Experiences of death and expulsion faced by some 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 are the subject of an exhibition titled “The Nakba” and hosted by the WCC at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The Arabic word Nakba means “catastrophe.”
250 participants from Palestine and many other countries assembled in Bethlehem from 2-4 December, to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the launching of Kairos Palestine. They recalled the “great deal of suffering in Palestine, in Israel, and throughout the Middle East and declared that “Israel’s oppressive policies and its continued occupation of Palestinian land contribute directly to this suffering.”
To build just and sustainable peace, engaging churches, ecumenical organizations and civil society, the WCC has launched an Ecumenical Peace Advocacy Network (EPAN), aiming to turn its “pilgrimage of justice and peace” into concrete action.
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.