The Uniting Church will raise awareness of the plight of Palestinian Christians and the Palestinian people in response to a direct request to Uniting Church members who visited Jerusalem last September.
After the 14th Assembly accepted the Palestine Proposal on its final day of meeting, ex-President Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney said he would personally convey the news to the Palestinian friends he had made during the National Ministers’ Conference.
“I know their hearts would be touched to know that they’re remembered,” he said.
Sharing his recollections from the Conference, Rev. Prof. Dutney said the Uniting Church members on the trip were addressed by Bishop Munib Younan, head of the World Lutheran Federation and the leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.
“He’d been unpacking for us what it meant to be a Palestinian refugee and some of the history and the dynamics of his experience. And after a while he got on to the question of extremism, and he said to us there are extremists in every religion, Christian and Palestinian and Muslim. He knew that and he said that they have some things in common. They all love God. They all love their holy Book and they can all find a reason not to love their neighbour.”
“And he said to us ‘The world church owes us something, we Palestinian Christians. We’re your mother church and you owe us something’, and so we were waiting to hear what that would be – and we thought maybe go home and get proposals like this passed or lobby your government or give us money. But no. He said, ‘What you have to do is to go home and teach everyone to love their neighbour as they love themselves’ – and I’ll just leave that with you.”
The campaign will encourage members throughout the Church to stand in solidarity with Palestinian Christians and includes the promotion of the boycott of goods from illegal settlements in the West Bank.
It was earlier noted by the Assembly that the Proposal did not compromise the Uniting Church’s commitment to the ‘existence, in peace and security, of the state of Israel’ and its rejection of all forms of anti-Semitism.