The Bethlehem Call: Here We Stand–Stand with Us
Kairos Palestine statement, Dec. 2011
How long, O God, will they steal our livelihood? Oppress, imprison and humiliate our people? Deprive our children of their childhood? Indeed how long, God, will the multitudes of Christians of the world ignore the anguish of our Palestinian sisters and brothers and all of the oppressed?
“Come and see,” said the Christians of Palestine. “Come and see the olive groves, the bulldozers, the ancient terraces, the segregated cities. The situation is worsening.”
More than 60 participants from 15 countries heeded an urgent call by Kairos Palestine. On 4-10 December 2011, they joined Palestinians in the Kairos for Global Justice Encounter/Conference in Bethlehem.
The aims and objectives of the encounter/conference were to:
- Bring awareness of and share a Kairos consciousness experienced by all groups attending the encounter;
- Strengthen and build ties among Kairos groups to form a committed global network for justice;
- Learn from the Palestinian experience the urgency of Kairos solidarity and to end injustice by implementing concrete actions at the national, regional and global level.
On the road to this encounter/conference, there was the Amman Call in 2007, which ended 60 years without a unified Christian voice speaking against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The next milestone was the Berne Perspective in 2008, which is illustrated in the statement: “Enough is enough. No more words without deeds, it is time for action.” The cry for justice in Palestine reached a pivotal moment when, in December 2009, Palestinian Christians launched the Kairos Palestine document: “A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering.”
We now say: “Injustice no more. Here we stand. Stand with us”