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Concerns of the churches - The emergence of Israel as a state

Amsterdam Assembly 1948 Extracts from Report of Committee IV CONCERNS OF THE CHURCHES - THE EMERGENCE OF ISRAEL AS A STATE

01 August 1948

Amsterdam Assembly 1948
Extracts from Report of Committee IV

On the Political aspects of the Palestine problem and the complex conflict of "rights" involved we do not undertake to express a judgement. Nevertheless, we appeal to the nations to deal with the problem not as one of expediency - political, strategic or economic - but as a moral and spiritual question that touches a nerve centre of the world's religious life.

Whatever position may be taken towards the establishment of a Jewish state and towards the "rights" and "wrongs" of Jews and Arabs, of Hebrew Christians and Arab Christians involved, the churches are in duty bound to pray and work for an order in Palestine as just as may be in the midst of our human disorder; to provide within their power for the relief of the victims of this warfare without discrimination; and to seek to influence the nations to provide a refuge for "displaced persons" far more generously than has yet been done.


Resolution proposed by the Committee on Christian Reconstruction and Inter-Church Aid of the Amsterdam Assembly:

The World Council of Churches, recalling that the origin of its refugee division was the concern of the churches for Jewish refugees, notes with especially deep concern the recent extension of the refugee problem to the Middle East by the flight form their homes in the Holy Land of not less than 350,000 Arab and other refugees.

It receives, with an urgent sense of its Christian duty, the appeal which originally came from Christian leaders in Palestine. It records appreciation of the prompt co-operation offered by the UN mediator in Palestine with the projects of relief initiated by the churches and interchurch bodies, and in commending the actions in this field already taken.


To urge the churches to include in their provisions for refugees additional emergency help for the urgent situation in the Middle East, and to channel this help in such a way as both to achieve a distinctive and maximum Christian effort in this field, and to ensure its co-ordination with the measures initiated;

To recommend that, through its refugee commission, the World Council of Churches should:

1. Appeal for money, food, medical supplies, and blankets;
2. In connection with the International Missionary Council, appoint a special field representative to co-ordinate Christian action with the mediator's programme;
3. Urge and assist all Christians in Palestine and neighbouring countries to cooperate in this work in every way practicable.