will seek to draw out learning for us in our churches today.

Please make sure you register as Kings College will need a list of attendees.

Naim’s new book will be available at the event – ‘A Palestine Theology of Liberation: The Bible, Justice and the Palestine Israel Conflict’

Register now

Australian Lecture Tour

 

IMG_2988-2In March, I was invited to give a series of lectures on a biblical perspective on Israel and the Church in several theological colleges, churches and conferences in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. I was also interviewed for several local and national radio stations and led the staff devotions for World Vision Australia.

The tour was sponsored by Fighting Fathers, the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network, Friends of Sabeel Australia, the Surrender Conference, World Vision Australia and the Peacemaker Trust. Continue reading

St Francis College, Brisbane

IMG_2054During a recent lecture tour of Australia I was invited to deliver a seminar on the Bible, Israel and the Church at St Francis’ College, Brisbane, Southern Queensland. The event was organised in partnership with Fighting Fathers and Friends of Sabeel Australia. My presentation was based on my book, Zion’s Christian Soldiers which will soon be available digitally as well as in print form.

St Francis College is an Anglican educational and spiritual centre where students can learn and grow in the Christian faith. We assist students to think critically, grow spiritually and bring about change. Continue reading