Posts made in September, 2019

On Mount Nebo with Moses

Posted on Sep 13, 2019

We celebrate the feast of Moses, not only the liturgical feast with the divine liturgy, but the feast that is the feast of the people, of the people of God, of both the Christian and Muslim people.” Mgr MAURO LALLI Business Representative Apostolic Nunciature Amman – Jordan

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Icons, word of God in colour

Posted on Sep 13, 2019

Sr MARIE-BENEDICTE, osb Iconographer “The icon is the Word of God in colour.” Colour is what reveals the message of an icon: an ancient object that, born in the cradle of the Eastern Church, over the centuries has preserved precise characteristics and techniques of realization. In the images that depict the life of Jesus, there are not many details, yet the gold of the sky is able to represent the divinity, the purple represents sadness, the green represents hope…

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Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Posted on Sep 12, 2019

World Council of Churches, 12 September 2019

By Ivars Kupcis, communication officer for the World Council of Churches

Born in Nazareth, Galilee, Rev. Dr Saïd Ailabouni moved to the US at the age of 19 to become a physician. But he was so angry at God that he went to study theology instead, becoming a Lutheran pastor. Now he is leading the Middle East & Europe desk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since leaving his hometown 50 years ago, he visits his Palestinian family regularly. As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel [15-22 September 2019]approaches, Ailabouni agreed to share some of his lifetime observations with the Word Council of Churches.

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Craftspeople of al-Khalil: An interview with Bader & Zachariah

Posted on Sep 12, 2019

Christian Peace Teams, Palestine, Sept. 12, 2019 – Bader al-Tamimi’s shop stands at the entrance to the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron). Bader is always there it seems – a warm, dignified, welcoming presence to tourists, residents of al-Khalil (Hebron), members of human rights groups, and fellow craftspeople alike. Small cups of coffee or tea are thrust into one’s hand and a ready seat is offered.

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Raising Racism and Ethnocentrism in Israel and the United States: A Clear and Present Danger

Posted on Sep 8, 2019

For people like me, the interpretation of the term “chosen people” I share is the universalist tradition. To summarize what our erudits teach us is that the nature of “chosenness” is not a badge of superiority and separation. Quite the contrary: Jewish chosenness is a humble call to action and responsibility. If at all, Jews claiming to be the first monotheist specifically have been chosen to, or have chosen to,” be of service to others so that the world may be a more just place.

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Prayers for Peacemakers, 4 September 2019 Iraqi Kurdistan

Posted on Sep 7, 2019

Christian Peacemaker Teams

Give thanks for how the voices of families who lost their children, parents and siblings in Turkish and Iranian bombings resonate with a power greater than the noises of death and war. Representatives of the families in partnership with CPT Iraqi Kurdistan held a successful press conference to speak about losing their loved ones and called on governments and armies to take action for peace. We pray that those responsible for the bombings will hear their united voices and respond to their call.

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Interpreting the Qur’an Today: Between Tradition and New Media

Posted on Sep 7, 2019

It is impossible to make sense of how Muslims read and approach their sacred text without taking into consideration the evolution of media

Click here for PDF version of this article

by Johanna Pink* | 5 September 2019, Oasis

‘When I was at primary school,’ writes the German Muslim Hakan Turan in his blog, ‘my circle of friends contained all kinds of nationalities: Germans, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese – all of them classmates. … My parents appreciated my good relationship with my classmates and I would never have thought that it could meet with anyone’s disapproval – until one day I met an elderly Turk who identified with political Islam which was on the rise in Turkey at the time, and he told me something that curdled my blood: “You may not be friends with these people – for the Qur’an says: Do not take the Jews and Christians as friends. They are friends of each other. [Qur’an 5:51]

The same qur’anic verse that shocked Turan so much when he grew up in 1980s Germany caused a major scandal that dominated the gubernatorial election of Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2017 and might even have determined its outcome, the difference being that in Indonesia, the political battle was based on the following translation: ‘Do not take the Jews and Christians as leaders.’ Just as Turan’s elderly Turkish acquaintance had no doubt that the Qur’an forbids Muslims from taking non-Muslims as friends, many devout Indonesian Muslims did not stop to question their conviction that the Qur’an forbids Muslims from electing non-Muslims into political leadership positions.

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Christian Aid: A tragic loss of life

Posted on Sep 6, 2019

Razan al-Najjar in Gaza Christian Aid

On Friday 1 June 2019, volunteer medic Razan al-Najjar was shot in Gaza.

Razan, 21, had returned to volunteer at the demonstrations every week, despite being shot in the foot with a rubber bullet on one occasion and being directly hit in the chest with a gas canister on another. Her courage in the face of such violence and her dedication to assisting others are truly to be admired.

Christian Aid’s thoughts and sympathies are with Razan’s family at this terrible time.

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Filipino workers spend decades caring for Israeli families. Now they risk deportation for having children.

Posted on Sep 6, 2019

by Eloise Blondiau

Beth Franco kissed the ground when she arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport in 1999. Though she never imagined she would be in the land where Jesus had once walked, she was eager to start this new chapter of her life. Back then, the beach city of Tel Aviv reminded her of Manila, in her native Philippines, but she has seen the skyline grow into jagged peaks as skyscrapers have shot up over the last two decades; and Ms. Franco has now lived almost half her 45 years in Israel.

Like many Filipinos who move to Israel, Ms. Franco entered the country on what is known as a caregiver visa. This allows foreign workers to stay in Israel temporarily, usually to care for elderly or disabled Israelis. Since she moved to Israel, Ms. Franco has lived with two different families during some of the most difficult parts of their lives, working for them through illnesses and deaths. Ms. Franco frequently saw her employers more often than they saw their own families. She is now working for her third family in Israel, this time as a housekeeper. But because of Israel’s strict rules about visas, she labors without the proper documents, putting her future in Israel at risk.

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The case of Mohammad El Halabi and the rabbit hole of Israeli “justice”

Posted on Sep 5, 2019

Image: A boy holds a mobile phone with a picture of a man holding a baby Faris, Mohammed el-Halabi’s youngest son, holds up a phone with a photo of the last time the two were pictured together, when Faris was just a baby. (Mohammed Al-Hajjar)

A boy holds a mobile phone with a picture of a man holding a baby Faris, Mohammed el-Halabi’s youngest son, holds up a phone with a photo of the last time the two were pictured together, when Faris was just a baby. (Mohammed Al-Hajjar)

by Amjad Ayman Yaghi, a journalist based in Gaza

The Electronic Intifada 3 September 2019 – It’s been three years and there have been 119 court appearances. He has been separated from his family and lost his freedom.

Yet even though an Australian government inquiry has found allegations against him baseless, and his charges appear ever more outlandish as more is learned about the case, Mohammad El Halabi languishes in an Israeli prison, charged but not convicted, a Kafkaesque nightmare of the kind in which Israel – with its administrative detentions and separate laws for separate peoples – has become expert.

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