From the Worldwide Faith News archives

WCC seeks Middle East 'guardian angels'

Date 7 Jun 2002 13:03:46 -0400

Note #7198 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


WCC seeks Middle East 'guardian angels'

25 Christians will protect Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers

by Alexa Smith

LOUISVILLE - Christians from North America and Europe are being recruited to monitor human-rights violations in the Middle East and protect Palestinian and Israeli advocates of peace.

Twenty-five church members from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Canada and the United States will travel to Israel and Palestine in August to take part in the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program (EAP), which is sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC).

The team will include at least five people from the United States, according to the Rev. Mark Brown of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and of the Middle East Forum, a coalition of churches belonging to Church World Service and Witness, a program of the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCC).

"We need congregations to promote the program, to recruit accompaniers and to help fund the work by sponsoring individuals," Brown told the Presbyterian News Service.

Orientation for the first participants is scheduled to begin on Aug. 15 in Washington, DC. Further training will be conducted in Jerusalem.

The program's mission is "the accompaniment of Palestinians and Israelis in non-violent actions and concerted advocacy efforts" to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Participants will report on human-rights violations and support acts of non-violent resistance by Israelis and Christian and Muslim Palestinians.

Offering protection through non-violent presence, the goals of the program also include engaging in public policy advocacy and supporting acts of non-violent resistance alongside local Christian and Muslim Palestinians and Israeli peace activists. The thinking is that their "non-violent presence" will have a protective effect.

The application deadline is July 1. The application form is available at the Middle East Forum Web site:; to request the form by email, send a message to

Applicants must be at least 25 years old. The "accompaniers" will serve terms of at least three months and up to a year. The cost of sponsoring an accompanier for a year is $10,700 for food, housing, airfare and transportation, plus $3,000 to 4,000 in donations to help pay for program administration.

"This program is not pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli," said Catherine Gordon of the Washington office of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the denomination's liaison to the program. "It is pro-peace and -justice."	
Send your response to this article to

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send an 'unsubscribe' request to

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home