Entrance to Terra Sancta Chapel entrance, located inside the educational complex of the Terra Sancta College in Paris Square, Jerusalem. “Terra Sancta” is Latin for “Holy Land.”
“The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in its commitment to justice seeks to lift up the cries of the Palestinian people to draw attention to the abuses and atrocities that are faced by Palestinians on a daily basis. We hope that this resource will be used by churches to have a deeper understanding of the Palestinian question and its global implications.”
by Phil Tanis, reposted from World Communion of Reformed Churches, October 21, 2021
The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) has responded to a call from the Palestinian Christian community by producing Focus: Palestine, a comprehensive resource that lifts up their voices while placing the situation into theological, historical, and political contexts.
The resource is composed of three parts—1) Voices and Lenses, 2) Theologies, Ideologies, and Resistance, and 3) Systems of Sin and the Jerusalem Microcosm—an extensive appendix, and over a dozen videos.
“The WCRC in its commitment to justice seeks to lift up the cries of the Palestinian people to draw attention to the abuses and atrocities that are faced by Palestinians on a daily basis. We hope that this resource will be used by churches to have a deeper understanding of the Palestinian question and its global implications,” said Philip Vinod Peacock, WCRC executive secretary for justice and witness.
Focus: Palestine was officially launched on Thursday, 28 October, through a public webinar featuring a keynote address by Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur on Palestine, co-authors Katherine Cunningham and Noushin Darya Framke, and a panel discussion including Dario Barolin, Allan Boesak, Ulrich Duchrow, Munther Isaac, Charlotte Marshall, Muna Nassar, and Peacock.
“Users will be able to ‘meet’ and engage with the writings of leading Palestinian Christian theologians and hear them in the videos. There is also the opportunity to engage with confessional documents and Reformed Church theology through the lens of Palestinian experiences and personal witness from Palestinians with a goal of stepping into the kind of transformative justice and witness,” said Cunningham.
“We aimed to make this a comprehensive document—though not exhaustive—even as changing news and events kept us needing to update sections. I believe readers will find this resource answers many of the questions they might have,” said Framke.
Focus: Palestine is the direct result of Action 55 of the 2017 General Council which instructed the general secretariat to:
- collect studies and materials that speak to the cry of the Palestinian people, and try to transform the conflict to make it a just and peaceful society, making them available to member churches;
- and undertake study and discernment, using the resources available from member churches and the ecumenical movement, regarding theology that has been employed to legitimate the oppression of the Palestinian people, recognizing that such a study might result in the need for prophetic action.
“We hope that communities will adapt Focus: Palestine to their contexts and engage in an interconnected way around issues of social justice, political, economic and human rights concerns, and elaborating the dynamics of what the WCRC is coming to call global apartheid and the mission of the church to be about transforming that in its ministry and theology,” said Cunningham.
Focus: Palestine is available as a free download: wcrc.ch/justice/palestine.
Below are the individual components of the resource available now:
- Focus: Palestine: Part 1: Voices and Lenses
- Focus: Palestine: Part 2: Theologies, Ideologies, and Resistance
- Focus: Palestine: Part 3: Systems of Sin and the Jerusalem Microcosm
- Focus: Palestine: Appendices
- Full Playlist
- The Occupation Will Survive The Pandemic
- Meet The Palestinian Christians
- The Other Side Of The Wall
- Evils Of Colonialism
- What Is Your Name?
- Is Israel A Settler Colonial State?
- Beyond The Two-state Solution
- Decolonization Is The Way Out
- Why BDS?
- BDS In A Global Context
- Culture As Resistance: Sumud
- Jerusalem Dance Challenge And Palestine
- Solidarity From Around The World
WCRC Calls and Statements regarding Palestine
- WCRC calls for peace with justice in Jerusalem (11 May 2021)
- WCRC calls on members to help save Sheikh-Jarrah (30 April 2021)
- Cry for Hope: A Call to Decisive Action (22 July 2020)
- Annexation will undermine peace and justice (29 June 2020)
- WCRC condemns violence, calls for internal action (18 May 2018)
- WCRC: peace, not provocation, for Jerusalem (7 December 2017)
- WCRC issues solidarity message with Palestinian Christians (7 July 2017)
- Jesus brought message of liberation from occupation, says Palestinian Christian (3 July 2017)
ESSENTIAL READING ON THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE ISSUE FOR CHRISTIANS:
- Introduction: What does the Bible really say about modern Israel?
- United Church of Christ (UCC) labels Israel an Apartheid state
- Israel’s years-long recruitment of African American Christians: A case study
- No, the Bible doesn’t command Christians to “stand with Israel”
- The Scofield Bible: The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians
- Easter for us, but Palestinians are still in Gethsemane
- O Little Town of Bethlehem, what has become of thee?
- Vatican Accuses Israel of Risking Monks’ Lives in Fire
- Christians in Jerusalem’s Old City ‘under threat’ from settlers
- Israel bars Gaza Christians from Easter worship
- Israeli Soldiers Attack Palestinian Christians during Palm Sunday Procession (VIDEOS)
- Ecumenical Statement on Current U.S. Policy and Israel/Palestine (2018)
- A letter to Episcopal General Convention regarding Justice in the Holy Land
- Kairos (Palestinian Christians) Statement on Gaza and Jerusalem
- US Churches & agencies support Palestinian rights, Gaza demonstrators
- Young Evangelical support for Israel drops by half in 3 years – study
- In Israel, religious extremism is pervasive, unchecked