TEASA Holy Land Statement

TEASA Conference on the Holy Land

15-16 Oct 2019

On 15-16 October 2019, TEASA hosted a Palestinian Conference in Benoni, Gauteng, to provide a learning opportunity for South African Evangelicals to understand the distressing situation of Palestinian life in the Holy Land.

This event was initiated at the request of Evangelical  Palestinian church leaders who value the perspective and voice of Evangelicals in our nation because of our shared allegiance to Jesus Christ and similarities in our histories.

At the event, our Palestinian brothers and sisters shed light on their experience with many Christians from South Africa – and around the world –  who tour the Holy Land. Such visitors rarely visit the West Bank and often overlook the vital presence of Palestinian believers. Few take time to connect relationally and appreciate their unique story.

When guided by a theology of Christian Zionism, Christian pilgrims can create more harm than good. When we fail to understand both sides of the story, we can undermine Biblical justice and restrain the transformational message of love and reconciliation through Jesus.

Hearing the cry of Palestinian believers and affirming that God loves all people on earth, TEASA leaders hope to amplify this critical issue in the body of Christ in South Africa and encourage conversation to enable South African evangelicals to be part of the solution and not the problem.

We lament the fact that Christian Zionism has been the dominant position of the Evangelical movement worldwide.  As TEASA, we refuse to be a part of any use of our faith to support oppression anywhere in the world. We renounce any use of the Bible as a tool of oppression and injustice.

We commit to finding ways to encourage peace in the Holy Land, including both Israel and Palestine. There should be justice, dignity and respect for all.  Where there is conflict, we need to pray for reconciliation in the Holy Land.  While we may have diverse approaches to eschatology as it relates to the Holy Land, we appeal to our common commitment to the values of the kingdom.

Our voice as SA Evangelicals is important to Palestinian believers. They are not requesting us to take political sides. Rather they are asking Evangelicals to support the principle of justice. We advocate a Christ-centered perspective centered on grace.

Toward this end, TEASA is initiating a task force to investigate how we as South African Evangelicals can respond and work toward peace in the Holy Land.

For further information contact:  moss@teasa.org.za.

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