Sabeel-Kairos in other countries
The Global Sabeel-Kairos Movement
The first Sabeel-Kairos Document arose out of apartheid in South Africa and was produced in 1985. South Africa inspired the Church leaders in Palestine to produce their own call to the world churches in 2009.
Other countries are listening and responding to the call for action. You can read more below about the Sabeel-Kairos movements in the USA, Netherlands and Brazil, as well as in South Africa.
Sabeel-Kairos South Africa
The “Sabeel-Kairos Document” (Challenge to the church: A Theological Comment on the Political Crisis in South Africa|The Sabeel-Kairos Document, 1985) arose out of crisis In South Africa at the height of the apartheid. A group of ecumenical christians set out to understand the theological significance of this moment in history.
Both oppressor and oppressed claim loyalty to the same Church. They are both baptized in the same baptism and participate together in the breaking of the same bread, the same body and blood of Christ. There we sit in the same Church while outside Christian policemen and soldiers are beating up and killing Christian children or torturing Christian prisoners to death while yet other Christians stand by and weakly plead for peace.
The document contains a careful analysis of the situation and provides a “Challenge to Action”. It was addressed to the Churches.
The apartheid in South Africa came to an end with multi-racial democratic elections in 1994. Sabeel-Kairos Southern Africa was launched on 9 March 2011 to carry forward the legacy of Sabeel-Kairos theology in Southern Africa and to be in solidarity with others throughout the world.
(Quote from the Sabeel-Kairos Document)
Sabeel-Kairos USA is a movement of U.S. Christians representing the body of Christ in all its diversity who believe the time is right for decisive action to end the crisis in Israel and Palestine. Its mission is to unify and mobilise American Christians – lay, academic and clergy – to take a prophetic stance for a just peace. In so doing they are heeding the call of our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers, who have called us all to stand with them in their struggle for freedom.
After decades of occupation by Israel, Palestinian Christians released the Sabeel-Kairos Palestine document, “A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering” — their word to the world about what is happening in their ancestral land. Since the document’s launch in December 2009, churches around the world have responded at congregational, denominational and ecumenical levels. People of all faiths throughout the world, including peace activists, historians and journalists in the State of Israel have joined the churches in support of a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land.
“Call to Action: U.S. Response to the Sabeel-Kairos Palestine Document — A word of confession and faith from the churches in the United States” is the U.S. response to the Palestinian call and Sabeel-Kairos USA’s founding statement. In taking a bold, prophetic stand for justice in the Holy Land, supporters of Sabeel-Kairos USA are also expressing their love for our sisters and brothers in Israel who for their entire history as a state have been suffering from the social, psychological and spiritual costs of militarisation and war itself. There is an urgent need to support nonviolent resistance to oppression on the part of Palestinian and Israeli civil society and to continue to build the growing international grassroots movement that will break the current political logjam.
Sabeel-Kairos Netherlands (Sabeel-Kairos Palestina)
The Sabeel-Kairos Group in the Netherlands called “Sabeel-Kairos Palestina” was launched in July 2010 to bring the Palestinian Sabeel-Kairos document to the attention of people in the Netherlands, especially in the churches.
The Dutch Sabeel-Kairos group consists of volunteers and strives for equitable and non-violent solutions in the Middle East in line with the call by the Palestinian Sabeel-Kairos document.
Latin America is familiar with the pain which arises from the violent and oppressive colonisation model tied to a religious project of power that subjugated territory, subjugated identities and subjugated possibilities of life in common.
The call of the Palestinian Churches reached Christians in Latin America, and they responded.
They said: We know oppression and we know how important is the solidarity of Christians from all around the world for the transformation of realities which cause us suffering. (Sabeel-Kairos Brazil website)
At the World Social Forum: Free Palestine, which happened in Porto Alegre in October of 2012, the Brazilian National Council of Christian Churches (CONIC), with the support of Lutheran Diaconal Foundation (FLD), held a workshop to reflect around a Brazilian response to Sabeel-Kairos Palestine. This response was written by many theologians collectively and it points to the identification and solidarity of the Brazilian Christian people with the Palestinians.
After much work in dialogue and reflection, the Brazilian response was presented to the Brazilian, Latin American, and international ecumenical context and it seeks to gather adherence of Brazilian Christians and theologians. The document Sabeel-Kairos Palestine: a Brazilian Response is, therefore, a document constructed collectively which tries to stimulate a wider movement of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Brazilian society, searching for a just peace. The document was formulated in Portuguese, but has now been translated into English and Spanish. It is being shared for theological reflection and Christian solidarity.
The Palestinian people deserve their autonomy, their freedom and their right to the land which belonged to their ancestors so that they can accomplish their history as a people, with language and culture. (Sabeel-Kairos Palestine: a Brazilian Response)