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    Internationals join Palestinian farmers in olive planting 

    Under the call to “Keep Hope Alive”, volunteers from Australia, North America, Europe and Palestine joined the collaborative Joint Advocacy Initiative and Alternative Tourism Group Olive Planting Program in February 2014.

    Sabeel reacts to Knesset's new law

    Naim Ateek, director of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem, spoke for most Palestinian Christians when he sharply criticized the Israeli parliament's enactment of a new law that establishes Muslim and Christian Arab communities as separate identities. Ateek asks: "For the last sixty‐five years, the government of Israel has not shown favoritism or bias towards the Christian community of the land, so why now?"

     South African churches for solidarity with Palestinians

    At its Triennial Conference, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) meeting under the theme "God of Life: Renew, Restore and Transform us for the Service of Your Kingdom" reflected on multiple issues. Specific mention was made about the situation in Palestine and Israel. Churches called for “all parties concerned to work towards a just peace”. The SACC urged churches to campaign for greater awareness on the struggles of Palestinian in general and the plight of Palestinian Christians in particular.

    WCC general secretary conveys message of “justice and peace” in Iran

    WCC general secretary conveys message of “justice and peace” in Iran

    The WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in his recent visit to Iran underlined the important role of faith leaders, religious communities and governments to work together for the cause of “justice and peace”.

    Zionism Unsettled: A congregational study guide

    The Israel Palestine Mission Network which advises the Presbyterian Church of USA on Palestine Israel has released a 74-page illustrated congregational study guide “Zionism Unsettled”. The booklet deals with the role that Zionism and Christian Zionism have played in influencing historical developments in the Middle East and around the world. It addresses how Christians, Jews, and Muslims view the competing claims to the land of Palestine and Israel. Finally, it offers pointers for how peace, reconciliation, and justice between Palestinians and Israelis can be made possible.

    Hopes for peace in Syria shared with members of Syrian opposition

    Hopes for peace in Syria shared with members of Syrian opposition

    “The immediate end of the suffering of the people in Syria must now be the focus for all parties in the Geneva 2 talks,” WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said in a meeting today, 14 February in Geneva with members of the Syrian opposition. And “this includes all parties in the conflict,” he added.

    Catholic Bishops say no to wall

    Catholic bishops worldwide are urging Israel to spare the ancient Cremisan Valley claiming that the separation wall which runs through an “overwhelmingly Christian area near Bethlehem, will further divide Palestinians and Israelis and form a barrier to peace.”  The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops also endorsed the call urging its own government to act before it is too late. They further argue: “As it is, the security wall is already perceived by many as an illegal land-grab.”

    Divestment recommendations sent to Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly

    The Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board is proposing that Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions be added to the General Assembly Divestment List.

    Palestinian Christian coalition opposes Christians' recruitment in Israeli military

    The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) issued a statement against attempts to mobilize Christians into the military. It argues that the “use of army service to divide the Arab population against itself is detrimental to the interests of the Arabs as a community.”

    Canadian churches lobby for just resolution in Palestine Israel

    The United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI) has issued an open letter prior to the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister to the Middle East. The UNJPPI is a a network of members and adherents of The United Church of Canada that advocate for a just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They wrote to Prime Minister Harper offering ideas and propositions which would push forward a just resolution to the long standing conflict.

    Churches expect decisive actions for peace in Syria from Geneva 2 talks

    While the Geneva 2 talks for peace in Syria are scheduled to begin in Switzerland today, 22 January, churches from around the world continue to call for visible actions to be taken to put an end to the conflict in Syria, leading the way towards justice, peace and stability.

    WCC presents Lakhdar Brahimi with statement from churches to be delivered at Geneva 2 talks

    WCC presents Lakhdar Brahimi with statement from churches to be delivered at Geneva 2 talks

    A statement from churches around the world urging an end to the armed conflict in Syria, ahead of the Geneva 2 talks scheduled to take place on 22 January was presented to Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League joint representative for Syria, by the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit today in Geneva, 20 January.

    Joint representative for Syria to deliver urgent call from churches to Geneva 2 talks

    Joint representative for Syria to deliver urgent call from churches to Geneva 2 talks

    With the Geneva 2 talks on Syria scheduled for 22 January, some 30 church leaders from Syria and around the world gathered a week ahead of time at the headquarters of the WCC in Geneva, Switzerland, and called for substantial action be taken at the talks to end the armed conflict.

    Jerusalem's Latin patriarch calls for reconciliation and a just solution

    "The message of Christmas is a message of peace, love and brotherhood. We have to be brothers with each other," said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, as he arrived in Bethlehem on Christmas eve, according to the Associated Press. Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world packed the West Bank town for Christmas Eve celebrations, amounting to the highest visitor turnout in years.

    United Church of Canada launches "Unsettling Goods" campaign

    The United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, has launched a national campaign titled "Unsettling Goods", in an effort to work towards peace and justice in Palestine and Israel. Unsettling Goods encourages the boycott of three companies that are manufacturing goods in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory: Ahava, Keter Plastics, and SodaStream. It also promotes direct engagement with the major retailers that sell these products: Canadian Tire, The Bay, Home Depot, and Walmart Canada.

    WCC Assembly addresses contemporary public issues

    WCC Assembly addresses contemporary public issues

    Politicization of religion, rights of religious minorities and stateless people, peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula and just peace served as subjects of the public statements adopted at the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea.

    Witnessing “God of life” amidst suffering

    Witnessing “God of life” amidst suffering

    “’God of life, lead us to justice and peace’ has become a prayer around the world.” These were words of Dr Wedad Abbas Tawfik about the theme of the WCC 10th Assembly. She shared her experiences and hopes for social and political stability as a Coptic Christian in her country, Egypt.

    Participants connect assembly theme to their realities

    Participants connect assembly theme to their realities

    A plenary session of the 10th Assembly of the WCC delved deeply into the question how, in a world faced with violence, conflicts and discrimination, the “God of life” can lead people, communities and churches towards “justice and peace”.

    Attack on Jerusalem graves unnerves Christians

    Associated Press reports that Christian leaders in Israel are appalled by persistent attacks on church properties and religious sites. The recent desecration of a historic Protestant cemetery has raised serious concern because “some of the damaged graves belong to famous figures from the 19th and 20th centuries, a key period in Jerusalem's history”.

    Christian cemetery in Jerusalem vandalized

    Ma'an News reports that suspected Israeli extremists vandalized a Christian cemetery in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. They destroyed a tombstone and sprayed racist slogans on the outer walls of the Latin Monastery in Silwan. The Wadi Hilweh information centre said that extremists also punctured the tires of six cars and sprayed racist graffiti and "price-tag" on the walls.