“If you throw a stone into a pool of water, the ripples on the surface continue for some time. The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 has had the same effect on the whole of the Middle East. The ripples from this event continue to affect the lives of everyone in the region, and increasingly in the whole world” (Colin Chapman, author of Whose Promised Land: the Continuing Crisis over Israel and Palestine).
MEC 2012 will focus on the Palestinian issue and the acute questions it raises for Christians. Through an honest exploration of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a deep engagement with biblical interpretation and theological principles, and direct interaction with realities on the ground, Christians from Lebanon, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, the US, and beyond, will spend five days reflecting on the Church’s responsibility in arguably one of today’s most important questions. Biblical teaching on neighborly hospitality, justice and love, views of the end times, and approaches to peace making, are but some of the issues that will be addressed head-on during this conference. Politics, theology and compassion will be weaved together by experts, theologians and activists in an effort to lead us into an honest search for Christlike responses to this great global challenge.
Is there anything that Arab and Western Christians can and should be doing? Lebanon, with its close to 300,000 Palestinian refugees living mostly in the dreadful conditions of 12 camps around the country (as well as at least 39 unrecognized settlements), amidst a national population of 4 million, is a dramatic yet ideal context within which to carry out this exploration. And there will be no place for ivory-tower theorizing or speculation! Whether you are a pastor, leader, missionary, NGO worker, professor, or student; whether you live in or outside the Arab world; we hope that you will come and join with us as we seek to understand the mind of Christ and face these difficult challenges together.
Look out for updates that will come your way through our newsletters and publications and please visit our website regularly to stay tuned to new developments.