Palestinian Church leaders based in Jerusalem, who represent world wide Christian denominations, such as, Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate, Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal of the Episcopal Church and Bishop Munib Younan (pictured) of the Lutheran Church, should be viewed in much the same way as the leaders of the “official” Russian state church during the Soviet era.
Church leaders during that period of Soviet history were nothing more than useful tools for their communist rulers, never being able to utter a single word that contradicted official Soviet policies.
A recent article in the FrontPageMag.com, “EU Christians Czech Castro”, brings the issue once again to forefront. In a letter from the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Czech Republic, Jitka Klubalová directly challenges the head of the World Council of Churches, over his criticisms of America’s anti-Castro policy, writing:
“From our own experiences churches in Central and Eastern Europe are aware of what it means to live under a repressive totalitarian regime, which, according to our opinion, exists in Cuba,”
Jitka Klubalová is right of course, knowing full well of the inability of an officially recognized state Church and its leaders to function without the full endorsement of the state. Knowing full well that a state church that resides within a totalitarian system has leaders corrupted by the system, always willing to give voice to state policies while overlooking the misedeeds done by the state, towards its own parishioners.
The joint declaration by the three pro-Israel Christian groups contains the following:
“It is with concern that we note the negative opinions about Christian Zionism voiced by certain church clerics in Jerusalem… using inflammatory language they have expressed views that are far from the truth,” read a joint response by the heads of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, Bridges for Peace and Christian Friends of Israel.”
The Lutheran Bishop in Jerusalem, Munib Jounan, (pictured, and who speaks fluent Finnish) has been a major instigator in disseminating false characterizations of both Israel and the conflict. His annual messages published here in Finland, contain all the propaganda terminology used by the P.A. and Hamas. He “edjucates” Finnish volunteers who enlist themselves in the EAPPI program, visiting Israel and the P.A. territories for a period of a year or so.
The stories of these Finnish volunteers, who stay with Arab families, are published in the Finnish Lutheran Church’s website, and contains some of the worst propaganda and anti-Israel sentiment available. It mirrors much of the stuff that could be found on any anti-Israel hate site. The Bishop himself has used his office to promote the P.A. agenda, speaks of the hardships placed on the local population, but hardly if ever refers to actions of Palestinian terrorists that bring about the blunt methods the IDF employs in protecting their society. Everything just seems to happen within a vacum, with hardly a mention of the contribution Palestinian leaders make to the conflict.
Professor Justus Weiner produced a groundbreaking report, “Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society”, in which he writes :
“Living amidst a xenophobic Muslim population plagued by endemic violence bordering on anarchy, the Christians have shrunk to less than 1.7 percent of the population in the Palestinian areas. “Tens of thousands have abandoned their holy sites and ancestral properties to live abroad, while those who remain do so as a beleaguered and dwindling minority.”
“Their plight is, in part, attributable to the adoption of Muslim religious law (Sharia) in the Constitution of the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, the Christians have been abandoned by their religious leaders who, instead of protecting them, have chosen to curry favor with the Palestinian leadership.” Professor Weiner’s book reveals and analyzes why this persecution – largely ignored by the international community, the media, and even the human rights organizations – has metastasized to the extent that it threatens the very existence of this 2000-year-old community.”
Sadly, the plight of the Christian Arabs will not be addressed anytime soon by the international community, that respects the words/views of these Palestinian Bishops who are supposedly “leading their flocks.” Since most have left or “inspired” to leave by their Muslim overlords, you could reasonably assume that they are being lead right out of the ME. Now that’s leadership, of the perverse kind. KGS