A group of Palestinian Christian leaders issued a document Friday in Bethlehem that pleaded the case of Palestinians and called for the end of Israeli occupation of the territory.
Authors of “The Kairos Palestine Document” said they are calling for the end to the occupation “because today we have reached a dead end in the tragedy of the Palestinian people.”
“The hearts of the faithful are filled with pain and with questioning: What is the international community doing? What are the political leaders in Palestine, in Israel and in the Arab world doing? What is the Church doing?” the 12-page paper asks. more >>
American evangelist and humanitarian chief Franklin Graham said it is vital for the United States government to hold direct talks with North Korea, expressing support of the U.S. move to send an envoy to Pyongyang this week for discussion.
Graham, who had just visited North Korea in October for humanitarian purposes, pointed to former President Richard Nixon and communist China as examples of using dialogue to open the path to improved relations between two at-odds countries.
“I’m not saying that we agree with them, but you got to talk to them face to face,” Graham said, according to OneNewsNow. “Look what happened when Nixon…went into China, secretly…to meet with Mao Tse Tung, who had killed like 60 million of his own countrymen." more >>
Urbana 09, one of the country’s largest student missions conferences, expects more than 20,000 people from every state and many nations next month at its 22nd triennial event in St. Louis.
Organized by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Dec. 27-31 conference will focus on the most pressing global issues currently faced by those active in missions around the world. The four main focuses at Urbana 09 are: movement of peoples, money in terms of missions funding, environmental stewardship, and divisions between peoples.
“God is at work in the midst of all kinds of unique challenges,” said Urbana director Jim Tebbe. “Attendees will hear speakers from a variety of cultural contexts discuss how God is at work and will also learn about the needs that still remain. They will also experience worship with thousands of others in one of the most diverse worship gatherings in North America.” more >>
Evangelical Christian and Jewish leaders are calling for immediate sanctions against Iran to discourage the government from developing nuclear weapons.
Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, joined Paul de Vries, president of the New York Divinity School and leader of the New York Evangelicals, and Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, in issuing a statement urging all governments to apply sanctions as a tool for effective diplomacy and to encourage human rights efforts of Iranian citizens.
The leaders explained their concern derives from the “grave threat” of a nuclear Iran against people in the United States, Israel, as well as Iran’s Muslim neighbors. The threats posed by a nuclear weapon-possessing Iran include throwing Gulf Arab states into a nuclear arm race that would cause instability in the region; strengthening the rule of the militant Shia regime against Iran’s new reform leaders and youth attracted to human rights; and a likely total confrontation with Israel and the world to hasten the return of the 12th imam. more >>
Some of the world’s top ecumenical church leaders are urging on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the United States and Russia to continue the trend toward nuclear disarmament, stressing that “now” is the time to do so.
“It is our conviction that the present opportunity must be transformed into conclusive actions,” expressed the heads of the World Council of Churches, Conference of European Churches, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and the Canadian Council of Churches.
In a letter dated Oct. 28, the ecumenical leaders acknowledged the steps NATO has taken to reduce its reliance on nuclear weapons. They also welcomed the commitment of the new German government to have all nuclear weapons withdrawn from its soil. more >>
Nearly 50 Christian leaders, who collectively represent 28 million Americans, called on the United States and other world leaders to take urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Signers of the Sept. 22 letter to Congress warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would “almost certain[ly]” spark an arms race in the Middle East. The volatile country, known to be the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism, would also likely sell or give nuclear weapons to extremist groups that consider America an enemy, the Christian leaders warned.
“For the world’s most dangerous regime to obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons is something that neither the United States nor the community of civilized nations can allow,” the leaders assert. more >>