The Ecumenical Group WCAL: raise your voice against the “unbearable atrocities” perpetrated against Palestinians in Gaza and other parts of Palestine, atrocities that “have resulted in a death toll of over 28,000 civilians, more than two thirds of whom are children and women”.

We want to emphasise this WCAL document – reported by Fides, Pontifical Missionary Works – because it also provides some keys to a better understanding of what is happening between Israel and Palestine in these messes.

The ecumenical Group in September 2021 published the document entitled Christians in the Middle East: Towards Renewed Theological, Social, and Political Choices. The team, which has taken as its initials a formula that echoes a verse from Deuteronomy (“We have chosen life in abundance”), includes, among others, Professor Souraya Bechealany, former secretary general of the Council on the Churches of the Middle East, and Maronite priest Rouphael Zgheib, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Lebanon, and Lebanese Greek-Melkite priest and theologian Gabriel Hachem.

Faced with this death scenario, the Group of analysts, theologians and Christian pastoral workers “We Choose Abundant Life” publishes a document to highlight how the war underway in the Holy Land “not only highlights the capacity for human violence,demonising and dehumanising the Other, but also underscores a profound moral crisis that challenges us, not justas Christians but as human beings“.

“The immediate military response that started as an impulsive revenge to the atrocities of October 7, 2023”, reads the message “turned quickly into a devastating and planned war, finding justification and support from several countries in the free world, and met with silence from dictatorships in the region”.

The drafters of the document underline that “the militarisation of religious ideologies, whether inestablished states or non-state movements and actors, serves as a glaring indicator of the serious conceptual dangersthat religions face when they deviate from the core of their message“. The document also calls for the clarity of critical voices that pose a particular challenge by dismantling “the prevailing narrative that associates Judaism with Zionism or suggests that Judaism is synonymous with Zionism. Criticising Israel’s practices that violate international law” we read in the text ” is not synonymous with anti-Semitism”.

The Group’s promoters join all those who demand “the rights of Palestinians to self-determination. Notably, they consistently speak out against the conflation of the Palestinian cause as a national one with militant and armed jihad or extremist Islamist claims. These voices challenge over simplified narratives and contribute to a nuanced understanding of the diverse perspectives within the Muslim community”.

Attached is the full text of the WCAL Document