Alex Awad speaks to churches about life in the Holy Land
November 5, 2018
The Rev. Alex E. Awad, a peace and justice advocate and former missionary with the United Methodist Church, spoke to U.S. audiences this fall as part of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s International Peacemakers initiative. He’s served in Israel/Palestine as an educator and pastor for more than 30 years and spoke about his experiences in the Holy Land, the conditions faced by Palestinians under occupation, the impact of Israeli settlements, and the role of the church in ending the current injustices found in his homeland.
“The country of my origin has been under brutal occupation for over half a century,” he said. “Men, women and children are killed daily, and oppression is the rule of law by the Israeli occupiers of Palestinian lands. I join others in protesting and advocating for an end to the occupation and the blockade of Gaza to help gain the humanitarian rights of the Palestinian people.”
Awad has authored numerous books and articles for various publications that call for justice for both Palestinians and Israelis. Two books, Through the Eyes of Victims and Palestinian Memories, reveal the realities of life under Israeli military occupation. After years of lecturing and educating visitors on the Holy Land through seminars and study programs, Awad decided he needed to make a stronger impact in a larger forum. So, he presented the idea of a weeklong conference in Bethlehem to his then-employer, Bethlehem Bible College.
“The idea was to bring participants and renowned speakers from around the world to listen, learn and experience firsthand what it was like living under occupation, facing checkpoints, walls, and daily discrimination and humiliation,” said Awad. “The first conference launched in 2010 and has continued every two years, including the most recent one that concluded in June 2018. I believe these conferences are making a difference in helping people become advocates of peace, justice and truth for all of God’s children living in the Holy Land, whether they are Christians, Muslims, Jews or Palestinians, Christians or expatriates.”
Awad was one of 10 International Peacemakers visiting the U.S. as part of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. They spoke at churches, seminaries and other gatherings. Participating in the Peacemakers program provided Awad an opportunity to share with U.S. audiences what conditions are like for Palestinians living in Israel and the Palestinian territories and how Christians should respond.
“I have a passion for educating grassroots Americans about the Israel/Palestine issue and helping the church gain a biblical alternative to Christian Zionism,” said Awad. “My ultimate desire is to see an end of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the humanity and human rights of all citizens of the land called ‘Holy’ restored.”
Scott O’Neill, Communication Associate and Project Management, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Alex Awad, 2018 International Peacemaker from Palestine
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
God of warmth and compassion, let us be filled with the light of Christ. Lead us out into the world, where the lost, lonely and hungry can be the face of Jesus for us. Amen.