Israel and Palestine
Peacemaking Conference in Israel/Palestine, April 28–May 10, 2014
Applications available online May 1 through Oct 1, 2013
Religious leaders ask Congress to condition Israel military aid on human rights compliance
Signers of the letter include PC(USA) General Assembly stated clerk Gradye Parsons
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship gives top award to Jewish Voice for Peace and the Israel/Palestine mission network
The Peaceseeker Award traditionallyrecognizes Presbyterians on the front lines of reducing war and violence
Israel/Palestine Mission Network inaugurates the Hosanna Preaching Prize to recognize preachers who challenge believers re God's urgent call to justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel
Partnership at work
Virginia congregation hosts Palestinian partners for fellowship, outreach
Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University in Beirut, addressing the Israel/Pallestine Mission Network at G.A.: New Arab democracies doing in a few years what it took the U.S. over 200 to do
The Presbyterian Church has been involved in mission efforts in the Middle East for nearly two centuries. The denomination's long-standing witness in Israel and Palestine has spanned a range of efforts: supporting mission personnel; working with partner churches; contributing to refugee relief and resettlement; combating hunger and poverty; supporting ministries of local churches; sponsoring travel-study seminars; promoting education, health and leadership development; vocational training programs and self-development projects; programs supporting peace, justice and human rights movements; engaging in constituency education; and mobilizing to influence public policy.
Since 1948 General Assemblies have repeatedly addressed the Middle East and particularly Israel and Palestine. The Presbyterian position has consistently been to affirm the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state within secure, internationally recognized borders and the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, including the right to the establishment of a neighboring independent, sovereign state toward the end of establishing a just and durable peace.
Background of the conflict
Resources for study and engagement
The CBS News television program 60 Minutes aired a report on Christians living in the Middle East on Sunday, 22 April 2012. Included in the report are comments by Mitri Raheb, Palestinian pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem and a key partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and a mention of the Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth document.
The July 2010 Sojourners magazine (“an evangelical voice for social justice”) contains two articles that illustrate the increasing coverage being given to Palestinian Christians’ perspectives on peace and justice in Israel/Palestine:
• A one-page testimony, “Following Jesus in the West Bank,” by nationally recognized U.S. evangelical leader Lynne Hybels (Willow Creek Community Church) sharing how her position on the Israel/Palestine conflict was transformed by her encounter with Palestinian Christians
• A strongly positive assessment of the Kairos Palestine Document by Sojourners staff writerRyan Rodrick Beiler
Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum: Guidelines for Christians Contemplating a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Partner churches and church organizations
ECUMENICAL ACCOMPANIMENT PROGRAMME IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) brings internationals to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace. When they return home, EAs campaign for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through an end to the occupation, respect for international law and implementation of UN resolutions. Learn more
Israel-Palestine Mission Network
For more information contact Amgad Beblaw
The Israel-Palestine Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.
Learn more about Israel-Palestine
Visit the BBC country profile.
Read about Christians in the Middle East (from the BBC)
See 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 302, pp. 304-305