The Common Good
August 2004
The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem hosted more than 500 representatives from 31 countries in April to

The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem hosted more than 500 representatives from 31 countries in April to address the dangers of Christian Zionism. "Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism," said conference leaders, "thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel."

Amid a worsening situation for Palestinians, Sabeel identified Christian Zionism as a demon within the ranks of Western Christianity that silently but actively legitimizes Israel's violent policies toward Palestinians. Conference participants said that Christian Zionism promotes a worldview that identifies the gospel "with the ideology of empire, colonialism, and militarism. In its extreme form, it places an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ's love and justice today." Palestinian participants from the West Bank were unable to attend due to Israeli military closures.

In the United States, 50 leaders of evangelical, mainline, Orthodox, and Catholic churches signed a letter to President Bush in May seeking intervention on behalf of the Palestinian Christian community. Services to Christians and non-Christians in Palestine are severely restricted by lack of access to visas, increased taxes, and the Israeli security wall.

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