"The Jerusalem Declaration
on Christian Zionism"
"The Jerusalem Declaration
on Christian Zionism" released Aug. 22. The statement was written
by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem and other local
heads of Churches in Jerusalem.
* * *
"Blessed are the peacemakers
for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew
Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that
embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming
detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel.
Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified
with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its
extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading
to the end of history rather than living Christ's love
and justice today.
We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false
teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and
We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders
and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and
the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral preemptive
borders and domination over Palestine.
This inevitably leads to unending cycles
of violence that undermine the security of all peoples of
the Middle East and the rest of the world.
the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these
policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather
than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught
by Jesus Christ.
Rather than condemn the world to the doom
of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from
the ideologies of militarism and occupation. Instead, let them pursue
the healing of the nations!
We call upon Christians in Churches
on every continent to pray for the Palestinian and Israeli
people, both of whom are suffering as victims of occupation
and militarism. These discriminative actions are turning Palestine into impoverished
ghettos surrounded by exclusive Israeli settlements.
The establishment of the illegal
settlements and the construction of the Separation Wall on confiscated
Palestinian land undermine the viability of a Palestinian state as
well as peace and security in the entire region.
upon all Churches that remain silent, to break their silence
and speak for reconciliation with justice in the Holy Land.
we commit ourselves to the following principles as an alternative
We affirm that all people are created in the image
of God. In turn they are called to honor the
dignity of every human being and to respect their inalienable
We affirm that Israelis and Palestinians are capable of living
together within peace, justice and security.
We affirm that Palestinians are
one people, both Muslim and Christian. We reject all attempts
to subvert and fragment their unity.
We call upon all people
to reject the narrow world view of Christian Zionism and
other ideologies that privilege one people at the expense of
We are committed to non-violent resistance as the most effective
means to end the illegal occupation in order to attain
a just and lasting peace.
With urgency we warn that Christian
Zionism and its alliances are justifying colonization, apartheid and empire-building.
demands that justice be done. No enduring peace, security or
reconciliation is possible without the foundation of justice. The demands
of justice will not disappear. The struggle for justice must
be pursued diligently and persistently but without violence.
"What does the
Lord require of you: To act justly, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
where we take our stand. We stand for justice. We
can do no other. Justice alone guarantees a peace that
will lead to reconciliation with a life of security and
prosperity for all the peoples of our land. By standing
on the side of justice, we open ourselves to the
work of peace -- and working for peace makes us
children of God.
"God was reconciling the world to himself in
Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has
committed to us the message of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:19)
Latin Patriarchate, Jerusalem
Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad,
Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
Riah Abu El-Assal,
Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land