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Monday, December 21, 2009

Christian Organization Cautions U.S. Churches Regarding The Kairos Palestine Document

Christians for Fair Witness On The Middle East Cautions U.S. Churches Regarding The Kairos Palestine Document
[December 21, 2009] On December 11, 2009, a group of Palestinian Christian leaders issued a document now commonly known as the " Kairos Palestine Document."  These leaders  describe the document as  "a word of faith, hope and love," offered at a time when, according to the drafters, Palestinians have "reached a dead end" because of the Israeli occupation.  Ultimately, the document is a call for divestment and economic boycott of Israel.
Rev. Thomas Prinz, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Leesburg, Virginia and Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East ("Fair Witness") Executive Committee member,  urges our churches to "remember that this document was written entirely by Palestinian Christians.  It reflects their narrative and their truth and should be respected as such.  But the role of  U.S. churches is not  simply to adopt the position of one side in a conflict, and then  act as their megaphone.  Our role is to act as peacemakers.  We need to take seriously all the parties' legitimate concerns, and then take a stand informed by the facts and  by a broad vision and an inclusive, constructive view."
Msgr. Dennis Mikulanis, Vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego and Fair Witness Executive Committee member, says "this document too often fails to acknowledge some fundamental truths.  I understand that it comes from a place of deep Palestinian suffering.  But we will not advance peace by placing all the blame on Israel's shoulders, or by promoting the false idea that boycotting Israel will solve this conflict."
Fair Witness therefore strongly cautions the U.S. Churches and encourages them to read the Kairos Palestine Document with an open heart but not with an uncritical mind.  We also encourage our churches to seize the current opportunity to act as peacemakers -- rather than fan the flames of this conflict by showing contempt for and punishing one side through acts of divestment and boycott.
Please visit the front page of our website for analysis of The Kairos Palestine Document.

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