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Mona Pereth
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22 Jan 2024, 2:44 am

In 2018, Bethlehem Bible College's "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference, in Bethlehem, Palestine, was followed up by a conference here in the U.S.A., called "Christ at the Checkpoint USA" (CATCUSA).

Some 2018 news stories about it here:

- Bethlehem Bible College informs US Christians about Palestinian believers by Beth Stolicker, Mission Network News, October 18, 2018.
- Christ at the Checkpoint USA touts peace for Palestinian Christians. Critics call it anti-Semitic: Sharply contrasting narratives emerged as the group's four-day conference drew roughly 150 evangelical Christians to this Oklahoma City suburb last week, by Tamie Ross, Religion News Service, October 23, 2018.
- Christ at the Checkpoint USA, Peacemakers Trust, October 20, 2018.

One of the presentations at this conference:

CATCUSA | Day 1 | Palestinian Israeli Conflict 101 -- Rev Alex Awad & Jonathan Kuttab



Another one of the presentations at this conference:

CATCUSA | Day 4 | What Can American Churches Do to Promote Peace -- Dr Mae Cannon



Dr Mae Cannon represents an American organization called Churches for Middle East Peace. Alas, that organization's church partners are only a tiny fraction of the churches here in the U.S.A., and still vastly outnumbered, here in the U.S.A., by churches with strong Christian Zionist leanings.


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Mona Pereth
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24 Jan 2024, 8:22 pm

On the website of the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), an American pro-Palestinian organization, there is a page about Palestinian Christians, with the following intro paragraph:

Quote:
About 200,000 Palestinian Christians currently reside in the Holy Land, descendants of some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Christianity's most holy site, as well as the Via Dolorosa, the route Christ is believed to have walked to his crucifixion, are located within Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel forbids Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza to enter Jerusalem without permits, which are extremely difficult to obtain. Christian Palestinians who are citizens of Israel also suffer from widespread discrimination.

This is followed by a collection of links to news stories. However, this page does not appear to have been updated since 2018.

The IMEU website also includes a copy of the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism, a statement against Christian Zionism by the following Palestinian Christian leaders back on August 22, 2006:

- His Beatitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarchate (Roman Catholic), Jerusalem
- Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
- Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
- Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

The declaration says:

Quote:
"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 programme provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the 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 false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.

We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral pre-emptive borders and domination over Palestine. This inevitably leads to unending cycles of violence that undermine the security of all peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world.

We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ. Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from the ideologies of militarism and occupation. Instead, let them pursue the healing of the nations!

We call upon Christians in Churches on every continent to pray for the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom are suffering as victims of occupation and militarism. These discriminative actions are turning Palestine into impoverished ghettos surrounded by exclusive Israeli settlements. The establishment of the illegal settlements and the construction of the Separation Wall on confiscated Palestinian land undermines the viability of a Palestinian state as well as peace and security in the entire region.

We call upon all Churches that remain silent, to break their silence and speak for reconciliation with justice in the Holy Land.

Therefore, we commit ourselves to the following principles as an alternative way:

We affirm that all people are created in the image of God. In turn they are called to honor the dignity of every human being and to respect their inalienable rights.

We affirm that Israelis and Palestinians are capable of living together within peace, justice and security.

We affirm that Palestinians are one people, both Muslim and Christian. We reject all attempts to subvert and fragment their unity.

We call upon all people to reject the narrow world view of Christian Zionism and other ideologies that privilege one people at the expense of others.

We are committed to non-violent resistance as the most effective means to end the illegal occupation in order to attain a just and lasting peace.

With urgency we warn that Christian Zionism and its alliances are justifying colonization, apartheid and empire-building.

God demands that justice be done. No enduring peace, security or reconciliation is possible without the foundation of justice. The demands of justice will not disappear. The struggle for justice must be pursued diligently and persistently but non-violently.

"What does the Lord require of you, to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

This is where we take our stand. We stand for justice. We can do no other. Justice alone guarantees a peace that will lead to reconciliation with a life of security and prosperity for all the peoples of our Land. By standing on the side of justice, we open ourselves to the work of peace - and working for peace makes us children of God.

"God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." (2 Cor 5:19)

See also Wikipedia's page about the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism.


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Mona Pereth
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28 Jan 2024, 11:25 pm

Kairos Palestine is a group of Palestinian Christians who, in December 2009, published the Kairos Document: A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering.

Some responses to them, both favorable and unfavorable, are described in the Wikipedia article about Kairos Palestine.


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- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter / "X" (new as of 2021)