Kairos Document

Discuss the Church - Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Messianic - in Israel and in the Palestinian territories.

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Jotto
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Re: Boycott Israel!

Post by Jotto » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:04 am

Catholic Priests call for divestment from the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daoud-kut ... 57852.html)

The voice of Father Jamal Khader coming over the waves of Radio Mawwal in Bethlehem was soothing and confident. A caller asked him to explain the words of Jesus, "to love your enemy", in light of the occupation and walls built by Israel and the injustice against Palestinians.

Father Khader, who was being interviewed along with Rifaat Kassis, the coordinator of a new initiative by 16 Jerusalem-based Christian leaders, said that Christians are committed to these words without reservation.

"All the people of the world are God's children and we are obliged to follow the words of our Lord," he said with confidence, knowing full well that most of his listeners will have a hard-time digesting that reply. The Catholic priest, who also teaches theology at Bethlehem University, said that Christ was also a champion of the oppressed. He said that Palestinians are oppressed today and Jesus clearly stands by Palestinians, and that was what led him and other Christian leaders to sign the Kairos Palestine document.

Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment. On the kairospalestine.ps website, the 16 Christian leaders whose names are listed insist that this the moment of truth. They state boldly: "We Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity."

Another caller asked the Christian leaders if they supported the concept of resistance. The radio guests answered said that the group does indeed support resistance, albeit in its non-violent forms. Still another caller wanted the Christian leaders to detail the forms of non-violent resistance they will support.

"Boycotts and divestments are among some forms of resistance we support," said Kassis, noting that already some Christian churches in the US have begun divestment campaigns.

It is true that the issue of divestment has been discussed by Presbyterians and Methodists, and in some cases the followers of these denominations began a divestment campaign à la South Africa. But for leading Catholics to call from the Holy Land for worldwide divestment is rather new.

The call for an end to the occupation of Palestine by Israel was issued during a December 11 meeting in Bethlehem. It questions the international community, political leaders in the region and the churches worldwide about their contribution to the Palestinian people's pursuit of freedom.

The Kairos Palestine Document echoes a summons similar issued by South African churches in the mid-1980s, at the height of repression under the apartheid regime. Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu is featured on the website as publicly endorsing the call in a letter sent to the organisers and read during the launching event. Tutu declares total support for Palestinian Christians.

"Despite your suffering under the illegal occupation, you are coming together to say, quite tremendously, that your faith, hope and love, compels you to know that the God of the Bible is on your side and will bring you the freedom and justice you long for."

"Peaceful resistance is as much a right as it is a duty, and it has the potential to hasten the time of reconciliation. Asserting that this is a moment demanding repentance for past actions, either for using hatred as an instrument of resistance or being indifferent and absorbed by faulty theological positions, the group calls on the international community and Palestinians to be steadfast in this time of trial.

"Come and see [so we can make known to you] the truth of our reality," they appeal.

Another passage in the document argues: "God created us not to engage in strife and conflict but together build up the land in love and mutual respect. Our land has a universal mission, and the promise of the land has never been a political programme, but rather the prelude to complete universal salvation. Our connectedness to this land is a natural right. It is not an ideological or a theological question only."

Faulty biblical interpretation will be a featured topic in an evangelical conference that will be held at the Bethlehem Bible College under the title 'Christ at the Checkpoint." One of the signatories of the Kairos Palestine document, Dr. Hanna Katanasho is expected to participate at this conference which will include well known evangelical thinkers who are opposed to Christian Zionist theologies. Speakers such as Dr. Tony Campolo from the US, Rev. Stephen Sizer from the UK and Brother Andrew from Holland, will be among the featured speakers in Bethlehem March 12-17.

The authors of the Kairos Palestine document also reject any use of the Bible to legitimise or support political options and positions that are based upon injustice. The document concludes: "In the absence of all hope, we cry out our cry of hope. We believe in God, good and just. We believe that God's goodness will finally triumph over the evil of hate and of death that still persists in our land. We will see here 'a new land' and 'a new human being', capable of rising up in the spirit to love each one of his or her brothers and sisters."

Ariel
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Kairos Document

Post by Ariel » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:04 am

A new user has posted a comment on the recently published 'Kairos Document' by the leaders of the Church in Israel.

http://www.kairospalestine.ps/sites/def ... nglish.pdf

I have moved it here so that it can be treated as a separate topic for discussion.

Personally I think this document is a rather shocking example of anti-Israel, left-wing, liberation-theology agenda that makes little effort at presenting a balanced view of the situation in the Holy Land. Your comments are welcome.

Ariel
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Athol
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Re: Kairos Document

Post by Athol » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:40 am

Absolutely disgusted with this document. It is not the domain of the clergy to be so publically partisan in politics- that is for the laity to be involved in. It is time these clergy concentrated on the spiritual mission of the church and left the politics to the laity. I personally know from my time living in the Old city plenty of lay Christian Palestinians who would totally disagree with this document (privately of course as they would suffer further persecution by their Muslim palestinian 'brothers' who told them, "first we get rid of the Saturday people, then the Sunday people").
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Ariel
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Re: Kairos Document

Post by Ariel » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:32 pm

On closer examination it appears that the Kairos document is not really an official document but deceptively poses as some kind of official voice of the churches in the Holy Land, whereas it is really a relatively private initiative.

See commentaries:
http://blog.camera.org/archives/2009/12 ... rds_1.html
http://blog.camera.org/archives/2009/12 ... on_pa.html
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Athol
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Re: Kairos Document

Post by Athol » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:38 pm

Well it is pretty deceptive the way it was presented. Looking at it again I see that the paragraph above the Kairos document is more moderate and the one signed by the leaders of most of the churches. The actual kairos document which is terrible is the one signed by Sabbah and some of the lower clergy.
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