Displaying 1 - 20 of 379

Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem share Easter greetings

Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem shared Easter greetings of hope with Christians around the world. “This past year has been a time of great sorrow for all the world,” the message reads. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions have suffered serious illness, with many succumbing to death.”

WCC-EAPPI Easter initiative to follow the footsteps of Jesus, spotlighting current realities under occupation

While Christians around the globe prepare to celebrate Easter, military occupation continues to severely impact communities in the same places where Jesus himself is said to have walked in the Easter story. An Easter initiative by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI) now sets out to connect the Biblical narrative with current realities in Palestine and Israel, to spotlight the injustices of life under occupation.

Bedouins of Pope’s Hill fight eviction

East of Jerusalem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a Bedouin community has lived on Pope’s Hill since the creation of Israel in 1948, when they were evicted from their lands in the Negev and arrived there as refugees.

Will children ever have safe access to education in Khan Al-Ahmar?

Khan Al-Ahmar is a Bedouin community of around 200 people whose main livelihood has been traditional farming of sheep and goats for consumption in the village, and for selling the milk, yogurt and meat. The closest village, Bethany, is 14 km away and, until recently, the women would take the dairy products to sell in the Jerusalem market, 19 km away. The children had an important role in the economy, herding the flocks, but they also went to school.

East Jerusalem: Denied citizenship and the vote

The status of Jerusalem is disputed in international law and the main issue is around the largely Palestinian area of East Jerusalem. Israel announced, in 1975, that “unified Jerusalem” was the capital of the State of Israel, ignoring the rights and claims of Palestine. International humanitarian law recognizes East Jerusalem as militarily occupied by Israel. To understand some of the issues for residents in East Jerusalem, we spoke to Nivin Sandouka, who is part of the EAPPI international reference group and lives in At Tur, a Palestinian village on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian Christian peace worker yearns for courageous leaders

As the WCC olive harvest initiative in 2020 drew to a close in early December, WCC News met with Nora Carmi, a Christian Palestinian who has worked for peace and justice her whole life, to hear her perspective on the situation in the holy land today, and the role of faith in sustaining hope.

A hopeful, but not optimistic Palestinian ecumenist

With olive harvest season coming to an end, life under occupation returns to “normal” for Palestinian communities on the West Bank. Under that “normal,” which means forced displacements and constant fear of threats and harassments, now also looms a threatening Israeli annexation of large chunks of fertile land owned by Palestinian farmers – a move which would “undermine peace and justice and be in direct violation of international law,” according to a joint ecumenical statement by the WCC and other ecumenical organizations earlier this year.  

As olive harvest draws to a close, who is helping the farmers?

Olive farming should be a peaceful activity, but for many Palestinian farmers the harvest season is a time of tension, violent attacks, and destruction of precious olive trees. Farmers in the West Bank of the occupied Palestinian territories face a barrage of such threats from nearby Israeli settlers.

Fr Jamal Khader: “We need to keep hope alive” in Palestine

It is easy to feel despair of the unjust situation for the Palestinians, who are experiencing daily humiliation, annexation of land, growing settlements, land grabbing and poverty. This year Palestine has been illegally occupied for 53 years. But there are also many people in Palestine cultivating hope, faith and love for transforming the situation.

Rev. Jamil Khadir: “Without faith, there is no real hope” in Palestine

Illegal occupation of Palestinian lands has been ongoing for 53 years, imposing deep injustices on the daily life of local communities. In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, many Palestinians know what it can be like to live with settlements close by, not least in the villages around the city, where Palestinian landowners regularly face settler abuse. Yet there are many in the area who persist, in working hard on a daily basis to foster peace and justice. Below, Rev. Jamil Khadir reflects on what this means for him as a local pastor in Nablus.