The Presbyterian Church USA Actions on Palestine
BY: Fahed AbuAkel / Arab America Contributing Writer
Thank you for supporting justice and peace in the Holy Land. The Arab American Community, Palestinian American Community, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, and the Palestinian Church with the Palestinian people in the Holy Land, want to thank the Presbyterian church for their Prophetic action. Their voice for Justice and peace in the Holy Land. The Presbyterian church has been active in the Middle East since 1823, when it arrived in Beirut, Lebanon. At that time it was called Greater Syria which included Syria, Lebanon, Jordan & Palestine.
Their mission focused on 3 areas: Evangelism- as a result of that focus- today we have more than a million Presbyterians in Egypt and that makes us the Protestant denomination in the Middle East.
Education- we established schools colleges and Universities & the most famous: The American University of Beirut in Lebanon & the American University in Cairo, and the First College for women which became The Lebanese American University. We also helped to establish two seminaries to educate men and women for ministry.
NEST- Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon & Cairo Theological Seminary, in Cairo Egypt. All of us know that according to our church history the mother church is in Jerusalem, Palestine.
Please read Acts 2:1-11 about Pentecost and the birthday of the church in Palestine. Today we have 14 million Arab Christians and the majority live in Egypt, 9 million Coptic Orthodox Christians, 4 million Orthodox & Catholic, the Assyrian Church of Iraq, and 1 million Presbyterians in Lebanon, Syrian, Iraq, and Palestine but the majority in Egypt.
The following are the actions of the 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.
1. Overture- ECU-08– which calls for ” concrete strategies and actions that demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian Christians”
2. Overture INT-12– which identifies that Israel’s Laws, policies, and practices toward the Palestinians constitute apartheid, bringing our denomination’s language in line with Israeli, Palestinian, and international human rights organizations- was approved in the standing committee by 28 votes in favor and 3 votes against. It passed at the plenary session of the Assembly with 266 votes in favor and 115 votes against
3. Overture INT-10– which identifies Israel’s siege of Gaza as an illegal form of collective punishment and which condemns collective punishment against innocent Palestinians and Israeli citizens- was approved with the consent agenda
4. Overture INT-13– which recognizes May 15 as ” Palestinian Nakba Remembrance Day” and instructs the Presbyterian Mission Agency to include Nakba Remembrance Day on the Presbyterian Planning Calendar going forward was approved with the consent agenda.
Please visit the Israel Palestine Mission Network ( IPMN ) to learn about all the PCUSA actions concerning Palestine PCAP- The Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace wants to be a resource to your churches & community
Check out Arab America’s blog here!