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Easter Initiative to highlight sacredness of Jerusalem as well as obstacles to peace

While Christians around the globe prepare to celebrate Easter, high holidays for Muslims and Jews—Ramadan and Pessach—are also being celebrated at the same time period in 2022. At this confluence of sacred celebration, the very sacredness of Jerusalem is especially evident for locals and visitors alike. But the sacredness of the Holy City and its inhabitants is increasingly threatened by consequences of the ongoing occupation, such as discrimination and violence.

WCC-EAPPI Easter Initiative 2022

16 March - 17 April 2022

An Easter initiative by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI) sets out to connect the sacredness of Jerusalem with what is sacred to us as human beings: home, worship, family, identity, human dignity and life, and solidarity.

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.

“Olive trees are holy signs of peace, older than anyone”

In a mood of hope, solidarity and compassion, the WCC olive harvest initiative continued on Wednesday with a live-streamed public webinar, addressing cultural, socio-economic and spiritual aspects of the olive harvest season in the Holy Land, as well as highlighting the impact of the continuing military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

 

Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Born in Nazareth, Galilee, Rev. Dr Saïd Ailabouni moved to the US at the age of 19 to become a physician. But he was so angry at God that he went to study theology instead, becoming a Lutheran pastor. Now he is leading the Middle East & Europe desk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since leaving his hometown 50 years ago, he visits his Palestinian family regularly. As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel approaches, Ailabouni agreed to share some of his lifetime observations with the Word Council of Churches.

Trying to do good for the world

When WCC’s long-time partner, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, another small but important step towards a safer world was taken. Not only was it a recognition of global efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, but also an affirmation of the role Christian churches have played at local and grassroots levels to raise awareness and mobilize people against nuclear proliferation.

World Week of Peace highlights “culture of love and resilience”

From Geneva to Bethlehem and across the world, the World Council of Churches (WCC) World Week of Peace in Israel and Palestine inspired gatherings for prayer, reflection and action last week. Among the commemorations, a group gathered on 22 September at the Wi’am: The Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center in Bethlehem to pray for peace.

Commission of the Churches on International Affairs sets its focus on Africa

The 54th meeting of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) began today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, marking its yearly regional focus on Africa. During the meeting CCIA members are discussing the commission’s previous work and its outcomes focusing on Middle East, as well as setting strategic directions for activities until 2021.

WCC general secretary reflects on peace in Palestine and Israel

The WCC is committed to a just peace in Palestine and Israel with a view that this conflict is about justice with deep moral dimensions that must be given proper weight by all if we are to reach a lasting solution. Religion can both contribute to the increase of the level of conflict, or help establish peace. Read the interview with the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.