From December 2–4, 2014, over 250 participants from Palestine and many other countries gathered in Bethlehem to commemorate the 5th anniversary of “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering,” known as Kairos Palestine. The document, produced by a broadly ecumenical group of Palestinian Christian leaders, offered a word of hope in a hopeless situation. It signaled a strong commitment for Palestinian Christians to participate fully in creative resistance to end Israeli occupation, a reality we again describe as “a sin against God and humanity.”
We thank God for the many churches that have received, studied, and offered comment on the document. We thank God also for the many ways Kairos Palestine is accompanied by so many Kairos movements around the world, each seeking justice in their own context, joining their struggle to that of the Palestinian people.
- We recommit ourselves to listening to Palestinian Christian voices, amplifying them and allowing their perspectives to guide our communication and action in our own contexts.
- With Palestinian Christians, we commit ourselves to be ministers of reconciliation and cultivators of hope. “We do not lose heart…. We look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4.16, 18).
- We commit ourselves to accompanying Palestinian Christians in fellowship of the World Council of Churches in the Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace.
2. Continued theological exploration and critique
- We commit ourselves to careful study of and dialogue with the Palestinian Christian theological narrative. Palestinian contextual theology should determine the ways Christians from other contexts comprehend and interact with the Palestinian context.
- We reaffirm the theological foundations of Kairos Palestine, which promotes a theology of faith, hope, and love. This Kairos Theology reaffirms life and calls each of us to costly solidarity. We will work to promote Kairos Theology not just in our own words, but in the offices of church-related institutions, including schools and seminaries.
- We take responsibility for the political implications of theological perspectives we have received and commit to developing alternative theologies that affirm the rights of all human beings.
- We seek responsible forms of theological and political engagement with Jews, Christians, Muslims and all people of good will committed to work toward a just peace for both Israel and Palestine.
- We support the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) goal of confronting theological concepts and interpretations of the Bible (including those promoted by Christian Zionists) that legitimize, promote or accept the illegal Israeli occupation.
3. Active participation in creative resistance
- Creative resistance respects and preserves the human dignity of all persons caught in the present system of oppression through steadfastness (sumud) and resisting empire, along with acts of noncompliance and civil disobedience and all other practices of nonviolent resistance.
- Creative resistance links struggles for justice in many contexts to the struggle in Palestine.
- Creative resistance incorporates literature, music, drama, dance, and visual art into public expressions of resistance.
- Creative resistance finds ways to help keep the memories of Palestine alive in the Palestinian context so the Palestinian narrative continues to be deeply rooted in the land, steadfast like the roots of the olive tree.
- Economic systems undergird every aspect of Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
- We commit to investigating and critiquing tourism systems that create false perceptions of the situation in Israel and Palestine while developing positive ways to promote responsible pilgrimage and tourism models according to the Kairos call, “come and see.”
- We commit to promoting in both churches and in our societies the Kairos call, which echoes Palestinian civil society demands, for the implementation of boycott, divestment, and sanctions as appropriate non-violent avenues of creative resistance until the illegal Israeli occupation is brought to an end.
- We reiterate the Kairos Palestine objection to religiously-identified political systems. Trying to make the state a religious state, Jewish or Islamic, suffocates the state, confines it within narrow limits, and transforms it into a state that practices discrimination and exclusion, preferring one citizen over another.
- With the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches, we call for Al-Quds/Jerusalem to be a shared holy city of two peoples and three faiths. We take seriously the call to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.