A Cry for Help from Jerusalem

TJerusalem by night

I have just received a desperatee call for help from a very good Christian Palestinian friend. It is related to the implications of the recent decision of the American president to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

My friend is telling me that more and more of the evangelical churches in Palestine (representing something like 1% of the Palestinian Christians, who are, themselves, about 1% of the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank) are adopting a Zionist theology, in an attempt to schmooze American churches to support them financially (you may rightly call it ecclesial prostitution). This is, of course, a luxury that historical churches in Palestine (not only Greek Orthodox, Melkite, and Latin churches, but also Anglicans and Lutherans) do not have. Continue reading “A Cry for Help from Jerusalem”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Jerusalem: The 50th Anniversary of Reunification

A love tribute to Jerusalem, by the Chief Rabbi of UK, Dr Jonathan Sachs.

As we approach Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) on the 23rd / 24th May, and the 50th anniversary of the reunification of our beloved city, here are a few thoughts about what Jerusalem means to me. (This video includes captions in Hebrew. If you wish to receive an MP4 version of this video for use in your community, school or organisation on Yom Yerushalayim, please email info@rabbisacks.org and put ‘Jerusalem 50 video’ in the subject line.)

The Most Reverend Suheil S. Dawani Named Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem

Suheil S. Dawani
Anglican Archbishop Suheil S. Dawani of Jerusalem

Dear saints,

As announced by the Episcopal Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Provincial Synod has resolved to confer on the Bishop of Jerusalem the title of Archbishop of Jerusalem.

Mabrouk to Archbishop Suheil S. Dawani, who becomes the first Arab Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem since 1974, an elevated status which will strengthen both the Anglican and Christian presence in Jerusalem. Continue reading “The Most Reverend Suheil S. Dawani Named Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem”

Common Declaration signed by Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Pope Francis & Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
Pope Francis stands with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I as they meet outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (CNS)

Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, on Sunday held private talks in Jerusalem and signed a Common Declaration in which they pledged to continue on the path towards unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Their encounter marked the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras in 1964.   In their joint declaration, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew  said it is their duty to work together to protect human dignity and the family and build a just and humane society in which nobody feels excluded.   They also stressed the need to safeguard God’s creation and the right of religious freedom.  The two leaders expressed concern over the situation facing Christians amidst the conflicts of the Middle East and spoke of the urgency of the hour that compels them to seek the reconciliation and unity of the human family whilst fully respecting legitimate differences.

Please find below the full text in English of the Common Declaration of Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. Continue reading “Common Declaration signed by Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew”

Robert Hunt – A Second Letter from Jerusalem

Dear friends,

1. From Tel Aviv

Let me start with a map. The distance from the Jordan river (border of Jordan) to the Mediterranean Sea in the center of Israel is just over 40 miles. Everything is compressed. There isn’t a lot of physical space. And that space holds a lot of history.

Almost anywhere you dig, literally anywhere, you will find layer upon layer of different cultures and civilizations. And that space holds a lot of different peoples. The distinction between Arabs and Jews doesn’t begin to express it. There are many kinds of each, including not only theological divisions but essentially ethnic divisions as well.

But it isn’t just different peoples. It is different worldviews and viewpoints. And these struggle with space and for space; social, psychological, and spiritual. We have heard about the difficulty for politicians to “remain within the consensus,” meaning the current multi-party government, when a large part of the constituency wants to break out over sometimes minute ideological issues. But issues critical to their sense of community identity. We have heard of how women struggle to stay within orthodoxy because they do not want to suffer the dual punishment of facing both misogyny and exile from their community and tradition. Continue reading “Robert Hunt – A Second Letter from Jerusalem”

James Mercer – Bending the Tram Lines – Vulnerable Seeds of Hope in Israel/Palestine

Jerusalem tram line (source, here)

Tram L1 is busy. It glides smoothly from its mid-route stop at Damascus Gate, in the shadow of the Old City, west towards Mount Herzl – passing through the European suburbs of West Jerusalem. An armed soldier stands carelessly at the front of the bus, sub-machine gun suspended on his back, disconcertingly casually assertive. Plain clothes security officers, conspicuous in the concealed anti-stab vests, stroll seemingly indifferently between the carriages.

Mount Herzl is the end of the line. Alighting here, the path descends towards a concrete prism-like structure that penetrates the mountain from one side to the other. Entering the  structure, with its changing sequence of spaces and shaded and sloping floors, gives the illusion of a descent deep into the mountain. A dramatic sun-filled exit opens to thrilling views of the ever expanding white city of Jerusalem. This is Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum and memorial. Continue reading “James Mercer – Bending the Tram Lines – Vulnerable Seeds of Hope in Israel/Palestine”

Jerusalem – A Celebration of the Heavenly City