Stories from Palestine, Palestinian Christian missives, PIEN strategy, events and more!
Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network - Update

PIEN strategising this Saturday

This Saturday in Canberra PIEN members will gather to evaluate our work and strategise forward. We hope to choose key work for the year.  You are welcome to attend or email any thoughts you have to 

Kairos Easter Resource - the pain of Jerusalem today  

The city of Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified, remains a source of so much suffering for Palestinian Christians.  Rifat Kasis says Jerusalem is the universal sacred place I cannot go to practice my faith, and the capital city I cannot visit. This 2014 document provides rich lenten resources for churches and individual study from Christians throughout Palestine.  Read more and download resource.

Ecumenical Accompaniers - Prayers for those in Palestine and invitation to join!

For the first time ever, Australians will be involved in three consecutive groups of the World Council of Churches Program, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel.  Please pray for Craig as he settles back in at home, Liam as he enters his last few weeks on team, and Joan who is about to start (and click on their names to read the powerful stories and poetry on their blogs!).

Would you like to become an Ecumenical Accompanier?  Applications for the next 18months are open, with training
May 21-24 2015. Find out more.

PIEN's Executive Officer returns from Palestine

Jessica, our Executive Officer, has just returned from serving in Hebron with Christian Peacemaker Teams.  She has many painful stories to share, including about the planting and ripping up of trees, and the demolition of houses.

News from and about Palestine

Kairos 5th Anniversary Conference - statement
In December 2014, over 250 people from around the world gathered to commemorate the 5th Annivesrary of the Kairos Document, and discuss the ways forward.  They committed themselves to: listening carefully to Palestinian Christian voices; continued theological exploration and critique; active participation in creative resistance; continued promotion of economic pressures; and an inclusive vision of just peace throughout the Middle East. 

Reflection from Tim Budge, Anglican Overseas Aid from his visit to Gaza
After seeing the horrors of the destruction of Gaza, Tim Budge asks Is Gaza the place where the world community says “It’s all too hard” or where we say “We need to deal with this, we need to find a better way”?

Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch Emeritus's powerful address: Christians in Israel and in the Middle East, our present and future
...where we are faced directly by death, we have two choices: to become soldiers and form armies to kill some of our enemies and to be killed for politics, on the one hand, or to give our life as martyrs for our faith and for the life of our own enemy, on the other hand. The second alone is the Christian choice. It was the choice of the first Christians here in Jerusalem, in the Middle East and in the entire Roman Empire. They died for their faith and for the life of their persecutors, and finally they won.

'We Palestinian Christians say Allah Akbar
Archbishop Sebastia Theodosios (Atallah Hanna), the only Palestinian Orthodox Christian bishop in the Holy Land speaks, in an interview with Nadezhda Kevorkova, a war correspondent. He describes the suffering of Palestinian Christians, their unity with Muslims in the Palestinian struggle, about Orthodox Christian martyrs, and Ukraine.

Palestine joins the ICC, and Israel freezes tax transfers.
On the 1st January, Palestine signed the guiding treaty of the International Criminal Court(ICC) and subsequently the ICC is undertaking preliminary investigations into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians.  In retaliation Israel has stopped the passing on of Palestinian tax revenues, a disastrous move given that this revenue accounts for 60% of the Palestinian Authority’s income.  The move is so extreme that it has been condemned not only by the UN, the USA, but even the Israeli President himself.  The US State Department stated recently  that if the funds aren't released soon “we could be faced with a crisis that could gravely impact both the Palestinians and the Israelis with potentially serious ripple effects". We wish to talk with you about Australia’s lack of engagement with this serious question.

Israeli Settlement Building Tenders hit Record High
Israel set a 10-year record last year for the number of tenders it issued for construction in settlements on occupied land in the Palestinian territories, the anti-settlement watchdog group Peace Now has said. 

Pictured: Jessica and Fred and Helen Rainger on the APAN study tour.  Read more about the tour in Anglican News (Canberra/Goulburn) - download newsletter. Feature on page 14

Coming Events


Trips to Palestine

APAN Study Tour
August 2015 & January 2016.
Lebanon, West Bank, Jordan and Gaza: "intense, extraordinary and a life-changing experience",

Joint Advocacy Initiative - Journey for Justice
25 July- 2 August 2015
Join 17-25yr olds from around the world.

Know Thy Heritage
July/August 2015
Subsidised trip for Palestinian diaspora youth

Christ at the Checkpoint Conference
Bethlehem Bible College
March 7-10, 2016

Other Events

To exist is to resist
7pm, 13 March
1-23 City Road, Southbank
Art exhibition, short films, and more

Book Launch: A case for Palestine
To be Launched by Bob Carr
3.30pm for 4pm, 11 April
Glebe Road Books
Would you like a speaker for your church or event?  Or would you like some brochures?  We'd love to send you as many copies as you like -

Fred Rainger and Claudia Hyles (pictured here amongst ancient olive trees in Hebron which have been attacked by Israeli settlers) have written about the APAN study tour in Anglican News (Canberra/Goulburn) - download newsletter. Feature on page 14

Australian Christians who seek lasting peace for the people of Palestine and Israel. 

We aim to equip and 
inform Australian churches, inspired by Christ’s vision for universal reconciliation.

Executive Officer
Jessica Morrison 
0431 519 577