From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Reflecting on Palestine and the PC(USA)

Date 11 Dec 2002 16:21:46 -0500

Note #7540 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Reflecting on Palestine and the PC(USA)

Reflecting on Palestine and the PC(USA)
by the Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel
Moderator, 214th General Assembly (2002)

ATLANTA &#8212; I recently had the opportunity to lead a delegation of
Presbyterians to Palestine and Israel.	I saw firsthand the conditions of the
Palestinians and the Israelis. Three million Palestinian Arabs &#8212;
Christians and Muslims &#8212; in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem
have been under an illegal military occupation for thirty-five years. 

For the last two years, the Palestinians have waged an uprising against this
military occupation. The uprising has resulted in the deaths of 600 Israelis
and 1,600 Palestinians. The Israeli defense forces and illegal Israeli
settlers have injured more than 40,000 Palestinian Arab Christians and
Palestinian suicide bombers have also injured scores of Israelis.

My trip to Palestine and Israel gave me a sense of why I was elected
moderator. It is &#8220;for such a time as this&#8221; (Esther 4:14) that I
am called to plead the case of the Palestinian people &#8212;my people
&#8212; before the church, that we might hear the agony of their pain,
suffering, and fear of being transferred from their homeland for the fourth
time in the last 53 years. 

The church is the only hope for justice. I am called to plead the case of the
Palestinians before our American government and citizens, that we might work
for peace and healing between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

I join all of the heads of churches in Palestine in asking us to pray for
justice and peace for both the Israeli Jews and the Palestinian Arabs. They
also ask us to pray for the Palestinian Arab Christians, for strength and
courage to continue their struggle for freedom and liberty and the right to
remain on their historic land.

I also ask all of you to join me in praying for the Presbyterian Church
(USA). Our struggles with each other seem at times to be filled with hatred
and animosity. Can we really share the good news of the coming of the Messiah
into the world when we appear to have such ill feelings toward one another?
It was into a troubled world that Jesus came. It is still a troubled world
&#8212; here at home and all around the globe. May the child of Bethlehem,
Jesus Christ, help us to &#8220;do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly
before our God&#8221; (Micah 6:8).

*** For instructions on using this system (including how to UNJOIN this
meeting), send e-mail to
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