On Monday June 12, 2017, Palestinian Christians of the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) issued an open letter to the World Council of Churches (WCC) ahead of their upcoming gathering in occupied Bethlehem, asking the WCC to adopt several critical points on the issue of Palestine.
The call comes on the 10th anniversary of the Amman Call, which was adopted at the WCC gathering in 2007, and asserted support for Palestinian self-determination and the right of return. This year’s letter calls on the WCC to take an even stronger stand in support of Palestinian rights, including recognizing Israel as an apartheid state, challenging Christian Zionism, and withdrawing from partnerships with Zionist institutions and organizations.
In order to build international support for the letter, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) has posted a statement of support, and is calling on Christian leaders, clergy, lay people, and all allies to sign on to the statement. Since yesterday, nearly 400 people have signed on.
We, Christians throughout the United States, stand with the Palestinian Christian community and urge the World Council of Churches (WCC) to adopt their call to take brave action in the face of 50 years of Israel’s military occupation, 70 years since the Nakba and ethnic cleansing of Palestine began, and 100 years since the Balfour Declaration. As the WCC gathers in Bethlehem on the 10th Anniversary of the Amman Call may you adopt the actions outlined in the NCCOP’s prophetic letter. As Christian clergy and lay leaders in the United States, we commit to redouble our efforts to amplify the voices of Palestinian Christians and mobilize our communities to act as outlined, from recognizing Israel’s human rights violations, to defending and intensifying economic measures used to pressure Israel to recognize Palestinian human rights. Together may we find the strength to face the pressure, speak the truth and heed the call.
“We need you and we need you now more than ever. We need your costly solidarity. We need brave women and men who are willing to stand in the forefront. This is no time for shallow diplomacy Christians…Things are beyond urgent. We are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. The current status-quo is unsustainable. This could be our last chance to achieve a just peace. As a Palestinian Christian community, this could be our last opportunity to save the Christian presence in this land. Our only hope as Christians comes from the fact that in Jerusalem, the city of God, and our city, there is an empty tomb, and Jesus Christ who triumphed over death and sin, brought to us and to all humanity, new life.” – Open letter from The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the ecumenical movement