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Thursday, December 8, 2016
Report calls for solidarity with Christians in Middle East
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¬†A new report from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), urges closer links with Christians in the Middle East. The document: 'Who is my neighbour?' also calls on churches to endorse the call of their Middle East partners for the Israeli government to end the occupation of the Palestinian Territories. In March, a CTBI delegation travelled for two weeks in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Israel-Palestine. At a meeting of CTBI's steering committee at the Emmaus Centre in West Wickham this week, one of the delegation members, Gillian Kingston, a Methodist, said: "When we were in Jerusalem we heard from all the churches a sense of being forgotten by those in the west. If the current rate of emigration persists, then in the land of incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection, there will be no Christians left. People go to visit the holy sites and don't see the living stones." The Very Rev Sergei Hackel of the Orthodox Church said: "This report goes far beyond usual reports. It is a rich source for musings of all kinds." The Rev Geoffrey Roper, (Free Churches), Associate General Secretary of CTBI, said: "A great deal of thought was given to the title and the words chosen were those used by Jesus in the story of the journey between Jerusalem and Jericho. The words of Jesus teach us not to ask who we have to be concerned about but how can we care creatively. I trust the British and Irish Churches will take seriously the challenges posed by this report." Paul Renshaw, CTBI Coordinating Secretary for International Affairs said: "The current global security crisis shows how critical it is that peace and justice are established in the Middle East and that communications channels between the Middle East and the west are strengthened for mutual benefit. The delegation hopes this report will be reflected and acted on in this light with some urgency." Who is my neighbour? is available at £5.95 (plus 50p p+p) from Paul Renshaw, Inter Church House London SE1 7SA phone 020 7523 2112 email: global@ctbi.org.uk. Orders may be made securely on line from CTBI Publications at www.chbookshop.co.uk
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