Archbishop Makgoba and other South Africans on Sabeel International Conference
During this time of Lent and in the spirit of Lent the undersigned wish to release the SABEEL CONFERENCE STATEMENT whilst adding our own position.
In solidarity with the Palestinians’ longing for peace with justice, a group of six South African Christians attended the recently held 8th International Sabeel conference in Bethlehem, Palestine. Sabeel is the centre for Palestinian Liberation Theology. The theme of the conference was: “Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness and Resistance”.
Conference speakers and the groups’ visitations to the Refugee Camps, the Apartheid Wall, the (colonial) settlements, and families who face eviction and home demolitions echoed and hurtfully reminded us of the realities of the South African Apartheid regime.
Members of the group participated in the program: e.g. Archbishop Makgoba preached at the Church of Nations and at the St George Cathedral in greater Jerusalem. Other members of the group were moderators of conference sessions and leading in prayers.
The group, reflecting a complexion of race, gender, denominational and age spread resolved to:
- Support the Sabeel conference’s statement, especially with regards to the call for BDS as a call to non-violent resistance of boycott, divestment and sanctions towards the state of Israel.
- Support and welcome to South Africa a group of Palestinian Christians in April 2011. These courageous Palestinians and Christians were involved in the drafting and promotion of the Palestine Kairos Document.
- Urge all South Africans, especially people of faith to continue to pray for a lasting and just peace in the Holy Land and for the people of this area at this time of their history. We cannot be free until all is free.
- Create “kairos moments” in our own contexts and communities concerning the Palestinian struggle against its occupation by Israel and the general situation regarding Israel and Palestine. This means: in each one’s context we will challenge anything that seeks to kill and demean humans by using non-violent means to bring about just solutions.
The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Rev Madika Sibeko, Methodist Church of South Africa
Rev Sithembiso Zwane, Ujamaa Centre, Univ. KwaZulu Natal
Dr. Stiaan van der Merwe, Kairos Southern Africa
Rev Solomuzi Mabuza, School of Religion and Theology, Univ. KwaZulu Natal
Rev Juan Minnie, Peace Support Outreach, EG Bible College