Bethlehem, Palestine, July 1, 2020— Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice, a broad network of allies including Palestinian Christians and international friends of Kairos Palestine, issue Cry for Hope, an urgent call to end the oppression of the Palestinian people.
Rifat Kassis, General Coordinator of Kairos Palestine, explains, “The Body of Christ can no longer stand by as world leaders and the international community trample on the rights of Palestinians to dignity, justice and self-determination under international law. The integrity of the Christian faith itself is at stake.”
The authors of this international call describe the release as coming at a time of global emergencies, when the world has been summoned to turn its attention to the most vulnerable. They point to movements around the world that are seeking to bring down the structures of racism, ethnic cleansing, and the violation of land and its resources.
Cry for Hope: A Call to Decisive Action makes the case that, as Israel announces its annexation plans, a critical point has been reached in the struggle to end the oppression of the Palestinians. Authors of the Cry for Hope argue that the personal, cultural, economic and environmental suffering of Palestinians under occupation increases day-by-day.
Apart from the Cry, leaders around the world have made the case that, with expected support from the U.S. administration, Israel’s annexation of an additional one-third of the West Bank, including the fertile Jordan Valley, will effectively accomplish the goal of colonizing the Palestinian homeland.
Dr. Souraya Bechealany, Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches, says of the call, “The Kairos document Cry for Hope is our cry for Justice and, therefore, we sign in conviction under this petition as an institution representing all the Churches in the region. Our struggle for Justice and Rights will never cease. It is our raison d’être as Christians, the pursuit of and establishment of Justice. Peace without Justice is inconceivable.”
Attached to the Cry for Hope are the names of over 300 persons and organizations offering their endorsement—church leaders, theologians, officers of ecumenical bodies and grassroots advocacy networks. Among those endorsements is one by the Rev. John Thomas, past General Minister and President (1999-2009) of the United Church of Christ, who wrote, "The challenging question of the prophet Elijah is never more urgent: 'How long will go you limping with two different opinions?' Churches today face an urgent choice on which the integrity of the Gospel they preach hinges." Embodied in the Cry for Hope, released today, is an appeal for more signatures and bold actions on the part of the church.
The writers declare, “Cry for Hope is rooted in the logic of love which has as its goal the liberation of both the oppressor and the oppressed. To bring an end to the suffering and bloodshed and to bring peace in the Holy Land, we invite churches, international ecumenical organizations, concerned advocates from all faith traditions and partners from every sector to commit through the seven action points in the Cry.”
The Cry for Hope and its accompanying signature campaign are accessible through change.org by clicking on the links.
A list of international leaders who have endorsed the document and translations in multiple languages can be found here.
Kairos Palestine, the most extensive Palestinian Christian ecumenical non- violent movement, is based on the Kairos Palestine document, A Moment of Truth, launched in 2009, affirming that the Palestinian Christians are part and parcel of the Palestinian nation, calling for peace to end all suffering in the Holy Land by laboring for justice, hope and love, embraced by the Christian community, signed by all historically recognized Palestinian Christian organizations, and endorsed by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem.
Global Kairos for Justice (GKJ), a worldwide coalition of concerned Christians from different churches, denominational and national (or people of faith), churches and church related organizations born in response to the Kairos Palestine “Moment of Truth: a word of faith, hope, and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering,” which was launched in 2009. GKJ is committed to none violent means, calling for ending the Israeli colonization of Palestine and advocating for the right of self-determination of Palestinian people and peace with justice for all people in the holy land.