Rev. Canon Garth Hewitt of Amos Trust has hailed a historic Palestine Kairos document by Palestinian Christian leaders, to be launched on 11th December as ia call for the world and particularly the worldwide Christian community to wake up to what is happening in Palestinei. Hewitt said that ithis document demands a response especially from Christian leadersi and ibrings the challenge that enow is the time to speak upii.
The document calls for a just peace inspired by the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. Fifteen senior inter-denominational Palestinian Christian leaders have co-authored this historic call, 24 years after South African theologians published their Kairos Document.
Below is text from a press release on the document, iA moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian sufferingi.
As Christmas approaches, the Western Church looks towards Bethlehem and remembers not just the events of 2,000 years ago, but also todayis elittle towni and the Palestinian Christians living under Israeli occupation.
On 11 December 2009, the Palestinian Church will issue a historic call, with the launch of the Palestinian Christian Initiative document: iA moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian sufferingi.
Co-authored by over a dozen Palestinian church leaders and theologians from various denominations, and the result of an 18 month-drafting process, this Palestinian eKairos Documenti is a icry of hope in the absence of all hopei, addressed to Palestinians, Israelis, and iChristian brothers and sisters in the Churches around the worldi.
The ceremony marking the official publication of the Palestine Kairos Document will be introduced by His Beatitude Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah, one of the documentis co-authors. Other contributors to the initiative include Lutherans Bishop Dr. Munib Younan and Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna, the Anglican Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, and the Baptist Rev. Dr. Yohana Katanacho.
The document declares ithat the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by Godi, distorting ithe image of God in the Israeli who has become an occupier just as it distorts this image in the Palestinian living under occupationi.
As well as addressing Palestinian Christians, Palestinian Muslims, and Israeli Jews, a key part of the Palestinian Kairos call is to the Church in the West. The document criticises those iwho use the Bible to threaten our existence as Christian and Muslim Palestiniansi, trying to iattach a biblical and theological legitimacy to the infringement of our rightsi.
At the same time as calling for irepentancei, the declaration affirms and celebrates the iprophetici mission of the Church; ito speak the Word of God courageously, honestly and lovingly in the local context and in the midst of daily eventsi, and to istand alongsidei the ioppressedi.
The Palestinian Kairos Document asks a question to Christians internationally: iAre you able to help us get our freedom back, for this is the only way you can help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love?i They urge Christians to itake a position of truth with regard to Israelis occupation of Palestinian landi, including the use of iboycott and disinvestment as tools of non violence for justice, peace and security for alli.
The Palestinian Christian leaders describe a message of ilove and living togetheri to the Muslims and Jews of the Holy Land, condemning iall forms of racismi. The Palestine Kairos call is for a icommon vision, built on equality and sharing, not on superiority, negation of the other or aggression, using the pretext of fear and securityi. It is thus that ijustice and security will be attained for alli.
Rifat Kassis, coordinator of the initiative and President of Defence for Children International (DCI)is International Executive Council, says he hopes that this document will be ia turning point in the relations between the churches worldwide and the Palestinian peoplei. Kassis affirmed that iapathy and silence will not help bring a resolution and a just peacei.
In the UK, the Palestinian Kairos Document is endorsed by the Amos Trust and its new initiative eA Just Peace for Palestinei. Rev. Canon Garth Hewitt hailed the Palestinian Christian document as ia call for the world and particularly the worldwide Christian community to wake up to what is happening in Palestinei. Hewitt said that ithis document demands a response especially from Christian leadersi and ibrings the challenge enow is the time to speak upii.
A Just Peace for Palestine is a multi-agency campaign for all those who want to be involved in supporting a just resolution to the conflict. It is our belief that a just peace for Palestine will also mean peace and security for Israelis, and that now is a critical time for churches and faith groups to speak up n and act. AJPFP is an Amos Trust initiative. See www.justpeaceforpalestine.org
A Just Peace for Palestine contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org