A Christian Response to Israeli Apartheid

The Sabeel-Kairos Annual Conference will be held on Saturday 25 September. The theme wil be ‘A Christian Response to Israeli Apartheid’. With Jonathan Kuttab giving the keynote address, worship by Canon Garth Hewitt, a variety of breakout rooms to chose from and updates from our partners Sabeel Jerusalem and Kairos Palestine, this promises to be an exciting event

Please sign up for free here:

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

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.

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. 

SWVG Joins Together with Refugees

I am a trustee of Southampton & Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) and am delighted we have joined a new coalition, Together with Refugees. With over 100 other organisations, we call for a better approach to supporting refugees that is kinder, fairer and more effective.

How we treat refugees is about #WhoWeAre. If we feared for our lives, we’d want to know that others would help us to safety. Together, we are calling for a better approach to supporting refugees that is more effective, fair and humane. This means standing up for people’s ability to seek safety in the UK no matter how they came here. And ensuring people can live in dignity while they wait for a decision on their asylum application. 

It means empowering refugees to rebuild their lives and make valuable contributions to our communities. And it means the UK working with other countries to do our bit to help people who are forced to flee their homes.

New government proposals abandon people fleeing war and persecution. We’re calling for a more humane approach to people seeking protection in the UK. Two in three women and children that the UK accepts as refugees now, would be turned away under proposed new government rules. Read more here.

I Have a Dream… of a Shared Jerusalem

 

ihave a dream“I have a dream… I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  It was August 1963. At the height of the civil rights protests in the USA. Dr Martin Luther King gave a speech in Washington.  A powerful speech against hatred, against racism, against segregation, for justice, for equality, for integration.  A speech that has inspired millions of people all over the world. To dream of a different future. And not just to dream. But to strive to make that future a reality.

Imagine if Martin Luther King had been a Palestinian. What would Dr King say? I believe his speech would be the same. Let me quote a few sentences from his speech in 1963. Notice how prophetic it is today. I have simply substituted the word Palestinian for Negro. Continue reading

Christian Jihad: A Biblical Basis for Proactive Peacemaking

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The term Jihad tends to be associated with Islam – indeed for some, the two words are synonymous. But the fact is violent extremism is found in all religions. I could easily quote Islamic or Jewish leaders who justify the use of violence in the name of God, but I will give you one example from a well-known Christian. Following the tragedy of 9/11 and destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York, multi-bestselling author and Christian journalist Anne Coulter, wrote,

“We don’t need long investigations of the forensic evidence to determine with scientific accuracy the person or persons who ordered this specific attack. We don’t need an “international coalition.” We don’t need a study on “terrorism.” … We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now.  We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”[1]

In my opinion, too many evangelical leaders have also been quick to endorse Mr Donald Trump’s threat to “totally destroy North Korea.” Thankfully, many Christians in the USA as well as Europe and Asia repudiate views such as these as a gross distortion of Christianity and grave insult to the teachings of Jesus the Christ.

Read more here

The Justice Conference Asia

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Stephen is in Hong Kong attending the Justice Conference Asia. This year’s conference theme is ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ and there is no more relevant time in history than right now to take a fresh look at Jesus’ timeless truth. With social, political, racial, and economic issues at stake, we need to be reminded that Mark 12:30-31 is still our greatest call to Worship and Justice.

Across 2 full days, 6 main sessions, 24 workshops, and 8 different workshop streams, we will open up a conversation on the prophetic call we carry to reach out toward the other in compassion, justice, and love.

During the conference we will hear from international justice voices and practitioners in Asia who will explore practically what it might look like to love our neighbours as radically as Jesus did.

For more information see