THE IONA CALL 2012
We, a group of Christians from many parts of the UK and beyond, gathered on the isle of Iona in Pentecost week 2012. Under the guidance of Rev. Dr Naim Ateek1 and Dr Mark Braverman2 we considered our response to the Kairos Palestine document: ‘A Moment of Truth – a Word of Faith, Hope and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering’ (2009).
This is our kairos moment – our moment of truth. We are called to respond boldly to the deepening suffering of our sisters and brothers in Palestine under occupation by Israel. We stand in faithfulness and solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis who are working tirelessly for a peace based on justice.
We believe it is necessary to challenge the deafening silence of most churches in the face of the continuing injustice of dispossession and denial of basic human and political rights. We agree with the Kairos document that the occupation by Israel is ‘an evil and a sin’ (Kairos Palestine 4.2.1).
- We ask our churches and theological institutions to challenge how the Bible has been used to justify oppression and injustice. We encourage the development and use of educational resources to raise awareness, enrich worship and challenge misperceptions and apathy.
- Palestinian Christians have called us to ‘come and see’ (Kairos Palestine 6.2). We urge Christians to participate only in those pilgrimages which give opportunity to listen to the experiences of Palestinians and engage with the harsh realities of occupation.
- We support Palestinians in their non-violent resistance to Israeli injustice and oppression. We endorse their call for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) and other forms of non-violent direct action.
- We call on Christians to put pressure on governments and the European Union to demonstrate a commitment to justice for Palestinians and security for all people.
In pursuit of the above we intend to establish a UK Kairos network, linked to the Kairos Palestine global movement, to alert our churches to the urgent situation in Palestine. We challenge Christians and churches to engage in prayerful study of the Kairos Palestine document in openness to what the spirit is now saying to the churches (Rev. 2.7). We must read the signs of the times and act in obedience to God’s will (Matt. 16.3).
Difficult though this journey may be, we seize this kairos moment with conviction and hope. We recognise our responsibility as followers of Jesus Christ to speak the prophetic word with courage.
We are called to respond to the question from Palestinian Christians: ‘Are you able to help us get our freedom back, for this is the only way you can help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love?’ Kairos Palestine 6.1).
- Palestinian Christian Theologian, Founder and Director of Sabeel in Jerusalem
- Author ‘Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land