New Reformed Church resource focuses on justice for Palestinians

New Reformed Church resource focuses on justice for Palestinians

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:

Digital:

Video Links

WCRC Calls and Statements regarding Palestine


ESSENTIAL READING ON THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE ISSUE FOR CHRISTIANS:

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