Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Norway: Norwegian Church justifies Palestinian terror, denies Israel's Jewish history

It won't all fit in the headline, so I'll try to summarize here:

In honor of Christmas, and in the spirit of the season, the state Church of Norway hereby:
1. Justifies Palestinian terror
2. Denies the Jewish history of Israel and of Jesus and thereby denies Jews the right to their homeland
3. Prays for all those who are afflicted by the Holy Land conflict (though Jews are only mentioned as oppressors and occupiers)
4. Denies that Palestinian Christians incite hatred and murder against Jews

In other words: Lots of peace and love and harmony.


A new anti-Israel Facebook page "Tal sant om Betlehem" (Speak the truth about Bethlehem), features a petition by leaders of the Norwegian Church.  The signatories include Bishops Solveig Fiske, Tor B. Jørgensen and Erling Pettersen; Berit Hagen Agøy, General Secretary of the Ecumenical Council; and various priests, as well as leaders of the Palestine Committee.

The petition says as follows (translation and emphasis mine):

It is soon  Christmas.  As Christians we will celebrate the miracle of Jesus' birth in the manger.

We will remember the story of Joseph and Mary who traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, two towns in Northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, respectively.

This petition insists that we have a calling to ask for solidarity with all those who are affected by the conflict in the Holy Land, and to witness the injustice the occupation entails for Christian and Muslim Palestinians.

Churches there have long urged Western churches to stand up against injustice and to share their pain.  We think it's wrong for the Church to deny injustice in today's Palestine when we commemorate the miracle of Palestine of yore, and we will emphasize the following:

* We will speak the truth about the city where Jesus was born, a Palestinian city of Christians and Muslims, where the entire population suffers under the occupation. The city is encircled by walls, fences and checkpoints. A portion of the wall was built within the city streets of Bethlehem. We will preach the gospel of the Prince of Peace, and the message of love and justice for all peoples and all believers.

* We will protest against a political status quo; that Israeli violence, arbitrary arrests particularly of children and adolescents, closed borders, travel restrictions, trade barriers and other humiliations remain the day-to-day life for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The violence of the Occupation leads to Palestinian violence, and 2014 is a year of increased unrest and more were killed than have been for a long time.  A lasting political solution must be based on a principle of equality between all peoples and ethnic groups, Jews, Christians and Muslims.

• We will pray for the Palestinian Christians who administer the places where Jesus was born and the angels sang to the shepherds. We know that the Palestinian churches preach a message of reconciliation. They carry the hope that peace and justice will one day prevail. We encourage all believers in Norway to support the way of peace and righteousness. This way the occupation can be stopped, both occupier and occupied freed from the yoke of oppression, and dignity given back to all.

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