Rifat Kassis – Speaks from the heart
Perhaps our most anticipated talk of the day came from Rifat Kassis who joined us all the way from Palestine. Rifat is the Director of Kairos Palestine and one of its founding members. We heard a detailed and moving account of life under occupation and how difficult things are currently for those who support just peace and non-violent resistance in the region. It was highlighted to us that the presence of Churches and Christians in Palestine was at stake due to the prolonged occupation.
Rifat called on Christians to work on ending the occupation and supporting the struggle of the Palestinians. We were told about particular areas of work that Kairos are involved in today – namely: Introducing/reintroducing Palestinian Theology, preserving Christian presence in the region and working of course to end the occupation and Apartheid regime. Rifats talk left us with some encouraging and helpful suggestions on what Church and Church leaders can do to aid this work:
- Develop a prophetic intervention strategy and prophetic action plan (based on Kairos, NCCOP open letter, Kumi Now etc.)
- Join the Global Kairos for Justice Coalition!
- Engage in the Come and See campaign!
- Implement, recognize, amplify and publicly support BDS actions and protect other churches/denominations who choose to do so.
- Recognize, join and encourage peace and justice initiatives (Kairos, Kumi Now, Keep hope Alive (Olive tree planting)
- Work and coordinate with other church/faith based/ secular groups.
More notes from Rifat’s presentation can be found here