Churches for Middle East Peace has announced a national conference to raise questions with Christians about the moral dimensions of Holy Land travel, a topic often ignored by commercial tourism. "Christian tourism and church investment has had an enormous impact in the Holy Land, but this impact is not necessarily and not always beneficial", they state. The conference, which is co-sponsored by the Society for Biblical Studies, will raise moral issues that pertain to Christian travel.
The International Middle East Media Center report that Archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Church of occupied Jerusalem, Theodosius Attallah Hanna, was held for several hours in the Etzion military and security base, north of Hebron, after participating in a nonviolent protest against the illegal takeover of Beit Al-Bakara old Church, north of Hebron.
Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem says in a recent commentary that the attack on the Church increases his concerns about extremist Jews being out to target other faith communities, most notably Christians.
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) was launched by the WCC in 2007 to catalyze and co-ordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories in accordance with UN resolutions, and demonstrate its commitment to inter-religious action for peace and to justice that serves all peoples of the region.
PIEF acts to
- challenge government support for the occupation
- challenge public support for the occupation
- challenge theological and biblical justifications for the occupation and
- maintain viable the Palestinian Christian presence in the Holy Land.