In a publication of the Episcopal Church, which is a member of the Anglican Communion which is headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and "consists of an estimated 80 million Christians who are members of 44 different churches. These make up 34 provinces, 4 United Churches, and 6 other churches, spread across the globe". The Archbishop, has been a pain for a long time. (note this as well as, among others, this statement: "The Israeli-built West Bank security barrier is a symbol of what is "deeply wrong in the human heart", the Archbishop of Canterbury has said. He visited in February 2010)
In a recent occurence, reported in The 'real' future for Christians in the Holy Land by one The Rev. Vicki Gray, deacon at Christ the Lord Church in Pinole, California and a member of the Executive Council of the Diocese of California (and see the JC report), Rowan and his faithful are at in again.
It seems that in mid-July some 90 religious, political, and media representatives gathered at London's Lambeth Palace at the behest of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, to discuss in conference the situation of Christians in the Holy Land.
The purpose, according to Archbishop Williams, was to raise "literate, compassionate awareness" of the plight of Palestinian Christians in light of the "very significant" and "accelerating" decline of their population and to consider "What we can we do to help those Christians who so urgently want to stay in their homeland, and to imagine a future there for themselves?"
At the conference, Samer Makhlouf, a Roman Catholic, called the occupation "the father of all problems in the region." Gray noted
No wonder the population of Christians in Israel/Palestine has stagnated, growing only from about 150,000 in 1946 to fewer than 160,000 in 2006 rather than the far higher figure that might be expected from natural demographic growth. As the Palestinian Christian academic Bernard Sabellah noted, according to Allen, this stagnation is accounted for by the "missing" Christians who have emigrated.
And entering politics, she writes:
It is far past time not just to encourage, but to insist that the government of Israel cut the two-state deal demanded not just by justice but by the best interests of Israel. It is time for the Episcopal Church to consider and adopt a policy that will get the attention of the governments of Israel -- and the United States -- a policy of divesting from all companies that enable the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and boycotting all products manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank or East Jerusalem.
The bleeding Palestinian Christians -- indeed, all Palestinians -- deserve not just our words, prayers, goodwill, and conferences. They are not just some object of abstract historicity and, therefore, in the eyes of our archbishop, "critical to Christianity's identity." They are living, breathing, bleeding human beings whose dignity we are called by our baptism to respect.
The JC informs us that a spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in London contradicted the Archbishop's comments. He said: "Christians in Israel are a flourishing community, fully integrated into Israeli life. We join the calls for other nations in the region to act on this, and hope that they copy the Israeli model on accommodating religious minorities."
But Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell we learn, highlighted the "difficulties facing Christians travelling between Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jerusalem, and said the British government was concerned about the future viability of the Christian community in the Holy Land".
Well, it will come as no surprise to you, my readers, that to my mind, the most threatened minority group that has actually suffered is the Jews.
The Jews are bleeding, have been bleeding and unfortunately, may continue to bleed and part of the responsibility for that is Christian identification, of various personnages and sects, with the "Palestinian Arab", the "he" who kills, attacks, riots, steals, commits terror, et al.
Oh, the 'cross' we Jews have to bear.